Theses Doctoral

Teaching to (Re)member Through an AP Seminar with African Diaspora Content

Blaché, Rhonesha LaChaun

The purpose of this unique critical ethnographic case study is to examine how the development of African Diaspora Literacy informed the African identity of students who identify as Black or African descendants and contribute to the journey toward complete liberation of African descendants worldwide by teaching Black students how to (re)member (Dillard, 2012).

To address the problem of some Afro Caribbean American students holding negative, deficit perceptions of all associated with Africa including themselves, I posed the question: In what ways and to what extent does engagement in the Advanced Placement Seminar with African Diaspora Content influence five African-descended high school students’ perception of Africa, the African diaspora, and themselves as African descendants? Homogeneous, convenience sampling was used to identify five African-descended high school students enrolled in the AP Seminar at a College Board-certified predominantly Black high school in a major U.S. urban city.

Qualitative data were collected through observations, student-created artifacts, an end-of-course survey, and semi-structured individual and group interviews between Fall 2017 and Spring 2019. African Diaspora Literacy served as the theoretical framework for analysis. Findings suggest that students’ perceptions of Africa, the African diaspora and themselves as African descendants were positively influenced by their 2-year participation in an AP Seminar implemented with a comprehensive, Sankofan, African-centered, pedagogical approach of (re)membering. This informed and strengthened students’ African identity to the extent that their intrinsic motivation to learn more about their African and diaspora heritage positively influenced some of their family members and schoolmates.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Interdisciplinary Studies in Education
Thesis Advisors
Morrell, Ernest
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 9, 2022