Book Groups

The University Writing Program is excited to host another important book group discussion for faculty, staff, and administrators. Our book for spring 2024 focuses on the languages we bring to school and work, and how we can create spaces for learning that are centered on more just and equitable practices. We invite you to participate in our discussion group focused on Dr. April Baker-Bell’s multiple-award winning book Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy (2020, Routledge).


This book group will convene online Feb 8th and 22nd, 2024. Applications for this book group have closed; keep on the lookout for our next book group!



Descriptive image of book coverFrom the publisher’s website: “Bringing together theory, research, and practice to dismantle Anti-Black Linguistic Racism and white linguistic supremacy, this book provides ethnographic snapshots of how Black students navigate and negotiate their linguistic and racial identities across multiple contexts. By highlighting the counterstories of Black students, Baker-Bell demonstrates how traditional approaches to language education do not account for the emotional harm, internalized linguistic racism, or consequences these approaches have on Black students’ sense of self and identity. This book presents Anti-Black Linguistic Racism as a framework that explicitly names and richly captures the linguistic violence, persecution, dehumanization, and marginalization Black Language-speakers endure when using their language in schools and in everyday life. To move toward Black linguistic liberation, Baker-Bell introduces a new way forward through Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy, a pedagogical approach that intentionally and unapologetically centers the linguistic, cultural, racial, intellectual, and self-confidence needs of Black students. This volume captures what Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy looks like in classrooms while simultaneously illustrating how theory, research, and practice can operate in tandem in pursuit of linguistic and racial justice.”


Reviewers Write:

“Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy ain’t no ordinary theory/research text, it is a movement. Linguistic Justice is a movement in that its content propels language and literacy educators and students to become movers and shakers within the continued fight against Anti-Black Linguistic Racism, Antiracist pedagogy, and Anti-Blackness as a whole—a critical component of womanist practices.”
– Brittany Hull, Peitho

“April Baker-Bell’s book, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, comes not from a sociolinguistic perspective, but rather from pedagogical praxis. Its contribution is nevertheless important to linguistics, in that it uses linguistic knowledge to do the work of changing the entire playing field in an educational landscape entrenched in anti-Black racism. Its structure, its contents, and its applicability make it a text which immediately enables educators, linguists, and others to do more.”
– Jessica Grieser, Journal of English Linguistics

“As educators, we have the responsibility to check our own privilege, bias, and anti-Blackness if we are to improve how we teach and respond to Black students. In addition to providing activities for educators to use in the classroom, she urges teachers and scholars to move away from literacy pedagogies that uphold linguistic hegemony.  The pedagogies as they exist right now do not value Black language in the way they value White Mainstream English (WME), nor do they provide Black students with the opportunity to learn about Black language or use it to combat Anti-Black Language Racism. This type of linguistic oppression adds to Black students’ emotional trauma by devaluing their racial and linguistic identities.  Her book provides teachers and researchers with an understanding of why prioritizing literacy pedagogies that directly address the relationship between race and language are necessary to achieve linguistic and racial justice.”
– Jennifer Falcón, Reflections: A Journal of Community-Engaged Writing & Rhetoric



This book group is sponsored by the University Writing Program. For additional information, please contact Will Banks (