ERIC Number: ED348673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Black English and the Henry Higgins Project: Avoiding Disempowering Interventions into "Black English."
Analysis of a few short segments of discourse, produced by two Afro-American college students in a freshman composition class, demonstrates one obvious way in which young people in the United States are severely threatened by the educational system. "Darrell" tells the story of how he was suspended from high school by a respected teacher and his subsequent "giving in" and becoming the great student everyone knew he could be. This demonstrates the validity and applicability of Paulo Freire's theory of the violence behind the formation of oppressed consciousness and how what Freire calls "domesticating education" produces the absence of a fighting spirit, the disinclination to criticize, and accommodation. Two short utterances of "Linda" identify and define a more resisting attitude, which, though capable of enacting its critical and fighting spirit, is nevertheless inhibited from producing criticism in other than alienated forms. Even if writing teachers limit their aspirations as teachers to improving students' thinking and writing skills, the best way forward even for those modest goals is through the Freirian project of helping promote and enact in students what he calls a critical sense of their reality--in contrast to what can be defined as the disempowering "Henry Higgins" project. (Sixteen notes are included; 28 references--some with brief annotations--are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Afro Americans; Empowerment; Freire (Paulo)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (40th, Seattle, WA, March 16-18, 1989).