- Permanent Link:
- A perspective on the history of religion in Denver's Black community a case study of Zion Baptist Church and Shorter African Methodist Epsicopal Church
- Smith Gentry, Terri Lynne ( author )
- Place of Publication:
- Denver, CO
- University of Colorado Denver
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- Subjects / Keywords:
- African Americans -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
- bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
- African American Christianity emerged from the depths of slavery and the intersection of African based phenomenology, and ideologies imposed by the Anglian Church, evangelical Protestant faiths, or Catholicism. The historiography of enslaved people as they moved toward freedom through the newly created regligious beliefs also revealed its impact on African American migration and communities in the West. This movement west landed some African Americans in Denver, where a small population started two churches during the 1860s. A case study of Denver s two oldest Black churches explored the efforts of their membership as they established an African American community, and pursued their right to self determination.
- Thesis (M.H.)--University of Colorado Denver. Humanities and social sciences
- Includes bibliographic references.
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- Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Statement of Responsibility:
- by Terri Lynne Smith Gentry.
- Source Institution:
- |University of Colorado Denver
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- |Auraria Library
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- All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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- 892636322 ( OCLC )
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STEEPED IN HISTORY, LIGHT ON TECHNOLGY:
A GENRE ANALYSIS OF DIGITAL STORYTELLING GUIDEBOOKS
JACQUELINE GAYLE SMILACK
B.J., University of Missouri, Columbia, 2007
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Jacqueline Gayle Smilack
has been approved for the
Department of English
Amy Vidali, Chair
July 10, 2013
Smilack, Jacqueline Gayle (M.A., English)
Steeped in History, Light on Technology: A Genre Analysis of Digital Storytelling
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Amy Vidali.
This thesis explores the relatively new genre of digital storytelling
guidebooks and its effects on how facilitators and digital story creators approach the
digital writing process. Through a genre theory lens, this project identifies the genre
features of digital storytelling guidebooks the inclusion of the history of digital
storytelling; a consistent definition of digital story and discussion of how to structure
digital stories; and the use of an informal writing style (as opposed to a technical writing
style) that utilizes narrative and personal examples. It also examines the ramifications of
these genre features that the singular view of where digital storytelling began promotes
an ideology of digital storytelling that is restrictive to creators of digital stories; and that
the focus on the written segments de-emphasizes the digitality of digital stories, which
in turn marginalizes technology. The project incorporates a close analysis of these
textual features as well as personal experiences the author of this project had when
creating digital stories during a workshop and while facilitating digital stories in her
classroom, as well as guidelines for using digital storytelling guidebooks in conjunction
with teaching praxes.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Amy Vidali
Im no stranger to stories. Some of my fondest memories include listening to my
mother, the childrens librarian, captivate an audience (and dodge my heckling) with a
well-told story. My father, the journalist and P.R guy by day, composed on-the-fly tales
of Sammy the Dragon at bedtime. Years before, my grandmother was a newspaper
journalist in Atlantic City and weaved tales about the strange happenings she
encountered. I followed in their ink-stained footsteps and joined the newspaper world as
a designer, finding that I was better telling stories visually marrying words and images
to create compelling, emotional features. After finding digital storytelling, I felt like I
had found the best of both worlds; creating digital stories has taught me more about
myself and about the craft of writing than I can express in words.
This thesis is dedicated to the storytellers, whether recreational or professional,
old-school or cutting edge. It is also dedicated to my husband, who wins me over with his
stories, every time I hear them. Finally, this thesis is dedicated to my son, Sam, who will
hear more stories than are possibly countable.
