chapter  3
13 Pages

Multiple Voices, Multiple Identities: Teaching African American Literature

As a teacher of English and theater in the Boston Public Schools for almost nineteen years, I am more than aware of the significance the learning environment can have on identity issues. This is especially true at Snowden International High School, where we emphasize world cultures and languages and where the students come from all over the city of Boston and represent the increasing diversity of the city. The students at Snowden are predominantly African American and Latino/a, but also Caribbean, white European, and Asian. There is a constant need to engage in dialogue about the cultural beliefs that

form our conceptions of identity in terms students will recognize and understand. For these students, multiculturalism often becomes the umbrella for understanding and balancing the images, identities, and experiences in the material presented for study with the diversity of the classroom.