Critical Literacy

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“Read the word to read the world.” (Freire) Being critically literate is not just about being able to understand words. It is about reading, listening, or hearing texts and coming up with your own thoughts on them. Being able to discuss your thoughts between many different people using your life and knowledge as a baseline. Critically literate citizens challenge thoughts by advocating as well as being active in their government.

An activist uses literacy to critically understand and challenge social and political power. Activist's enjoy collaborating with other groups to change attitudes, policies, and laws. They use and interpret language to challenge and shape themselves and institutions. Illegal immigrant supporters are a good example of critical literacy. How you perceive what you read will enforce if you are on the pro- or anti- side of the debate. Asking a simple question about The United States jobs you will receive many different answers based on the knowledge and understanding of the particular person you are asking. Some activist's believe that illegal immigrants help the economy by working for low costs. Others believe they take U.S jobs that citizens could benefit from regardless of wage. Using the knowledge they have obtained from news casters, articles, and other people they dissect the information to come up with their stance. Activist's then are able to knowledgeably speak out about the changes they want to achieve. The Communists Manifesto, by Karl Marx, is a critically literate book that brings to light what Marx believes as class struggles and problems of capitalism. The book gives readers an understanding of Marx's theories about society and politics. Bell Hooks, a feminist, feels that literacy is essential to the future of the feminist movement because the lack of reading, writing, and critical skills serves to exclude many women and men from feminist consciousness. Not only that, it excludes many from the political process and the labour...
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