Literacy in African American Communities

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This volume explores the unique sociocultural contexts of literacy development, values, and practices in African American communities. African Americans--young and old--are frequently the focus of public discourse about literacy. In a society that values a rather sophisticated level of literacy, they are among those who are most disadvantaged by low literacy achievement. Literacy in African American Communities contributes a fresh perspective by revealing how social history and cultural values converge to influence African Americans' literacy values and practices, acknowledging that literacy issues pertaining to this group are as unique and complex as this group's collective history. Existing literature on literacy in African American communities is typically segmented by age or academic discipline. This fragmentation obscures the cyclical, life-span effects of this population's legacy of low literacy. In contrast, this book brings together in a single-source volume personal, historical, developmental, and cross-disciplinary vantage points to look at both developmental and adult literacy from the perspectives of education, linguistics, psychology, anthropology, and communication sciences and disorders. As a whole, it provides important evidence that the negative cycle of low literacy can be broken by drawing on the literacy experiences found within African American communities.