ERIC Number: ED395317
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar-25
Reference Count: N/A
Coming from the Heart: Black Students on Literacy Experiences.
A study focused attention on the academic personas acquired by two AAVE-oriented (African American Vernacular English) beginning writers as reflected by their speech in informal settings and the style they employed in academic tasks. The study explores the degree to which literacy experiences (home and school) affect students' lives. It was guided by the following hypotheses: (1) that AAVE-oriented students prefer to employ Black rhetorical patterns in their writing; (2) that students' meaning is suppressed by the constructs of academic discourse; (3) that the distinct learning and language styles of AAVE-oriented students must be tapped to form a union between the discourse patterns of academia and the discourse patterns of the AAVE-oriented students. For the study, two students were selected from demographic surveys; they were interviewed for 90 minutes using a 3-step interview procedure. Writing samples were also collected. Excerpts from the interviews and details about the students' experience of being Black in literacy-related situations suggest that African-American students need to be taught that they are heirs of a tradition that has used Black discourse to express thought with power and clarity. They should be encouraged to tap into the rhetorical styles of the wordsmiths, from Frederick Douglass to James Baldwin. An Afrocentric writing pedagogy would be grounded in a theory that takes into account the historical position of AAVE speakers and the legacy of freedom as literacy. (Contains 9 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: African Americans; Black Communication; Rhetorical Stance; Student Empowerment; Writing Style
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).