Understanding Storytelling Among African American Children: A Journey From Africa to America reports research on narrative production among African American children for the purpose of extending previous inquiry and discussion of narrative structure. Some researchers have focused on the influence of culture on the narrative structures employed by African American children; some have suggested that their narrative structures are strongly influenced by home culture; others posit that African American children, like children in general, produce narrative structures typically found in school settings. Dr. Champion contributes to previous research by suggesting that African American children do not produce one structure of narratives exclusively, but rather a repertoire of structures, some linked to African and African American, and others to European American narrative structures. Detailed analyses of narratives using both psychological text analysis and qualitative analysis are presented.
An informative introduction provides background for the study, including a history of storytelling within the African American community. Part I offers a framework for understanding narrative structures among African American children. In Part II, evidence is presented that African American children produce a repertoire of narrative structures that are complex in nature. Part III connects the research findings to implications for educating African American children. Researchers, students, and professionals in the fields of literacy education, language development, African American studies, and communication sciences and disorders will find this book particularly relevant and useful.
"Champion's book is appealing to scholars of critical language studies for its apt incorporation of post-positivist, qualitative research methodology, its interdisciplinary approach, and its consideration of how narrative production in children may be shaped by larger socio-historical and cultural contexts."
—Studies: International Journal
"The stories children tell are appreciated in their communities, and when brought to school, must be valued for their complexity and creativity. Champion finds a mismatch between the children's home and school linguistic backgrounds. She gives three examples where high teacher expectations and a culturally appropriate pedagogy helped African American children perform better academically. This is important information for all teachers."
Contents: Preface. Tell Me Somethin' Good: Storytelling From Africa to America. Part I: Approaches to Understanding Narrative Structures Among African American Children. Research on Narrative Structures Among African Americans and West Africans. Extending the Research: A Study of Narrative Production Among African American Children. Part II: Toward a Repertoire of Narrative Structures Among African American Children. Evaluative Narratives. Episodic Narratives. Moral Centered Narratives. Performance Narratives. Part III: Research to Practice. Implications for Educating African American Students. Appendices: Narratives by Participant. Linguistic Features of African American English.