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Literacy as Moral Obligation Among African Americans in the Rural Southeast


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Contents Acknowledgments Introduction: The Back Story Chapter 1: From the Rural South to the Front Street: A Narrative Backdrop For Literacy and Education Within Pinesville Chapter 2: The Moral Responsibility of Literate Practice Chapter 3: Literacy Practices as Material and Embodied Chapter 4: Literacy Practice as Narrative Experience Chapter 5: Sacred Stories on Literacy and Education Chapter 6: A Communion of Advocacy Chapter 7: Toward a More Person-Centered Literacy Scholarship Appendix A: Life History in Practice Appendix B: Life History Interview Protocol References About the Author

About the Author

Amy Johnson Lachuk is associate professor of literacy education at Hunter College.


Amy Johnson Lachuk's Literacy as Moral Obligation among African Americans in the Rural Southeast is literacy research at its best and most readable. She dives deep into people's lives to uncover something many of us have forgotten: literacy as force for liberation in the face of oppression. -- James Paul Gee, Arizona State University
Amy Johnson Lachuk offers a wide-ranging critique of historical racism, schooling, and a paucity of health care and other services in a small Southern town. She frames life histories of African Americans living in Pinesville within a morally-nuanced exchange of obligations and responsive practices, and shows how despite the challenges they face, all have forged literate lives. Drawing on Bakhtinian theory, she shows how each of her research participants is `answerable' to others and details intricate webs of relationships among community members. This highly engaging text is a must-read for scholars of literacy, as well as those concerned with the rich history of African Americans in the South. -- Mary Louise Gomez, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education
Amy Johnson Lachuk's scholarly career is festooned with scholarly awards; each recognizes the significance of her research to our knowledge about literacy within cultural and social contexts. Yet none of these awards can attest to her stature as a writer in quite the way this newest book will for her avid readers. In the same way that Amy allows personal narratives to guide her own understandings, she has woven a compelling narrative that will touch the emotions and create a new tapestry of literacy and life to challenge previously held assumptions about the lives, experiences, talents, and worthiness of rural African Americans living in the Southeast United States. It reads like a professional novel, and its main characters will remain with each reader long after they've finished reading the last page. -- Diane DeFord, University of South Carolina

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