Literacy access, the law, and racism in the United States: a critique

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The literacy histories of Black, Indigenous, and other People Of Color (BIPOC) are missing in standardized accounts of literacy in the US. In this critique, the ideology of White supremacy is exposed as a barrier to literacy access that continually evolves and reconstitutes itself. Supreme Court, local, and state legal cases are examined to understand how White supremacy prohibited literacy access for BIPOC. Counter-narratives of BIPOC are situated within historical contexts to present alternative histories of literacy access and use. Recent legal cases confirm that access to literacy and equal education are protected under the 14th Amendment. The history of BIPOC literacy in the US is not unlike histories of other oppressed peoples, globally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Education
Subtitle of host publicationFourth Edition
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128186299
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Access
  • Equity
  • Literacy
  • Racial justice
  • White supremacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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