Toward a pedagogy of Black livingness: Black students’ creative multimodal renderings of resistance to anti-Blackness
Purpose Historically, literacy education and research have been dominated by white supremacist narratives that marginalize and deficitize the literate practices of Black students. As anti-Blackness proliferates in US schools, Black youth suffer social, psychological, intellectual, and physical traumas. Despite relentless attacks of anti-Blackness, Black youth fight valiantly through a range of creative outlets, including multimodal compositions, that enable them to move beyond negative stereotypes, maintain their creativity, and manifest the present and future lives they desire and so deeply deserve. Design/methodology/approach This study aims to answer the question “How do Black students' multimodal renderings demonstrate creativity and love in ways that disrupt anti-Blackness?” The authors critically examine four multimodal compositions created by Black elementary and middle school students to understand how Black youth author a more racially just society and envision self-determined, joyful futures. The authors take up Black Livingness as a theoretical framework and use visual methodologies to analyze themes of Black life, love and hope in the young people’s multimodal renderings. Findings The findings suggest that Black youth creatively compose multimodal renderings that are humanizing, allowing their thoughts, feelings and experiences to guide their critiques of the present world and envision new personal and societal futures. The authors conclude with a theorization of a Black Livingness Pedagogy that centers care for Black youth. Originality/value Recognizing that “the creation and use of images [is] a practice of decolonizing methodology” (Brown, 2013, loc. 2323), the authors examine Black student-created multimodal compositional practices to understand how Black youth author a more racially just society and envision self-determined, joyful futures.