Multicultural Literature as Critical Literature: Redefine the Trajectory for Black Students

Multicultural Literature as Critical Literature: Redefine the Trajectory for Black Students

Carissa McCray (The Harley-Jackson Foundation, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4906-3.ch006
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Abstract

In traditional classroom literature, students of color are often left out prompting division, isolation, and discrimination among racial and ethnic groups. The purpose of this literature analysis is to argue the need for multicultural literature to develop identity and social capital for students of color. The literature analysis allows for research from multiple scholars to be used to argue for a particular action in education. The results suggest that an inclusion of multicultural literature demonstrates an increase in engagement, academic achievement, community engagement, and purpose. The need for multicultural literature has been discussed in academia for several decades; however, the implementation and incorporation has yet to manifest fully across educational programs, with stakeholders, or across districts. This review serves to illuminate both the necessity and strategies for multicultural literature.
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Background

Understanding the experiences of Black students warrant an examination of the historical underpinnings, roles, and functions of race and ethnicities. The expectation is that students, teachers, and other educational stakeholders will have the knowledge to engage in respectful, empathetic, and critical discourse to approach and support students in their engagement with critical literacies, community service, and global citizenship.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Critical Race Theory: Scholarship founded on the following tenants: an understanding laws and how Black people are impacted, realizing that racism is systematic, understanding situational context, realizing that neutrality and color-blindness are detrimental, and using various forms of writing to convey research and legal ideas.

Whole-Learner Education: The combination of mindfulness and social emotional learning to ensure students are engaged in learning and connected to a broader community.

Black: United States citizens who have African ancestry and all people from the African diaspora.

Social Emotional Learning: Fostering of self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, social awareness, and responsible decision-making.

Dialogic Education: The use of dialogue as a pedagogical strategy. This strategy supports and provides students with voice and opinions that may not be regularly recognized in educational, political, and community environments

Critical Race Theory in Education: Founded on the following tenants: voice, restrictive versus expansive views of equality, and problems with colorblindness.

Multicultural Literature: Literature (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, media formats) from the African diaspora.

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