Showing posts from June 27, 2021

Blogbook -- The Habits of White Language (HOWL)

Entry 28 To really understand what White language supremacy is exactly, and how we might decenter and counter it in our classrooms, we have to understand what the habits of White language, or HOWL, are. Their use and circulation is an important aspect of White language supremacy. HOWL can be used as a heuristic to help students identify these habits and critique them as they decide what they wish to take on as their own habits of language.  All people have habits of language, ways of seeing, saying, and judging things, ideas, and other people. These habits afford our ways with words. They also, when understood from a thirty thousand foot view, constitute the dominant rhetorical moves that are considered appropriate or preferred in any given context. That is, when we pan back and look at the long view of history and the wide view of who controls language practices in schools, universities, professions, and disciplines, this long and wide view of language habits reveals that elite, White

Blogbook -- The White Supremacy of Grades in the Literacy Classroom

Entry 27 If you’ve been listening carefully to this blogbook, you may have figured out that I understand the practice of grading literacy performances by a single standard as racist and White supremacist. In short, grading in the literacy and language classroom participates in White language supremacy if we use the dominant singular standards for language that the White supremacist system has given us. Unfortunately, those are usually all we have as teachers. That condition is on purpose.  Now, I’m not saying that your own habits of language that you’ve acquired as a teacher, and the expectations they provide you as a reader, are inherently racist, or that you can’t use your habits to read and respond to student writing. I’m saying how we typically use our habits of language in our classrooms as singular standards for grading is racist.  Please understand that what I’ve just said is NOT calling any teacher racist or White supremacist because they grade students’ writing. I don’t believ