Anti-Racism and the Writing Classroom:

A workbook for FYW teachers.

I am anti-racist because I pay extra attention to my students of color! 

We need to recognize that some well-intentioned actions can in fact do harm.  There is no prescription adequate to an infinity of scenarios, so the need for care and flexibility is best illustrated through examples. For instance, we can mean well and also be engaging in tokenization when we encourage the only Black student in class to participate in a classroom discussion that concerns race and racism, if they are made to feel they are being asked to serve as the voice of Black America.  It can be hard to know if classroom discussion of bilingual education/ESL programs are offering a Latinx student the opportunity to weigh in on their experience, or asking them to defend their right to exist in a space where the status quo is conservative.  We can tell a story about teaching black youth in poverty and make a black student feel we’re telling a stereotypical and pathologizing story rather than a moving or necessary one.  What is tokenization, how do reckon with discomfort, and what is important or necessary in order for majority students to understand differently?  And at whose expense does a ‘diverse’ education come—whose needs and successes are being centered?  Erasure and silence are unacceptable—and so is burdening diverse students in the attempt to honor them.  

Leave a Reply

© 2024 Anti-Racism and the Writing Classroom:

Theme by Anders Norén