This volume explores the unique sociocultural contexts of literacy development, values, and practices in African American communities. African Americans--young and old--are frequently the focus of public discourse about literacy. In a society that values a rather sophisticated level of literacy, they are among those who are most disadvantaged by low literacy achievement. Literacy in African American Communities contributes a fresh perspective by revealing how social history and cultural values converge to influence African Americans' literacy values and practices, acknowledging that literacy issues pertaining to this group are as unique and complex as this group's collective history.
Existing literature on literacy in African American communities is typically segmented by age or academic discipline. This fragmentation obscures the cyclical, life-span effects of this population's legacy of low literacy. In contrast, this book brings together in a single-source volume personal, historical, developmental, and cross-disciplinary vantage points to look at both developmental and adult literacy from the perspectives of education, linguistics, psychology, anthropology, and communication sciences and disorders. As a whole, it provides important evidence that the negative cycle of low literacy can be broken by drawing on the literacy experiences found within African American communities.
"State-of-the-art research from a viewpoint not yet seen in the literature….Provides much needed empirical data, from the perspectives of linguists, speech-language pathologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and educators, addressing various issues surrounding literacy in African American communities across the human life span."
—Sharon E. Moss
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
"An urgent and important topic….The experts assembled are a good mixture of practitioners and researchers in literacy and related disciplines."
—Violet J. Harris
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Contents: S.B. Heath, Foreword. Preface. C.D. Qualls, Public and Personal Meanings of Literacy. C.S. Hammer, "Come Sit Down and Let Mamma Read": Book Reading Interactions Between African American Mothers and Their Infants. D. Bloome, T. Champion, L. Katz, M.B. Morton, R. Muldrow, Spoken and Written Narrative Development: African American Preschoolers as Storytellers and Storymakers. J.C. Scott, C.D. Marcus, Emergent Literacy: Home-School Connections. S.L. Horner, Literacy in the African Diaspora: Black Caribbean American Communities. J. Hartley, J.L. Harris, Reading the Typography of Text. A.G. Kamhi, S.P. Laing, The Path to Reading Success or Failure: A Choice for the New Millennium. J.A. Washington, H.K. Craig, Reading Performance and Dialectal Variation. N.R. LeMoine, Language Variation and Literacy Acquisition in African American Students. B.J. Moss, From the Pews to the Classrooms: Influences of the African American Church on Academic Literacy. T.A. Crowe, M.E. Byrne, S.T. Hale, Design and Delivery Issues for Literacy Programs Serving African American Adults. B.J.F. Meyer, A.P. Talbot, L.W. Poon, M.M. Johnson, Effects of Structure Strategy Instruction on Text Recall in Older African American Adults. M.M. Huff, W.A. Rogers, An Age-Related View of Computer Literacy for Adult African Americans. J. Baugh, Coming Full Circle: Some Circumstances Pertaining to Low Literacy Achievement Among African Americans.