Composition Pedagogy, Race, and the African American Student:
An Annotated Bibliography

Bernstein, Susan Naomi.   “Writing and White Privilege: Beyond Basic Skills.”   Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 4.1 (2004): 128-31.

Evaluating the relationship between white, middle-class privilege and both standardized testing and standard conventions of writing, Bernstein offers a classroom strategy for underprivileged students (either from racial or class position or both) to counter the negative effects of academic standards in relegating them to remedial positions in order to acquire basic writing skills before being granted access to the university at large.   Encouraging her students to explore their previous educational experiences related to both testing and writing through a workshop format, as well as to evaluate their own imaginative writing and the reading of creative texts, Bernstein found that these can be used as means of critical resistance to their remedial designations.   Ultimately, though, she concludes that it is not the student’s responsibility alone to resist relegation but also educators as well, who need to address and seek to resolve the conditions that produce “basic writers” even before their arrival at the university, and this, according to the author, will produce an awareness and restructuring of white privilege in determining academic success.

Campbell, Kermit E.   “ ‘Real Niggaz’s Don’t Die’: African American Students Speaking Themselves into Their Writing.”   Writing in Multicultural Settings.   Ed. Carol Severino, Juan C. Guerra, and Johnnella E. Butler.   Research and Scholarship in Composition.   Ed. Lil Brannon, et al.   New York: MLA, 1997.   67-78.

Campbell contextualizes his argument within expressivist theories of language use, which view student writing as a manifestation of authentic personal voice, revealing who the student is and how exactly the student views his or...