Monday, February 6, 2012
The Interactive Reading Group
In the fall of 2008, we launched our "the Interactive Reading Group," an online discussion activity for collegiate black men. The discussions primarily focused on illustrated narratives by artists Kyle Baker, Keith Knight, and Aaron McGruder. The project involved more than 60 participants during its 2 years of operation.
The project gave students opportunities to sharpen their reading and writing skills as well as the abilities to exchange ideas about a diverse range of topics, including race, illustration, U.S. politics, and history. The Interactive Reading Group gave us an opportunity to further explore the use of technology as a way of enhancing learning experiences for program participants.
The online activity made it possible for us to read a broad range of comments from the young men in the group. Rarely had the brothers been in positions to read so many of each others' perspectives. It was rare too for the fellas who wrote to have such a large, attentive readership.
The project also proved to be a useful approach for getting our participants talking about art and illustrations. Their comments offered possibilities for thinking about how technology, in this case, a blog, could help facilitate an extended conversation about a variety of artistic creations.
28 Ways of Thinking about Black Studies & Afrofuturism