Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 11: Digital Equity and Black Brazilians -- A Freireian Liberatory Pedagogical Approach

Presenter: Patricia Leigh
Facilitator: Wei Wang

In this paper, Patricia Leigh and James McShay examine the history of the colonization of Brazil through the transatlantic Black slave trade and the effects this history has had upon digital equity experienced by Black Brazilians in the information age. The authors are motivated by the belief that issues of digital equity and equality of opportunity can only be effectively addressed if one has a deep understanding of the factors that led to inequities, particularly inequities that preceded the information age. In addition, the authors look to Brazilian scholar and activist, Paulo Freire (1972), and his liberatory pedagogy for countering discriminatory practices, particularly in educational settings and institutions. They then suggest ways in which Freire’s pedagogy can be used to conceptualize liberatory uses of technology tools to dismantle the racist influences embedded in school practices and curricula.


  1. This presentation brought our attention to the global issue of the digital divide and racism. Her graph, which displayed the parallel lines of inequity, was powerful. The goal of the research is to give the Black Brazilians the tools and skills to break free from the oppression based on Freire's philosophy. It would be interesting to see a longitudinal study on the effectiveness of the programs that are being implemented.

  2. This was a very powerful presentation. I agree with Jennifer and I think that this research was is very beneficial to Black Brazilians. I agree that digital equity can be changed by understanding the oppression that these individuals have experienced. Nice job