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Combating “I Hate This Stupid Book!”: Black Males and Critical Literacy


  • Summer Wood,

  • Robin Jocius


Too often, instruction designed to improve literacy achievement for black male readers and writers focuses on skill-based learning, ignoring cultural, social, and personal development. This article calls for the use of critical literacy strategies with African American male students, which can raise expectations for academic achievement by challenging traditional notions of literacy instruction, encouraging cooperative learning, and allowing students to develop a sense of social justice. Three dimensions (the 3 Cs) of critical literacy for young black males are explored: culturally relevant texts, collaboration, and critical conversations. In addition, suggestions and examples are offered to help teachers create critical literacy experiences in which black male elementary students can have the opportunity to become socially conscious text users who see themselves and their cultural histories reflected in texts.