Chapter 5: The Next Generation of Linguistic Dreamkeepers

This chapter:

  • Focuses on the richness of the African-American academic tradition and what it has done for higher education in the U.S. From Hidden Figures to university presidents, the chapter will explore language as a key to social justice and how higher education can benefit both K-12 education and Black communities
  • Presents our model of liberatory linguistics—linguistics designed for Black liberation and emphasizes the need to use knowledge of African-American language and culture to navigate educational injustices; calls for scholars, students, and others committed to linguistic social justice to work to make diverse communication styles valued and welcomed in higher education
  • Establishes the importance of considering linguistic issues for African-Americans in higher education pathways post-college, including graduate and professional school trajectories and career preparation
  • Draws upon Gloria Ladson-Billings’ (1994) concept of “The Dreamkeepers” to emphasize how university scholars and staff are key to helping advance socially relevant, community-based, participatory teaching and research on language, culture, and education in order to bring about racial and linguistic equity and justice
  • Suggests future directions for socially relevant, community-based, participatory research on language, culture, and education and calls for the wider creation of a scholarship of teaching and learning of Black students

Undergraduate research

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