by Ethan Khaldarov
Speakers at Towson University’s virtual “Antiracist Pedagogy Symposium” criticized university writing curriculum and programs for being racist and perpetuating Whiteness.
The event occurred on June 17.
April Baker-Bell (pictured above), associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and English Education at Michigan State University, argued that idea of Standard English among teachers is used to maintain racist assumptions about “Black language.”
Bell stated it is evident that “anti-Blackness that is used to diminish black language of Black students in classrooms is not separate from the rampant and deliberate anti-black racism and violence inflicted upon black people in society.”
“Teacher attitudes include assumptions that Black students are somehow linguistically, morally, and intellectually inferior because they communicate in Black language,” said Bell.
Bell’s Michigan State University biography lists her as a “national leader in conversations on Black Language education, her research interrogates the intersections of Black language and literacies, anti-Black racism, and antiracist pedagogies, and is concerned with antiracist writing, critical media literacies, Black feminist-womanist storytelling, and self-preservation for Black women in academia, with an emphasis on early career Black women.”
Indiana University of Pennsylvania English professor Cristina Sánchez-Martín stated that her efforts are designed to contribute to “undoing Whiteness” in university students’ writing.
“The repeated references to ‘correct grammar’ and ‘standard language’ reinforce master narratives of English only as White and monolingualism and a deficit view of multilingualism,” said Sánchez-Martín.
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Ethan Khaldarov is a New York Campus Correspondent with Campus Reform. He is a sophomore at St. John’s University where he majors in Legal Studies. Ethan will be attending St. John’s School Of Law in the fall of 2021. Academically Speaking is a new Campus Reform series dedicated to keeping our readers up to date with the latest examples of liberal bias in scholarship, op-eds, and speaking events. Stay informed and current with what’s being said in higher education.
Photo “April Baker-Bell” by Michigan State University and “Michigan State University Campus” is by Jeffness CC2.0.