Showing posts from February 21, 2021

Blogbook -- Chapter 1: Race As An Evolving Concept

Entry 3 (Fri, 26 Feb 2021) Obviously, race is still used today to reference groups of people, and it offers us analytical value in understanding differences and problems that arise through various social dimensions of people. This is to say, once we start looking at things like language practices, wealth and job statistics, where groups of people live, access to opportunities, and cultural practices, we find that race is a powerful way to understand how societies and the world are organized, even as it is incomplete in its ability to explain differences. The concept, however, can reveal how our world is structured. It helps us see how society is organized in unfair ways, uneven ways that lead to keeping opportunities, wealth, jobs, education, and other things from some groups of people while allowing much greater access to such things to other groups.  It also can provide ways to understand patterns of experiences in society, what Du Bois described as, “common history, traditions and i

Blogbook - Chapter 1: What Is Race?

Entry 2 (Wed, 24 Feb 24) What it means to be an antiracist literacy or language teacher starts with a deep, historical, and political understanding of the relationship between race and language. That is, you have to know how race has shaped languages, literatures, and all that those things mean in our society, and of course, in our classrooms, and in schools and colleges. So, an antiracist orientation as a teacher of language and literacy begins with a deep understanding of the history of race. Throughout this blogchapter, I’ll have to speak broadly, but of course, race and language are always intersectional, specific, location-based, and dynamic -- they are constantly changing, as Omi and Winant explain so well in their book, Racial Formation in the United States .  To inhabit an antiracist orientation and be an antiracist teacher, we need to have a vocabulary. This vocabulary gives us a set of assumptions and understandings about race, racism, Whiteness, and White supremacy in our so

BlogBook - Introduction to the Project

  Entry 1 (Sunday, Feb 21, 2021) During 2020, I wrote a book for high school English Language Arts (ELA) teachers. Its title is, What It Means To Be An Antiracist Teacher: Cultivating Antiracist Orientations in The Literacy Classroom . I was asked by a publisher to write such a book because they’d seen a Zoom keynote I did for “ Mosaic 2020: The Unofficial AP Literature and Language Slow conference ,” which was co-developed by a friend and colleague, Brandon Abdon . I thought writing a book based on the keynote was a good idea for that audience. In the middle of writing the book, I realized I wasn’t sure that I had the audience right -- that is, I’ve never written a book for a high school teacher audience. So I feared that I was really writing to a college writing teacher audience, a First-Year Writing (FYW) teacher audience. I think what ended up happening is that I wrote for both audiences. I think the book offers something for all language and literacy teachers whether they teach i