In this article I present a discussion about the purpose of education of, for and with black, working class, young women within an inner-London, twenty-first century college, and explore the complex and imperfect ways that educational purpose translates into educational practice. I discuss the respective value of two contrasting discourses of education that operate in this college: firstly, a neoliberal discourse of education and educational success; secondly, a critical tradition of education, as traced through the work of Paulo Freire, feminist critics of his work and, ultimately, the work of bell hooks. I argue that a neoliberal rhetoric surrounding education, and the ways it translates into the practice of educating, plays a particular role in Black British, working class girls’ continuing educational marginalization. I thus articulate a more liberatory approach to teaching and learning with young, black women, drawing specifically on a hooksian vision of education as it emerges primarily through the work of, Ruth Nicole Brown and Stephanie D. Sears. Within these discussions, I explore dance as a potentially liberatory pedagogic practice, and articulate a possible approach here as an, always imperfect, embodied pedagogy of hope.