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Adolescents’ Online Literacies

Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture – Revised edition

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Edited By Donna E. Alvermann

This revised edition of Adolescents’ Online Literacies: Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture features a variety of digital tools for humanizing pedagogy. For example, the book examines numerous artistic representations of young people’s self-selected graphic novels and fan fiction as part of an in-class multi-genre unit on fandom. This edition makes concrete connections between what the research portrays and what teachers, school librarians, and school media specialists know to be the case in their interactions with young people at the middle and high school level. The contributors of these chapters – educators, consultants, and researchers who span two continents – focus on ways to incorporate and use the digital literacies that young people bring to school.
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Chapter 4: 4 Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When Social Networking was Enuf: A Black Feminist Perspective on Literacy Online

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4 COLORED GIRLS WHO CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN SOCIAL NETWORKING WAS ENUF

A Black Feminist Perspective on Literacy Online

David E. Kirkland

“… bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical/dilemma.”

—NTOZAKE SHANGE

The storied lives of Black females saturate the spaces they occupy. As literacy artifacts, these stories, these well-written lives, tell us many things about what and why young Black women write. They also teach us about ourselves—about who and what we are and can be. It comes as no surprise, then, that these stories, which have stretched across the quiet distances of a too often overlooked femininity, are moving fast forward toward the new histories being written and rewritten by Black women online through new technologies.

My first encounter with such stories, which I call Black female literacy artifacts, came offline during my childhood. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my mother. She was a street-wise woman, a daughter of inner-city Detroit, a victim of its unfulfilled possibilities. It was in that beaten-up city—home of chronic poverty, plight, and my own passions—that my mother came to cultivate stories of a young woman surviving yet starving.

“It ain’t never been easy to be a woman,” she would lament. “But we women have a power, and that power is our curse.” She would continue ← 57 | 58 → commentary like this for hours on...

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