Independent Black Institutions and Rhetorical Literacy Education: A Unique Voice of Color


  • Jamila M. Kareem University of Central Florida



literacy education, critical race theory, rhetorical education, counter-story, race-conscious, community literacy, African American literacy


The bulk of literacy education historical narratives about Black Americans has been gentrified by mainstream Euro-American perspectives. This article considers the contributions of a Black-American-developed form of institutionalized community education to demonstrate the critical race theory voice-of-color thesis in college-level composition-literacies education. Through reviewing the curricular, pedagogical, and instructional practices of pre-college independent Black institutions, the author works to reclaim the unique rhetorical voice of this Afrocentric literacy education form and insert it into American literacy education histories. The article presents two established unique voice of color counter-stories grounded in truthfully representing and advancing Black American cultures to argue that central features of these Afrocentric literacy education programs can afford college composition programs race- and community-conscious writing education.

Author Biography

Jamila M. Kareem, University of Central Florida

Jamila M. Kareem, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Central Florida, where she teaches first-year writing and upper-division courses in writing and rhetoric. Her scholarship on writing, rhetorical traditions, race, and linguistic prejudice has appeared in Teaching English in the Two-Year CollegeJournal of College Literacy and Learning, JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics, and the collections Diverse Approaches to Teaching, Learning, and Writing Across the Curriculum: IWAC at 25 and The Good Life and the Greater Good in a Global Context.




How to Cite

Kareem, J. M. (2020). Independent Black Institutions and Rhetorical Literacy Education: A Unique Voice of Color. Literacy in Composition Studies, 8(1), 1–20.