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Starting Young: Emerging Black Masculinity and Early Literacy
Journal of African American Males in Education (2015)
  • Alma D. Stevenson, Georgia Southern University
This research is based on the premise that a culturally relevant focus on enhancing literacy skills is
needed to help Black males thrive. The study explores masculine practices of literacy in a group of first
and second grade students attending a summer academic enrichment program. This exploration of
masculine literacy practices is based in part on a sociocultural perspective of literacy and on Kirkland
and Jackson’s (2009) theorization of Black masculine literacies. Connecting theory on Black masculine
literacy to the reading and writing practices the authors observed in the study illuminated the following
findings: (1) the young Black males demonstrated fluency and an understanding of linguistic
complexities as they encoded and decoded social texts; and (2) students engaged in multiple expressions
of Black masculine literacy; while all of these expressions served a functional purpose, only some of the
expressions of Black masculine literacy were linked to academic achievement.
  • Alternative expressions of masculinity,
  • Black masculine literacy,
  • early literacy
Publication Date
January, 2015
Citation Information
Alma D. Stevenson. "Starting Young: Emerging Black Masculinity and Early Literacy" Journal of African American Males in Education (2015)
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