Dissertation Defense – Kamania Wynter Hoyte
30 Pryor Street Southwest
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303
The Black Middle Class: Negotiating Literacy Identities In Church and School
by Kamania Wynter Hoyte
The aim of this comparative case study is to investigate the ways two Black middle class children negotiated their literate identities between school and church. This study is distinctive because it targeted an underrepresented
population in-and-out of school. Currently, there are a few studies that focus on the Black church as a learning domain (Hale, 1994; Kelly, 2001; McMillion, 2001; McMillion & Edwards, 2000) and fewer literacy studies that research the Black middle class (Heath, 1983 & Williams, 1991 ). The disregard of the Black Middle class in literacy research is problematic because members are uniquely positioned as they have attained financial security but may participate in social and cultural practices that are unrecognized in schools. The questions explored in this study are: (1) How do children of the Black middle class negotiate and navigate their literate identities in church and school? And (2) What literacy practices do these children use in church and school settings?