This pioneering study of African American students in the composition classroom lays the groundwork for reversing the cycle of underachievement that plagues linguistically diverse students. African American Literacies Unleashed: Vernacular English and the Composition Classroom approaches the issue of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in terms of teacher knowledge and prevailing attitudes, and it attempts to change current pedagogical approaches with a highly readable combination of traditional academic discourse and personal narratives.
Realizing that composition is a particular form of social practice that validates some students and excludes others, Arnetha Ball and Ted Lardner acknowledge that many African American students come to writing and composition classrooms with talents that are not appreciated. To empower and inform practitioners, administrators, teacher educators, and researchers, Ball and Lardner provide knowledge and strategies that will help unleash the potential of African American students and help them imagine new possibilities for their successes as writers.
African American Literacies Unleashed asserts that necessary changes in theory and practice can be addressed by refocusing attention from teachers’ knowledge deficits to the processes through which teachers engage information relevant to culturally informed pedagogy. Providing strategies for unlearning racism in the classroom and changing the status quo, this volume stresses the development and maintenance of a real sense of teaching efficacy—teachers’ beliefs in their abilities to connect with and work effectively with all students—and reflective optimism—teachers’ informed expectations that all students have the potential to succeed.
Scholar Adam J. Banks offers a mixtape of African American digital rhetoric in his innovative study Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age. Presenting the DJ as a quintessential example of the digital griot-high-tech storyteller-this book shows how African American storytelling traditions and their digital manifestations can help scholars and teachers shape composition studies, thoroughly linking oral, print, and digital production in ways that centralize African American discursive practices as part of a multicultural set of ideas and pedagogical commitments.
DJs are models of rhetorical excellence; canon makers; time binders who link past, present, and future in the groove and mix; and intellectuals continuously interpreting the history and current realities of their communities in real time. Banks uses the DJ's practices of the mix, remix, and mixtape as tropes for reimagining writing instruction and the study of rhetoric. He combines many of the debates and tensions that mark black rhetorical traditions and points to ways for scholars and students to embrace those tensions rather than minimize them. This commitment to both honoring traditions and embracing futuristic visions makes this text unique, as do the sites of study included in the examination: mixtape culture, black theology as an activist movement, everyday narratives, and discussions of community engagement. Banks makes explicit these connections, rarely found in African American rhetoric scholarship, to illustrate how competing ideologies, vernacular and academic writing, sacred and secular texts, and oral, print, and digital literacies all must be brought together in the study of African American rhetoric and in the teaching of culturally relevant writing.
A remarkable addition to the study of African American rhetorical theory and composition studies, Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age will compel scholars and students alike to think about what they know of African American rhetoric in fresh and useful ways.
Top linguists from diverse fields address language varieties in the South.
Language Variety in the South Revisited is a comprehensive collection of new research on southern United States English by foremost scholars of regional language variation. Like its predecessor, Language Variety in the South: Perspectives in Black and White (The University of Alabama Press, 1986), this book includes current research into African American vernacular English, but it greatly expands the scope of investigation and offers an extensive assessment of the field. The volume encompasses studies of contact involving African and European languages; analysis of discourse, pragmatic, lexical, phonological, and syntactic features; and evaluations of methods of collecting and examining data. The 38 essays not only offer a wealth of information about southern language varieties but also serve as models for regional linguistic investigation.
When the Oakland, California, school board called African American English "Ebonics" and claimed that it "is not a black dialect or any dialect of English," they reignited a debate over language, race, and culture that reaches back to the era of slavery in the United States. In this book, John Baugh, an authority on African American English, sets new parameters for the debate by dissecting and challenging many of the prevailing myths about African American language and its place in American society.
Baugh's inquiry ranges from the origins of African American English among slaves and their descendants to its recent adoption by standard English speakers of various races. Some of the topics he considers include practices and malpractices for educating language minority students, linguistic discrimination in the administration of justice, cross-cultural communication between Blacks and whites, and specific linguistic aspects of African American English. This detailed overview of the main points of debate about African American language will be important reading for both scholars and the concerned public.
Performing the Word offers readers of African American poetry a way of understanding and appreciating body of work that has received little critical attention. While African American literary tradition begins with eighteenth-century poets like Lucy Terry, Jupiter Hammon, and Phillis Wheatley, critical discussions of African American Poetry have been sparse. Aside from a few studies of "major" poets, such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, Rita Dove, or period histories of phenomena such as the Harlem Renaissance, there has been little sustained critical inquiry into African American poetry as a body of literature- until now.
Fahamista Patricia Brown examines elements of African American expressive culture- its language practices, both fold and popular. Her book is an excellent introduction to a diverse group of poets and the common basis of their work in language practices and performativity, in the expressive culture of a people. Performing the Word is an important contribution to the understanding of African American culture and American poetry as a whole.
Revisiting Racialized Voice:African American Ethos in Language and Literature argues that past misconceptions about black identity and voice, codified from the 1870s through the 1920s, inform contemporary assumptions about African American authorship and ethos. Tracing elements of racial consciousness in the works of Frederick Douglass, Charles Chesnutt, W. E. B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, and others, David G. Holmes urges a revisiting of narratives from this period to strengthen and advance notions about racialized writing and to shape contemporary composition pedagogies.
Pointing to the intersection of African American identity, literature, and rhetoric, Revisiting Racialized Voice begins to construct rhetorically workable yet ideologically flexible definitions of black voice. Holmes maintains that political pressure to embrace“color blindness” endangers scholars’ ability to uncover links between racialized discourses of the past and those of the present, and he calls instead for a reassessment of the material realities and theoretical assumptions race represents and with which it has been associated.
In music, crossover means that a song has moved beyond its original genre and audience into the general social consciousness. Rhetorical Crossover uses the same concept to theorize how the black rhetorical presence has moved in mainstream spaces in an era where African Americans were becoming more visible in white culture. Cedric Burrows argues that when black rhetoric moves into the dominant culture, white audiences appear welcoming to African Americans as long as they present an acceptable form of blackness for white tastes. The predominant culture has always constructed coded narratives on how the black rhetorical presence should appear and behave when in majority spaces. In response, African Americans developed their own narratives that revise and reinvent mainstream narratives while also reaffirming their humanity. Using an interdisciplinary model built from music, education, film, and social movement studies, Rhetorical Crossover details the dueling narratives about African Americans that percolate throughout the United States.
Serves both as a script for performance and as a text for high school and college theater and English classes.
This self-contained script brings together different scenes from Shakespeare’s plays to portray women “in all their infinite variety.” Two narrators, a man and a woman, introduce and comment on these scenes, weaving together the different characters and situations.
This book combines literary and theatrical techniques in examining Shakespeare’s women. Its promptbook format provides clear, helpful stage directions on pages facing each of the scenes. Also helpful are concise glosses and footnotes to define difficult words and phrases plus a commentary to explain each scene in its dramatic context.
Other features include sheet music for each song in the play, a bibliography on the topic of women in Shakespeare’s plays, and suggestions for directors who wish to stage the play.