Reading Roll Call – October 5, 2020 – Letting Go of Literary Whiteness

Reading Roll Call is a classroom activity I conduct with my students at the beginning of every week to see what they are independently reading. I always share the title of a book that I am reading to model participation and showcase the lifelong commitment to reading that I’ve made.

The Reading Roll Call idea stems from Donalyn Miller‘s book Reading in the Wild. I have adapted the activity and idea into blog form to track my reading progress on a weekly basis. Happy Reading!

I have yet to conduct a Reading Roll Call with my students this year and it feels odd. One hundred percent online learning is the culprit of this as I’m still figuring out Independent Reading with my students. I find it irresponsible to assign an Independent Reading unit to students who do not have access to books. With potential for our school’s media center to begin loaning out books, I am back with my weekly post about what I’m reading.

I recently saw headlines about President Trump’s calls for “patriotic education” and against “anti-racist education.” I knew I needed to actually take action on my thoughts and words from over the years. I needed to dedicate myself to the work, especially as a white cis male educator.

I immediately picked up Letting Go of Literary Whiteness: Antiracist Literature Instruction for White Students by Carlin Borsheim-Black and Sophia Tatiana Sarigiandies and began reading.

A few thoughts have come to mind so far: 1). Where was this book when I was teaching in rural mid-Michigan? 2). Even though I now teach in an extremely diverse school district, I think this book will be an excellent companion for the work my department is beginning to talk about with revisiting, revamping, and reorganizing our English curriculum.

More thoughts and ideas to come as I continue reading.


“Rooted in examples from their own and others’ classrooms, the authors offer discipline-specific practices for implementing antiracist literature instruction in White-dominant schools. Each chapter explores a key dimension of anti-racist literature teaching and learning, including designing literature-based units that emphasize racial literacy, selecting literature that highlights voices of color, analyzing Whiteness in canonical literature, examining texts through a critical race lens, managing the challenges of race talk, and designing formative assessments for racial literacy and identity growth.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: