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Gholnecsar Muhammad

Assistant Professor    

Social and historical African American literacy development
African American adolescent literacy
Writing pedagogy
Black girls’ literacies
Role of text in writing development


Originally from Gary, Indiana, Gholnecsar “Gholdy” Muhammad began her career as a reading, language arts, and social studies middle school teacher.

After teaching in the classroom, she served as a school district assistant curriculum director and was responsible for K-12 literacy instruction, grant writing, assessments, and professional development.

Muhammad received her Ph.D. in Literacy, Language and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests are situated in social and historical foundations of literacy development within black communities and the writing practices among black women and girls.

She also explores 19th century black literary societies to understand literacy development and how the roles of literacy can be reconceptualized in classrooms today.

She became interested in this line of research when she led a summer writing institute with black girls called, Black Girls WRITE!

She continues to hold summer literacy programs with black and brown youth as well as Muslim girls. She explores how historical practices among communities of color can be used with adolescent learners today.

Some of the journals she has published articles in include, Research in the Teaching of English, Urban Education, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and Written Communication.

Muhammad is currently an assistant professor at Georgia State University teaching literacy and language in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education. Additionally, she serves as the executive director of the GSU Urban Literacy Collaborative and Clinic. She strives to shape the national conversation for educating youth who have been underserved as well as support the next generation of educators who are seeking pathways to meet some of the most pressing challenges encountered in urban schools.

She works with teachers and youth across the United States and South Africa in best practices in literacy instruction. She also served as a school board chair and continues to work collaboratively with local schools across communities in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Muhammad is the 2014 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English, Promising New Researcher Award, the 2015 NCTE Alan C. Purves Award, the 2016 NCTE CEE Janet Emig awardee, the 2017 Georgia State University Urban Education Research Awardee and the 2018 UIC College of Education Researcher of the Year.



Muhammad, G. E. (2015). “In search for a full vision: Writing representations of African American adolescent girls.” Research in the Teaching of English, 49(3), 224-247.

Muhammad, G. E. (2015). “‘Inducing colored sisters of other places to imitate their example’: Connecting historic literary societies to a contemporary writing group.” English Education, 47(3), 276-299.

Muhammad, G. E. (2015). “The role of literary mentors in writing development: How Black women’s literature support the writings of African American adolescent girls.” Journal of Education, 195(2), 5-14.

Muhammad, G. E. (2015). “Iqra: African American Muslim girls reading and writing for social change.” Written Communication, 32(3), 1-31. (see podcast interview on article)

Muhammad, G. E. (2012). “Creating spaces for Black adolescent girls to ‘write it out!'” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 56(3), 203-211. (see podcast interview on article)

Tatum, A. W. and Muhammad, G. E. (2012). “African American males and literacy development in contexts that are characteristically urban.” Urban Education, 47(2), 434-463.