A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Young Black Men

A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Young Black Men



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A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Young Black Men by KIRKLAND

This beautifully written book argues that educators need to understand the social worlds and complex literacy practices of African American males in order to pay the increasing educational debt we owe all youth and break the school-to-prison pipeline. Moving portraits from the lives of six friends bring to life the structural characteristics and qualities of meaning-making practices, particularly practices that reveal the political tensions of defining who gets to be literate and who does not. Key chapters on language, literacy, race, and masculinity examine how the literacies, languages, and identities of these friends are shaped by the silences of societal denial. Ultimately, A Search Past Silence is a passionate call for educators to listen to the silenced voices of Black youth and to re-imagine the concept of being literate in a multicultural democratic society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807754207
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 03/08/2013
Series: Language & Literacy
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Pedro Noguera ix

Preface xiii

Introduction 1

Gaining Access 2

From Observation to Participation 3

Research as Systematic Inquiry 5

The Science of Silence 9

Silences Looming 12


1 Artifacts of Life 17

2 Cypha 21

3 Peering 25

4 Laughter 29

5 Silence 33

6 Searching 37


7 Proverb 43

8 Cynthia 52

9 The Syntax of Tears 60

10 Meaning 66

11 Use 73


12 Being 83

13 Resistance 91

14 Poverty 100

15 Masculinity 108

16 Race 117

Beyond Silence 135

Their Literacies as a Circle of Many Voices 139

Literacy as Social Memory and Cultural Ideology 144

Silences Lifted 148

Notes on Method: Story as Ethnography 151

Acknowledgments 155

Notes 159

References 169

Index 177

About the Author 187

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