Ed like to thank Amy Vidali for her guidance throughout this project, helping me
transform my writing from my journalistic comfort zone into a graduate-level piece of
argumentation. I also want to thank Michelle Comstock for giving me a solid foundation
into developing and articulating research methods as well as sharing her insight on digital
composition and ways to use reflexive insights as a methodological tool. I am also
grateful to Rodney Herring for his interesting thoughts on digital rhetoric. Most of all, Ed
like to thank my committee for their kindness and professional advice as I navigated the
graduate school waters and dipped my toes into the professional world of education. This
focus on real-world applications of pedagogy helped inform this project as well allow me
to achieve success in the classroom setting. Additional thanks to Selena Dickey and
Justin Bain for their time, excellent feedback, and support.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION. ONCE UPON A TIME: A STORY ABOUT DIGITAL
STORYTELLING AND ITS IMPLICATIONS IN COMPOSITION ..................... 1
Articulation of Project.........................................2
Digital Storytelling in the Classroom...........................4
Personal Experience with Digital Storytelling.................. 5
I. REVIEW OF LITERATURE, TEXT SELECTION, AND METHODOLOGY ... 8
Review of Literature: Digital Storytelling.....................8
Review of Literature: Genre Theory.............................20
Methodology/Selection of Texts................................ 31
II. ANALYSIS OF THE HISTORY OF DIGITAL STORYTELLING ..................43
Shared History of Digital Storytelling.........................44
Name Dropping to Create Ethos..................................49
Digital Storytellings Evolution Over Time.....................51
My History with Digital Storytelling.......................... 54
III. THE SUPPRESSION OF DIGITAL IN DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Types of Stories...............................................60
Elements of Stories............................................63
Discussion of Digital Elements................................ 67
My Story of Juggling Story and Digitality......................70
IV. PUTTING THE STORYTELLING IN DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Authors Use of Personal Narrative.........................76
Authors Use of Personal Pronouns......................... 82
My Story of Personal Connection........................... 88
CONCLUSION. AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER: APPLYING
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT DIGITAL STORYTELLING GUIDEBOOKS TO CREATE
A RESPECTFUL, EFFECTIVE EXPERIENCE ............................91
Weaving Composition and Rhetoric into Digital Storytelling.92
Areas of Further Study.....................................94
A. Digital Argument Curriculum.......................... 102
LIST OF TABLES
1.1 Selection Criteria for Digital Storytelling Guidebooks................... 33
2.1 Author Participation in Center for Digital Storytelling Workshop........46
3.1 Features to Teach Digital Story Structure...............................59
4.1 Textual Features Where Authors Use Narrative............................78
LIST OF FIGURES
1.1 Description of Text Selection..................................... 32
2.1 Key Phrases Used to Describe History..............................44
3.1 Typology of Digital Stories.......................................61
3.2 Components of Digital Stories.....................................63
3.3 Key Terms to Describe Digitality................................68
3.4 Comparison of Authors Focus on Script versus Digital Features....69
4.1 Total Number of Pronouns in Introduction.......................... 83
4.2 Personal Pronouns Broken Down By Case and Number.................84
ONCE UPON A TIME: A STORY ABOUT DIGITAL STORYTELLING
AND ITS IMPLICATIONS IN COMPOSITION
After three days of intense work, I sat around a table with a group of
different people a middle school teacher, a professor, a grandmother
who has been marriedfor 30 years, a Canadian who makes his living as a
mediator, and a photojournalist. The smell of burnt popcorn (the
professor was indeed absent-minded with regard to microwave duties)
filled the air. We spent the past three days sharing our life stories, while
laughing, crying, hugging, and asking questions to make each other think.
A workshop to teach us how to tell digital stories has given us more than
skills with Final Cut Express and digital recording software; it has taught
us to think of ourselves as storytellers, as writers. We watched our
creations a story about a womans preteen spinal surgery; a mans
experience learning to play the piano as an adult; a womans battle with
immigration and a long-distance relationship, and my story about my
wedding. While we all had different backgrounds and different goals with
our stories, we all were able to create a story that fit within the CDS
model yet allowed us to tell the stories we needed to tell at the time.
The italicized narrative above describes my first experience with digital
storytelling, a Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) workshop I attended in April 2010.1
left the digital storytelling workshop convinced that the process through which digital
stories were created was important to bring into a composition classroom. Over the next
three years, I found that aspects of digital storytelling fit within the scope of my class, but
that I needed to find a better way to integrate the things I found amazing (the process, the
use of digital rhetoric, the idea of revising a written script into a digital composition)
while negotiating some elements of digital storytelling that werent as amazing (the
prescriptive definition of a digital story, the need to incorporate other voices into a
composition, and the difficulty in turning a multi-day workshop model into a six-week
unit). In my attempt to find the best way to teach digital storytelling in my class, I used
a variety of materials that, when used on their own, didnt address all of the elements I
wanted to teach. In this search for a curriculum, I became interested in the existing
curricula and how they affected how digital storytelling was being taught.
Articulation of Project
To me, the first step in understanding the impact of digital storytelling in the
classroom is to examine the materials used to teach educators how to facilitate digital
storytelling. By gaining perspective in what these curricular materials are doing both
explicitly and implicitly, I can then have an informed idea of what issues I need to look
for in a qualitative, research-based study with human subjects. By first identifying and
critiquing the genre features of digital storytelling guidebooks, I then can use this
information when examining how the guidebooks are used in context and see how these
features inform the ways digital storytelling is taught in the classroom.
This thesis explores the relatively new genre of digital storytelling guidebooks
and its effects on how facilitators and digital story creators approach the digital writing
process. Through a genre theory lens, this project identifies the genre features of digital
storytelling guidebooks the inclusion of the history of digital storytelling; a consistent
definition of digital story and discussion of how to structure digital stories; and the use of
an informal writing style (as opposed to a technical writing style) that utilizes narrative
and personal examples. It also examines the ramifications of these genre features that
the singular view of where digital storytelling began promotes an ideology of digital
storytelling that is restrictive to creators of digital stories; and that the focus on the
written segments of digital stories de-emphasizes the digitality of the medium, which in
turn marginalizes technology. The project incorporates a close analysis of these textual
features as well as personal experiences I had when creating digital stories during a
workshop and while facilitating digital stories in my classroom. While this project does
not provide a study that examines how the digital storytelling guidebooks are used in
context in the classroom, the inclusion of my experiences is a way to show how I use
these materials in my classroom and can help provide a path to future studies.
