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Black Vernacular Traditions: Exploring Black Communication and Culture in the Digital Age

January 22 - March 8, 2024


Grades 11 - 12



Skills Learned:

*Demonstrate an Understanding of Various Arts by Reading, Interpreting, Analyzing and Responding to Text

* Explore responses to primary sources

*Write About, Support, and Argue Ideas Using Specific and Relevant Evidence


Classtimes will be coordinated between the Lead Teacher and Teacher Fellow

Session Length:

January 22 - March 8, 2024

Number of Sessions:

1 of 2

This course will be part of an ongoing research study by AIR, in collaboration with CWW, the CERES Institute for Children & Youth at Boston University, and the Rennie Center. The study aims to understand teacher and student experiences in the CWW initiative, including factors influencing effective implementation, and outcomes.


Course Program:

Today Black People use social media platforms as a way to communicate within the Black Community to elevate our voices and culture. Traditionally, these modes of communication have been used to resist forms of oppression during times in history when black voices were being silenced or vilified in the forms of stereotypes, discrimination, and harmful rhetoric. They also have been used to influence change and to celebrate black power, black beauty and black art.

In this course, we will be looking at language through four subtopics: Identity, culture, resistance, and the arts. We will explore these essential questions: What are the vernacular traditions found in the Black Community? How do they demonstrate Black resistance, persistence and survival? How can the verses in poetry, the lyrics in music, and the trends in fashion be used to influence change within the Black community? Join us and ensure that your voice is heard!

Nakia Navarro.webp


Gabby Jean-Jacques

Gabrielle Jean-Jacques, affectionately known as Gabby, has been an educator in the Boston Public schools for the past 14 years. Most recently she has headed up the Black Studies Department at Another Course to College High School in Hyde Park, MA serving as the African American Studies teacher including serving as the AP African American Studies teacher in its Year 2 pilot stage. In addition to her teaching role, Gabby leads ACC’s SEL programming as an SEL Specialist. As a native to Boston and a first generation Haitian American, Gabby is a graduate of BPS and stayed local to attend Wheaton College in Norton, MA majoring in Sociology and minoring in African, African-American Diaspora Studies. Before graduating, with her B.A. She spent half her junior year studying abroad in South Africa! Afterwards, she pursued her Masters in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Boston through the Boston Teacher Residency program, resulting in a dual Certification in English Language Arts and Moderate Disabilities. Gabby’s teaching philosophy is grounded in Social Justice, Equity and Culturally Linguistically sustaining practices that infuses Social Emotional learning. She aims to elevate and affirm the identities of her Black and Brown students who have systematically faced inequities and marginalization in the public school system. As a lifelong learner, she continuously engages in professional development experiences that help her create safe and welcoming best practices for her students. Gabby is a happy wife and mom of two children, Washington and Alexielle. She enjoys dancing, cooking plant based dishes, and journaling as a form of self-care.

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