Showing posts from April 4, 2021

Blogbook -- Racializing the Raven

Chapter 1 (continued) Entry 12 So let me now return to Poe’s poem, sort of (see "Racism Is A Boat" part 2 of 2 ). In a literacy course, it may help us understand not just the stuff from which a show like “Raven’s Home” is made but also why we may react to either artifact in the ways we do. We have been conditioned by racist discourse. And this conditioning started long before we were born. The conditioning isn’t just crafting individuals’ habits and desires. It’s shaping the systems around us and their habits and goals. The racist discourse before our time created the range of choices, ideas, and actions we engage in today. What this means is that if we are not consciously trying not to participate in racist discourse, we will be default. It’s how everything is made.   Now, Poe didn’t invent the associations around ravens. There are many long-standing myths, stories, and lore around ravens. And it's easy to see how other associations with race, ones apart from ravens, lik

Blogbook -- Chapter 1: Anti-Asian Racist Discourse As A Long Pattern in History

Entry 11 Racist discourse like Orientalism takes many forms today beyond just representing the Arab and Middle Eastern world. For instance, many have thought that Asians in the U.S. today are unaffected by racism. But as recent high-profile events reveal, such as the Atlanta mass shooting of eight people, six of them Asian women, have shown, this is not true ( note 70 ). NBC reported recently that there have been over 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents in the past year alone, with 68% of those committed against women -- and these are just the incidents reported ( note 71 ). And this isn’t just a North American phenomenon, it appears to be more global. In New Zealand, surveys show that anti-Asian racism has risen 54% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In England, that same figure is 300%. Similar rises in anti-Asian incidences have been tracked in Australia ( note 72 ).  Anti-Asian Racism isn’t just because of unwarranted blame for the pandemic on Asians. Its causes today are hist

A Q&A on Labor-Based Grading Contracts

I'm taking a short break from the blogbook ( What Does It Mean To Be An Antiracist Teacher: Cultivating Antiracist Orientations in The Literacy Classroom ) to offer a Q&A post on labor-based grading contracts. This post will also appear on the blog of the  Teachers Going Gradeless website (found at ), edited and curated by Aaron Blackwelder and Arthur Chiaravalli. They have a great podcast, blog, and website.  Arthur sent out a query in his network of teachers asking for questions about labor-based grading contracts. I'll reproduce the questions below and answer them in brief. Most are answered in detail in my book, Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom , particularly in chapter 6, but I'll offer some responses here. If you are interested, you might look in that book for deeper answers.  If you don't know what labor-based grading contracts are, I'll poi