C648 Wells Hall
FacultyAfrican American and African StudiesEnglish
AAAS Transition Team Faculty
English Education; Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Race and Ethnic Studies
Dr. April Baker-Bell is a transdisciplinary teacher-researcher-activist and Associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and English Education in the Department of English and Department of African American and African Studies at Michigan State University. A national leader in conversations on Black Language education, her research interrogates the intersections of Black language and literacies, anti-Black racism, and antiracist pedagogies. Her scholarly interests also include antiracist writing, critical media literacies, Black feminist-womanist storytelling, and self-preservation for Black women in academia, with an emphasis on early career Black women. Baker-Bell, along with Dr. Carmen Kynard, co-founded the #BlackLanguageSyllabus, a radical digital education resource created to celebrate the beauty of Blackness and Black Language, fight for Black Linguistic Justice, and provide critical intellectual resources that promote the collective study of Black Language.
Baker-Bell’s book, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, brings together theory, research, and practice to dismantle Anti-Black Linguistic Racism (a term Baker-Bell coined) and white linguistic supremacy. The book provides ethnographic snapshots of how Black students navigate and negotiate their linguistic and racial identities across multiple contexts, and it captures what Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy looks like in community with Black youth. Linguistic Justice features a range of multimodal examples and practices through instructional maps, charts, artwork, and stories that reflect the urgent need for antiracist language pedagogies in our current social and political climate.
Baker-Bell is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including the 2019 Michigan State University Alumni Award for Innovation & Leadership in Teaching and Learning, the 2018 AERA Language and Social Processes Early Career Scholar Award, the Literacy Research Association’s STAR fellowship, and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color fellowship. Baker-Bell’s research has been published in The Journal of Language and Literacy Education (JoLLE), English Education, The Journal of Literacy Research (JLR), The Journal of International Review of Qualitative Research, and Theory into Practice.