University of Illinois at Chicago

Black Males and Texts: A Study of Dialogic Literacy Experiences

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posted on 2019-08-05, 00:00 authored by Mellissa Gyimah-Concepcion
Texts have the power to liberate, to build agendas, and to change one’s way of thinking, being and living. Thought-provoking texts coupled with dialogue can bring about sustained change, lead to moments of enlightenment, realisation, or a paradigm shift. Black boys need more exposure to texts that can advance their literacy development and shape their relationships with text. Therefore, I designed dialogic literacy experiences (DLEs) to foster elementary Black boys’ relationships with print texts. DLE is grounded in a sociohistorical orientation of Black males’ relationships with texts, and it draws from tenets of dialogism, positioning, and identity theories. I engaged black boys in 1-hour increments of dialogic talk, reading, and literacy instruction during which they read and discussed multi-genre and multi-disciplinary print texts. This five-week case study involved seven fourth- and fifth-grade Black boys who participated in a university Summer Academic Program. Findings revealed five ways boys responded to DLEs 1) they began to access their intellectual and affective identity which deepened their engagement with text, 2) the communal aspect of DLE was a source of support in them accessing the text, 3) consciousness of local and global issues were increased through engagement with text 4) they showed a desire to continue their learning outside of school settings, and 5) being able to talk about text and ask questions facilitated their learning and enjoyment of the text.



Tatum, Alfred Walter


Tatum, Alfred Walter


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Committee Member

Thomas, Michael Everett, Sakeena Perry, Tonya Gavelek, James

Submitted date

May 2019

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