Facilitating BlackBoy (Play)Crit Literacies in Early Childhood Classrooms

Bryan, Nathaniel
Toward A BlackBoyCrit Pedagogy

Chapter 8 highlights the portrait of Mr. Henry, whose literacy practices are described by Black boy kindergartener, Roland. Understanding his students’ interest in boyhood play, Mr. Henry used play to help his students better connect with reading—a subject matter that is often erroneously described by those who do not see or value Black boy knowledge or who cannot teach beyond White-centric practices as “difficult” for Black boys. He also helped them to see play as a part of the academic enterprise, helped them challenge deficit constructions of Black boyhood play, and see boyhood play as a weapon that can be used against social injustices. As such, I introduce what I term BlackBoy (Play)Crit Literacies: a pedagogical tool, language and literacy approach, and practice that challenges anti-Black misandry, and the deficit perceptions of Black boyhood play through Black-centric books and other texts.