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English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v10 n1 p7-20 May 2011

In this paper I examine the literacy work of three African American young women (through data drawn from a larger qualitative study), particularly their ways of knowing, such as double consciousness (Du Bois, 1989), and the multiple subject positions they occupy as they write themselves into a digitally created story. My analysis is guided by the following questions: What happens when we bring together what we know about African American women as knowledge producers with what we know about writing, technology and critical literacy and, more specifically, how are the contemporary digital literacy practices of African American youth informed by their historical legacies (Gadsden, 2002)? In this article, I take as a point of departure, Janks' (2000) idea that mere access to dominant forms of literacy, in this case digital, is not enough. We must also create opportunities for students to enact culturally specific forms of agency. Being fully aware of the material conditions of their lives and an external gaze of domination, the African American women digital storytellers in this paper re-present themselves and re-imagine their social worlds. The paper hopes to contribute to the fields of literacy, technology and critical pedagogy.

Descriptors: Critical Theory, Females, Educational Opportunities, Youth, Literacy, African Americans, Writing (Composition), African American History, Story Telling, Middle School Students, Student Attitudes, Program Descriptions, Summer Programs, Video Technology, Educational Technology, Stress Variables, Feminism

Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail: wmier[at]; Web site:

Autor: Hall, Ted


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