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Becoming Activist

Critical Literacy and Youth Organizing


Elizabeth Bishop

Becoming Activist is a revolutionary study of youth human rights activism and literacy learning. The book follows five urban youth organizers from the Drop Knowledge Project in New York City. Intentionally polyvocal, the voices of the five youth are featured prominently to highlight the shifting articulation of their activist identities in relation to social and economic justice. Becoming Activist explores critical literacy pedagogy beyond the confines of formal education. While it has been historically theorized within English classrooms, much existing research points to the limitations of conducting critical literacy in schools. In search of a space where critical literacy can be more fully realized, this book positions urban youth organizing as an alternative context for powerful community-based learning. A valuable read for educators, researchers, and young organizers, Becoming Activist offers insight into conducting literacy work to promote positive youth and community development. Ultimately, the idea of «becoming» is key to understanding and supporting youth activists as they grow to exercise their political power for positive social change.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bishop, Elizabeth.Becoming activist: critical literacy and youth organizing / Elizabeth Bishop.pages cm. — (Critical praxis and curriculum guides; vol. 6)Includes bibliographical references.1. Literacy programs—New York (State)—New York—Case studies.2. Critical pedagogy—New York (State)—New York—Case studies.3. Youth—New York (State)—New York—Political activity—Case studies.4. Social justice—Study and teaching—New York (State)—New York—Case studies.I. Title.LC153.N48B57 374’.0124097471—dc23 2014048989ISBN 978-1-4331-2686-4 (hardcover)ISBN 978-1-4331-2685-7 (paperback)ISBN 978-1-4539-1487-8 (e-book)ISSN 2166-1367 (print)ISSN 2169-5687 (online)

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at

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