Maria Varela's Flickering Light: Literacy, Filmstrips, and the Work of Adult Literacy Education in the Civil Rights Movement
In this article, I take up the underrecognized and almost unstudied literacy work of Maria Varela, a Latinx Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) staff member in charge of developing literacy materials for African Americans in the South during the 1960s. I analyze the use of community activism in the multimodal literacy materials that Varela and African American communities collaboratively produced. These filmstrips played a critical role in those communities developing a new ethos of place: an imagined and embodied relationship between local and national communities that offers a new identity, sense of participatory agency, and place from which to speak.
Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.