Chapter 5: The Next Generation of Linguistic Dreamkeepers

Keep Thinking and Talking, Doing and Dreaming

Liberatory Linguistics

Linguistic Reparations and the Sociolinguistic Pursuit of Black Academic Justice

The Leaders of the Linguistic New School

Talking about the College of the Future

How Faculty Can Take This Knowledge Forward

  • 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
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