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Encouraging Agitation: An African American Woman’s Response To Words That Wound

by Jeanine Staples - May 23, 2007

This manuscript highlights the growing pervasiveness of racist and sexist language in public discourse and this language's intersection with education for social justice generally and English/Language Arts classrooms specifically. It contextualizes ways literacy educators can employ activities that highlight and criticize this language and advocates for the facilitation of what is called an Agitator identity trait among students - one that encompasses critical consciousness and socio-political action at the site of language inquiry. The manuscript is a call to action that suggests it is the responsibility of all teachers of language and literacy to defy widespread, unchecked use of language that wounds, rendering individuals, groups, and therefore, society, depreciated and filled with potentially killing rage.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: May 23, 2007
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14496, Date Accessed: 5/13/2021 2:45:10 PM

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About the Author
  • Jeanine Staples
    University of Maryland, College Park
    E-mail Author
    JEANINE M. STAPLES is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Special Education Department of the University of Maryland College Park. Jeanine's scholarship uncovers the relationships that exist between literacies, media, adolescence, and teacher education. Using critical responsive interpretive frameworks, she examines the ways urban youth of color use and develop literacies over time and the ways their teachers can support and facilitate that work.
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