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Crafting Critical Stories

Toward Pedagogies and Methodologies of Collaboration, Inclusion, and Voice


Edited By Judith Flores-Carmona and Kristen V. Luschen

Critical storytelling, a rich form of culturally relevant, critical pedagogy, has gained great urgency in a world of standardization. Crafting Critical Stories asks how social justice scholars and educators narrate, craft, and explore critical stories as a tool for culturally relevant, critical pedagogy. From the elementary to college classroom, this anthology explores how different genres of critical storytelling – oral history, digital storytelling, testimonio, and critical family history – have been used to examine structures of oppression and to illuminate counter-narratives written with and by members of marginalized communities. The book highlights the complexity of culturally relevant, social justice education as pedagogues across the fields of education, sociology, communications, ethnic studies, and history grapple with the complexities of representation, methodology, and the meaning/impact of employing critical storytelling tools in the classroom and community.
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6. Engaging Co-Reflexive Critical Dialogues When Entering and Leaving the “Field”: Toward Informing Collaborative Research Methods at the Color Line and Beyond


Echoing W. E. B. Du Bois one century before him, an acclaimed U.S. historian, the late John Hope Franklin (1993), admonished us about the legacy of racism in the twenty-first century and the problem of the color line. This chapter will discuss how researchers sharing one “field”1 location can engage co-reflexive2 critical dialogue as a collaborative method at the crucial moments of entering and leaving the “field.” These moments can be particularly useful for diverse research teams, as we begin to anticipate and address issues emerging at the color line and beyond—issues that can be revealed in retrospect as hidden and silenced limitations of our data interpretations.

While pursuing doctoral degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Hughes in Education and Willink in Communication and Cultural Studies, both of us had the opportunity to participate in the same Spencer Grant-funded project.3 The project explored school desegregation history as experienced by local families of northeastern North Carolina.

Hughes entered the project as a self-identified “Black male local public schooled native ethnographer,” while Willink entered the project as a self-identified “White female private-school educated Yankee,” in the more traditional role of “going native.”4 In 2007, we began, quite haphazardly, a collaborative critical journey that would ultimately generate refreshing insights into our experiences of pursuing family histories as part of our ethnographic research. While brief, unplanned, and inconsistent e-mail correspondence began at that time, the first opportunity for us to reconnect ← 95...

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