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ERIC Number: EJ1125480
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1094-9046
Shifting Lenses on Youth Literacy and Identity
Kumasi, Kafi D.; Hughes-Hassell, Sandra
Knowledge Quest, v45 n3 p12-21 Jan-Feb 2017
Historically, the canary served to warn coal miners of the presence of dangerous gases. When the canary stopped singing or was found dead, the miners knew a serious problem required immediate attention. Like canaries, racialized youth in inner city schools are a litmus test for the health of the entire educational system in the United States. They are the indicators of how well educators and concerned citizens are providing quality education for future generations. Thus, the struggles of racialized youth should be viewed as warnings that there is something wrong with the institutions that are not equipped to properly prepare them for the future. A fresh look at these students then is especially important for school librarians whose decision making power and interactions with children and young adults in and out of library spaces can shape the trajectory of their literate lives in significant ways. This article offers a diverse set of lenses for looking at issues of literacy and and identity among racialized youth. Shifting the gaze beyond the concepts of risk and failure, the authors challenge school librarians to adapt more-constructive lenses that change how educators see and support the literacy and identity needs of marginalized youth. The article then offers a set of eight guiding principles that reflect multiple lenses for understanding and addressing the literacy and identity development of youth from historically underrepresented racial groups.
American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 1-800-545-2433; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A