African American Literacies: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

African American Literacies

1st Edition

By Elaine Richardson


192 pages

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pub: 2002-11-07
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African-American Literacies is a personal, public and political exploration of the problems faced by student writers from the African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) culture.

Drawing on personal experience, Elaine Richardson provides a compelling account of the language and literacy practices of African-American students. The book analyses the problems encountered by the teachers of AAVE speakers, and offers African American centred theories and pedagogical methods of addressing these problems. Richardson builds on recent research to argue that teachers need not only to recognise the value and importance of African-American culture, but also to use African-American English when teaching AAVE speakers standard English.

African-American Literacies offers a holistic and culturally relevant approach to literacy education, and is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the literacy practices of African-American students.


'A personal, public and political exploration of literacy education from the points of view of students from the African-American Vernacular English culture. The book offers teachers new ways of thinking about and incorporating linguistic diversity into their theories and pedagogical methods of addressing students from AAVE cultures.' - Wasafiri

Table of Contents

Introduction: don't we still have to prove our humanity? 1. Literacy, language, composition, rhetoric and (not) the African American student: sick and tired of being sick and tired 2. the literacies of African American-centered rhetoric and composition: freestylin' or lookin' for a style that's free 3. "To protect and serve": African American female literacies 4. African American-centered rhetoric, composition, and literacy: theory and research 5. Composition in a fifth key: rhetorics and discourses in an African American-centered writing classroom 6. Dukin' it out with "the powers that be": centering African American-centered studies and students in the traditional curriculum

About the Author

Elaine Richardson is Assistant Professor of English and Applied Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University.

About the Series


This series showcases innovative research and scholarship in the field of Literacy Studies.

Literacy practices are changing rapidly in contemporary society in response to broad social, economic and technological changes: in education, the workplace, the media and in everyday life. The Literacies series reflects the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research into reading and writing. The series aims to publish studies which consider literacy as a social practice. Work in this field has been developed and drawn together to provide books that are accessible, interdisciplinary and international in scope, covering a wide range of social and institutional contexts.  

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General