Tuesday, June 30, 2020
4:00 p.m. ET



APRIL BAKER-BELL is a transdisciplinary teacher-researcher-activist and associate professor of language, literacy, and English education in the Department of English and Department of African American and African Studies at Michigan State University. A national leader in conversations on Black Language education, her research interrogates the intersections of Black language and literacies, anti-Black racism, and antiracist pedagogies, and is concerned with antiracist writing, critical media literacies, Black feminist-womanist storytelling, and self-preservation for Black women in academia, with an emphasis on early career Black women.

Baker-Bell’s new book, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, brings together theory, research, and practice to dismantle Anti-Black Linguistic Racism (a term Baker-Bell coined) and white linguistic supremacy. The book provides ethnographic snapshots of how Black students navigate and negotiate their linguistic and racial identities across multiple contexts, and it captures what Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy looks like in classrooms. Linguistic Justice features a range of multimodal examples and practices through instructional maps, charts, artwork, and stories that reflect the urgent need for antiracist language pedagogies in our current social and political climate.   

Baker-Bell is the recipient of many prestigious awards and fellowships, including the 2019 Michigan State University Alumni Award for Innovation & Leadership in Teaching and Learning, the 2018 AERA Language and Social Processes Early Career Scholar Award, the Literacy Research Association’s STAR fellowship, and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color fellowship. Baker-Bell’s research has been published in The Journal of Language and Literacy Education (JoLLE), English Education, The Journal of Literacy Research (JLR), The Journal of International Review of Qualitative Research, and Theory into Practice.




LAMAR L. JOHNSON is an associate professor of language and literacy for linguistic and racial justice in the Department of English at Michigan State University. He identifies as an interdisciplinary scholar-activist whose research and teaching make contributions to the fields of language and literacy studies, English education, curriculum and instruction, and Black education across the diaspora. His work explores the intricate intersections of language, literacy, anti-Black racism, Blackness, and education. As an equity-based scholar and researcher, his classroom reflects antiracist and racial justice frameworks. Johnson has years of experience preparing educators to work with culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse populations. As an award-winning writer, his work is featured in The Journal of Literacy Research, Race Ethnicity and Education, Literacy Research: Theory, Methods, and Practice, Urban Review, English Education, and English Journal. He was the recipient of the 2017 Promising Researcher Award, the recipient of the 2018 Edwin M. Hopkins Award, and 2019 honorable mention for the Alan C. Purves Award, all through the National Council of Teachers of English. His coedited book, African Diaspora Literacy: The Heart of Transformation in K-12 Schools and Teacher Education, was published by Lexington Books and received the 2019 Critics’ Choice Book Award for the American Educational Studies Association.

Check out Baker-Bell’s talk “We Been Knowin’: Toward an Antiracist Language & Literacy Education” at the University of Georgia!


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