Dancing in the Classroom




Challenging traditional literacy


Trinidad-born US-based writer and professor Joanne Kilgour Dowdy will in the next few months release Connecting the Literacy Puzzle.Co-edited with Dr Sandra Golden of Ohio the book will feature work from Eintou Springer, Nancy Herrera ALTA and internationally writers from Morrocco and Senegal.Kathy Dunn of the Kent State University reviewed an advance copy of the book.

Connecting the Literacy Puzzle weaves together a collection of biographies, essays, personal narratives, an interview, and poetry to form a tapestry of traditional and cultural literacies. Joanne Kilgour Dowdy, as editor, encompasses a broad definition of a€?being educateda€? rather than simply a€?being literate.a€?

African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and continental African women who participate in not only reading and writing, but in the performing arts as well, challenge the traditional Eurocentric definition of literacy.

Dr Sonja Fagerberg-Diallo fulfills her passion for literacy by working with Senegalese women and helping them learn to read and write in their native language-Pulaar. In her poem and her essay, Sandra Golden captures the spirit of the American Black woman growing up in a predominantly white society. Jen Pugh doesna€?t speak Ebonics, but she wishes that she did.

Lawrence M Epps discusses the history of hip-hop and the negative portrayal of the African American female in the genre. An interview with Dowdy reveals her Trinidadian roots, her artistic fame, and her passion for teaching multiliteracies and a€?education in motion.a€?Queen Macoomeh writes a letter to young black women, advising them of proper behaviour in order to gain proper respect. She then translates the letter into the Trinidad dialect for an encore.

Professor Lillie Gayle Smith celebrates the role of the African American grandmother who helps rear her grandchildren and pushes them to excel academically. Diedre L Badejo in her narrative a€?Academea€?s Gilded Stairwaya€? traces her journey from New York City to Ghana to the academy. Along with those already mentioned a variety of other perspectives grace the pages of this fine edition that lauds the literate accomplishments of women across the globe.Available at HamptonPress.com


Trinidad Guardian, Nov 14 2010??





In the Public Eye

Joanne Kilgour Dowdy's photo autobiography takes us through a rich and moving forty year personal life journey. We are made privy to her inner most thoughts growing up as a privileged child in Trinidad, her then meteoric rise to fame as a young thespian in her homeland, and her later struggle with her identity as a black immigrant in the United States.


In each photograph of Joanne from chikdhood through adulthood we see the challenging eyes of an individual who is wise beyond her years, determined and frankly rebellious.


This book affords the reader an opportunity to look through the lens that reveals the soul of a teacher, and whose seemingly disparate experiences, form the foundation for everything she does. [It is] an insightlyful portrait of what it means to be a woman of colour in today's society.


Professor D. Prioleau

SUNY: Brockport




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