Stories that Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives

We assert who we are—African American women, daughters, professors, community members. . . . Our identities . . . grounded in a kinship that defines aspects of our collective Black experiences moss

Claiming Our Place on the Flo(or): Black Women and Collaborative Literacy Narratives

by Valerie Kinloch, Beverly J. Moss & Elaine Richardson

Computers and Composition Digital Press2011TextStories that Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives

Abstract | In this curated exhibit titled, “Claiming Our Space on the Flo(or): Black Women and Collaborative Literacy Narratives,” we (Kinloch, Moss, and Richardson) engage in a critical analysis of our collaborative digital literacy narratives housed in the DALN collection at The Ohio State University. We critique our literacy narratives in order to theorize intersections of place, race, and gender as grounded in the histories of race relations in the South, of Black families during the Civil Rights era, and of educational practices within racialized, classed, and gendered spaces. In this way, our digital literacy narratives and this curated exhibit contribute to a larger understanding of the struggles of many Black women to assert their cultural, familial, and community identities alongside their rich literacy practices in spaces that have historically denied their presence. To do this work, our exhibit is guided by various questions, including: What does it mean—historically, socially, politically—for us to occupy sites of discontent, engage in segregated Black spaces, and enter into predominately white locations that have largely excluded the cultural practices of African and African American people? How have race and place converged in ways that speak to our literacy experiences, community interactions, and familial encounters? Such questions, among many others, allow us to demonstrate the complexities, continuities, and nuances inherent within an analysis of our identities through video and audio texts, thus creating another text (this curated exhibit) that is framed by our collaborative engagements with each other and with our literacy narratives.

About the Curators | Dr. Valerie Kinloch is Associate Professor in Literacy Studies (Adolescent Literacy ad English Education) in the Collefe of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. She holds affiliate appointments in the Department of English and the Department of Women’s Studies at OSU. She earned her B.A. in Honors Enlgish at Johnson C. Smith University, her M.A. in English and African American Literature at Wayne State University, and her Ph.D. in English with emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric at Wayne State University. Prior to joining the faculty at OSU, Dr. Kinloch was on faculty at Teacher College, Columbia University in New York City. There, she worked with masters and doctoral level students at Teachers College and with students and teachers in local high schools. She was a visiting senior English instructor at a high school in Harlem.

Beverly J. Moss is an associate professor of English at The Ohio State University where she specializes in composition and literacy studies. Professor Moss earned her B.A. in English from Spelman College, her M.A. in English with a specialization in rhetoric and composition from Carnegie-Mellon, and her Ph.D. in English with a specialization in rhetoric, composition, and literacy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her scholarly interests include examining litreracy in African American community spaces, composition theory and pedagogy, and writing center theory and practice. She is the author of A Community Text Arises: A Literate Text and A Literacy Tradition in African American Churches, editor of Literacy Across Communities, and co-editor of Writing Groups Inside and Outside the Classroom. She’s currently writing a book on the literacy practices of Phenomenal Women Inc., an African American women’s service and social club.

Dr. Elaine Richardson is Professor of Literacy Studies, School of Teaching and Learning. She recieved her B.A. and M.A. from Cleveland State University, and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Dr. Richardson’s research interests include language, literacy, and discourse practices of Afro diasporic cultures, sociolinguistics, critical discourse studies, and the education and literacy of Afro diasporic people. Richardson belongs to a network of scholars interested in Hiphop and education. Her outreach efforts include cultural literacy projects focusing on youth empowerment and mentoring. Dr. Richardson’s awards include: Cleveland State University Distinguished Alumni Awards (for outstanding contributions to the profession, community and Cleveland State University), 2007; Edward Fry Book Award, National Reading Conference for African American Lieracies, 2005; Fulbright Scholar Award , Lecturing and Research, University of the West Indies, Mona, August-December, 2004; Outstanding Book Award by National Communication association for Understanding African American Rhetoric, co-editor with Dr. Ronald Jackson, 2004.

Technical Requirements | For best results, please use the lastest version of Adobe Flash and a screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater.

Cite this Exhibit

MLA: Kinloch, Valerie, Beverly J. Moss, and Elaine Richardson. “Claiming Our Place on the Flo(or): Black Women and Collaborative Literacy Narratives.” Stories That Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives. Ed. Scott Lloyd DeWitt, Cindy Selfe, & H. Lewis Ulman. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2013. Print.

APA: Kinloch, V., Moss, B. J., & Richardson, E. (2013). Claiming Our Place on the Flo(or): Black Women and Collaborative Literacy Narratives. In S. L. DeWitt, C. Selfe, & H. L. Ulman (Eds.), Stories that Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press.

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