Literacy, a foundational tool that unlocks opportunities, can be viewed in both narrow and confining lenses. We, doctoral students at Michigan State University, center our own experiences in order to redefine such narratives of what literacy means, can mean, and should mean for students of color throughout the African Diaspora. We explore methods to disrupt, experiences to resist, and questions to challenge the ways that students and educators engage with various concepts of literacy. Though we come from various backgrounds, this manuscript seeks to push forward a dialogue that allows for the multiple literacies that Black children have, language and otherwise, to be seen as an asset rather than a deficit. It is incumbent upon educators to explore, accept, and learn from Black children in pursuit of allowing various literacies to be accepted, explored, and appreciated. Our work is part of a larger conversation that continues a legacy of struggle to ensure that the education Black children receive is one that is liberatory rather than shackling.

Author Bio

Yetunde Alabedeis a PhD student in the department of Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (CITE) at Michigan State University. Her research interest centers on bi(multilingual) and multicultural education, language policy, planning and implementation. She examines African immigrant families' language practices in the home, the contribution to children's (bi)multilingualism and how this translates to the children's (bi)multiliteracy and (bi)multilingual development in school. She can be reached at .

Jess Reed (she/her/hers) is a daughter, sister, friend, storyteller, and ice cream lover from Detroit, Michigan. She is also a PhD student in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education program at Michigan State University. She can be reached at .

Blake Thompson is currently a doctoral student at Michigan State University in the Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education program. His areas of interest lie at the intersections of critical pedagogies regarding race, curriculum and teacher development. He also serves as the Director of Social Studies Curriculum at Collegiate Academies Schools in New Orleans, Louisiana. He can be reached at .



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