Lessons in Educational Emancipation from the Radical Teaching Life of Hal Adams
Edited By Bill Ayers, Caroline Heller and Janise Hurtig
Chapter Eleven: Writing and changing together: Reflections on writing workshops in Chicago neighborhoods (Hal Adams)
Photo by Sarah Hoskins Editors’ Note: We opened this book with an article Hal Adams wrote about the work of community writing groups in order to give readers a sense of the sensibility and purpose c h a p t e r e l e v e n Writing and Changing Together Reflections on Writing Workshops in Chicago Neighborhoods hal adams 130 | hal adams Hal brought to that project as a critical educative endeavor. In bringing the book to a close, we return to Hal’s writing—in this case, a series of short essays he wrote over a period of years, reflective stories that draw on writing workshop experiences. Each essay does what Hal knew the local stories of ordinary people do best—convey wisdom and offer counsel. It is fitting that the wisdom and counsel of Hal—adept as he was at nur- turing others in the telling of their stories—comes to us in the form of his own. 1. d o r o t h y a n d e a r l For 12 years I’ve been teaching adult writing workshops in poor neighborhoods in Chicago and putting out a magazine of their writing for distribution in the neigh- borhoods and schools where the workshops meet. In those 12 years I have seen the relationship between language and power play itself out in many different ways, some quite obvious, others more subtle but no less significant. There was a writing group once that got the city...
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