Services for Black Youth • Bibliographies
Annotated Bibliography

Hughes-Hassell, Sandra, Pauletta Brown Bracy, and Casey H. Rawson. Libraries, Literacy, and African American Youth: Research and Practice. Libraries Unlimited, 2017.

This book was written for a primary audience of school and public librarians and is comprised of three main sections. First, the authors present an overview of relevant theories and frameworks related to literacy education for African American male youth, integrating this theoretical information with practical strategies that libraries can put into immediate action. Next, the authors present a holistic model of effective library services for Black youth. The remainder of the book presents profiles of libraries and other programs that have put various aspects of this model into action, improving the literacy and the lives of the youth they serve.

Project READY website:

In 2016, UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (UNC-CH SILS) was awarded an IMLS grant to develop a professional development curriculum for school librarians and their collaborators focused on cultural competence, culturally relevant pedagogy, and equity literacy. UNC-CH SILS will partner with NC Central University and the Wake County public school system to develop, implement, and assess this professional development curriculum, which will eventually be freely accessible online. The project website contains information about the project, links to project-related reading materials, contact information and social media links, and information about the project staff and advisory board. As additional products are developed for the project, they will be stored on or linked from this site.

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. “The Danger of a Single Story” TED Talk July 2009.

In this TED Talk, novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the power of stories to shape our understanding of the world and each other and the resulting danger of knowing or telling only a single story about a particular person, community, culture, nation, or continent. Using poignant examples from her own history, Adichie encourages us to reject the single story and seek out rich and multifaceted knowledge about the world and people around us.

Edmin, Christopher. For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’All Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. Beacon Press, 2016.

In this book, Edmin draws on his own experience of feeling invisible in the classroom as a young Black man to provide a road map for teaching 21st century urban youth, proposing teachers adopt the “Seven C’s” of reality pedagogy in order to create transformative educational opportunities that benefit youth of color.

Edwards, Patrica A., Gwendolyn Thompson McMillon, and Jennifer D. Turner. Change Is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy Education for African American Students. Teachers College Press, 2010.

Mixing personal experience, history, and evidence from scholarly research, the authors of this book address four major issues related to literacy education for African American students: the fight for access to literacy; supports and roadblocks to success; best practices, theories, and perspectives on teaching African American students; and the role of families in the literacy development of African American children.

Gorski, Paul C. Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap. Teachers College Press, 2013

In this book, Paul Gorski lays out the equity literacy framework, designed to help educators develop the skills and dispositions necessary to recognize, respond to, and redress inequitable access to educational opportunities among low-income students. Using an asset-based approach and challenging many prevailing stereotypes about those living in poverty, Gorski describes both the challenges these students face and the resiliencies they and their families draw upon. The book also provides specific, research-based strategies that educators can use to create equitable and bias-free learning environments.

Howard, Gary R. We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools. 2nd ed. Teachers College Press, 2006.

This book provides a powerful entry point for White educators who are starting down the path of personal racial identity work. Howard deconstructs Whiteness and its ongoing role in perpetuating inequities in the educational system. He approaches this topic from a position of empathy and optimism, with the goal of inducting White teachers into the “healing work” of equity-based pedagogy by helping them work toward a positive, transformationist racial identity. Theoretical models and discussions of racial identity development are punctuated by personal stories and real-world examples; the final chapters of the book describe concrete steps that teachers can take to implement this work in their classrooms.

Ladson-Billings, Gloria. The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children. 2nd ed. Jossey-Bass, 2009.

In this book, Gloria Ladson-Billings illustrates the power of culturally relevant teaching (CRT) through profiles of teachers who have successfully put the CRT framework into action with African American students. Using both scholarship and storytelling, Ladson-Billings shows how committed educators can identify and work with the unique strengths each student brings to the classroom. The second edition includes a set of reflection questions to help readers put the book’s principles into practice.

Ladson-Billings, Gloria. “From the Achievement Gap to the Education Debt: Understanding Achievement in U.S Schools,” Educational Researcher, 35, no. 7 (October 2006): 3-12.

In this article, Gloria Ladson-Billings argues for reframing the conversation about the “achievement gap” to focus less on the difference in test scores between White students and students of color and more on the historical, economic, sociopolitical, and moral “educational debt” that we as a nation have accumulated over time. This debt limits the opportunities available to youth of color and their families, and Ladson-Billings argues that we must address this debt in order to make equitable education for all youth a reality.

Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor: A Strengths-Based Look at the State of the Black Child. National Black Child Development Institute , 2013.

This report, written for a broad audience of policymakers, advocates, principals, teachers, parents, and others, emphasizes and celebrates the strengths, assets, and resilience that characterize Black youth, their families, and communities. The report includes contributions from researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. In addition to essays and data points, the report also includes “Points of Proof”—real-world examples of places where Black children and their families are succeeding.

Tatum, Alfred W. Reading for Their Life: (Re)building the Textual Lineages of African American Adolescent Males. Heinemann, 2009.

In this book, Alfred Tatum provides teachers and librarians with a road map for choosing and mediating powerful, relevant texts for and with African American adolescent males. Tatum explains how these enabling texts help to engage readers in the curriculum, encourage the development of writing and self-assessment skills, and connect with and build on students’ textual lineages. Although this book focuses specifically on adolescent African American males, many of the concepts, including the enabling texts framework, can easily be translated to work with other culturally and linguistically diverse children and teens.

Tatum, Beverly Daniel. “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations about Race. 2nd ed. Basic Books, 2003.

Beverly Daniel Tatum, a scholar and teacher of the psychology of racism, addresses both the difficulty and the importance of talking about racial issues in this seminal book on racial identity development. Mixing personal examples and evidence from scholarly research, Tatum’s book offers insight into the process of racial identity development and strategies to help both White people and people of color communicate productively about race.

MLA Citation Hughes-Hassell, Sandra, and Casey H. Rawson. "Services for Black Youth: Annotated Bibliography." School Library Connection, May 2017,

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Entry ID: 2077542

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