While scholars have begun writing and presenting about digital storytelling (in the
educational setting as well as in nonprofit work), there is a lack of scholarly attention
paid to digital storytelling guidebooks and texts that claim to help facilitate authors
digital storytelling processes. My genre analysis of digital storytelling guidebooks can
help fill this gap in research, and illustrate how the texts educators use to bring digital
storytelling into the classroom directly affect the ideology of the writers who then create
digital stories and directly affect the digital stories they produce. While the digital
storytelling guidebooks are not solely intended to help composition educators teach
digital storytelling, examining how the texts purport to facilitate digital storytelling using
a composition theory lens and background also fills a gap in the research. These books
offer background and techniques to help teach students the genre of digital story, and
understanding some of the benefits and pitfalls of teaching genre in the composition
classroom can help educators more effectively and reflectively teach genre.
Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
First used in the art world and introduced to the public via the Center for Digital
Storytelling (CDS), digital storytelling, with its blend of personal exploration, writing,
visuals, and technology, easily found a natural place within education. As the push for
technology in the classroom began to increase, K-12 educators saw the inherent value of
digital storytelling. A good digital storytelling curriculum reinforced the typical learning
outcomes for writing: organization, interesting introductions, evidence-based arguments,
clear and concise sentence structures, a thorough writing process that included
brainstorming, multiple drafts, and publication and sharing. But the medium also allowed
students to hone writing and editing skills, learn the importance of narrative, explore
digital literacy, attempt new visual and audio rhetorical devices, and become more
comfortable with technology and editing software.
As educators began implementing digital storytelling in their classrooms, CDS-
trained educators began developing a curriculum that was more geared toward a
traditional classroom setting (as opposed to a three-day workshop model). Educators
recognized that the flexibility with digital storytelling was vast that students of all ages
and abilities could create digital stories, and that any teachers of any subject could
incorporate digital stories into their curriculum. However, the foci of the CDS method (an
introspective process that emphasizes first-person narrative and the personal story) made
the implementation of digital storytelling into a traditional classroom less seamless,
especially for educators outside of the humanities. Educators within the hard sciences
were uncomfortable with the focus on personal narrative while the humanities has a
space for first-person, introspective work, the sciences deemphasize the role of the author
in writing, instead letting the passive voice (and the actions, instead of the actors) take
credit. Educators began creating digital storytelling curricula that offered ways for all
disciplines to incorporate digital storytelling in the classroom, and began to branch out to
help the more casual user (or someone outside of education) to create digital stories for
other purposes, including non-profit work, marketing, or more creative outlets.
Personal Experience with Digital Storytelling
I first embraced digital storytelling as a writing style that embraced both my
passion for writing and for visual journalism. Soon, I became convinced that it would be
a great medium to teach my composition students. I had struggled with my newly-minted
college students they didnt understand or believe that their ideas, their analysis, and
their voice were key to successful writing at the college level. In my experience, digital
storytelling allows me to present my ideas while maintaining my voice as a writer, both
figuratively and literally, due to the facilitation process and the fact that my speaking
voice serves as the backbone of my digital story.
A five-day Facilitator-in-Training Workshop run by the CDS made me question
my earlier viewpoint about the facilitation process. I began to see how strongly the CDS
ideology entered into the curriculum I used as well as entered into students stories. I was
in the midst of telling a story that I needed to tell, and I saw it shift and change over the
course of the workshop. A few months before this workshop, my mother was diagnosed
with Stage 3 B-Cell Lymphoma and was undergoing an aggressive treatment of radiation
and chemotherapy in San Antonio, Texas. As an only child with too many commitments
in Denver, I was feeling overwhelmed, powerless, and in a constant state of worry about
my parents. I knew I had a story to tell the story of my mothers cancer and the one
tangible thing I felt I was able to do for her: donate my hair for her wig. But, I didnt
know how to tell it, the tone I wanted to use in telling it, or who my audience was.
Having been a part of the CDS workshops before, I knew that this story was the story that
fit within the workshop the stories workshop participants seemed to create tended to
be meaningful, of a serious nature, and personal. I wanted to challenge myself with
telling a story that fit these parameters while I loved my previous story about my
wedding, it had seemed like a bit of a cop-out because I went for the more humorous,
more performed story instead of something more heartfelt. The CDS ideology of digital
storytelling demands that participants tell a story that is personal a story that only that
person could tell and suggests that using this model will help eke out the story that
needs to be told. Knowing this going into the workshop, I allowed the workshop to help
decide the content of my story, trusting that the process would help get my story out -
and in the right manner.
There were points in this process, however, where I was a bit uncomfortable with
the facilitation process while I understood the process would help my story, I saw how
other people, unfamiliar with the process, could feel as if their story was less-than or
being co-opted by these strangers. This realization of the imperfections of the facilitation
process caused me to reflect on my teaching practice. Were my directions, my
assignment sequences, my actions, my comments, my feedback helping my students
develop as authors, or were they merely appropriating my students work into something
that fit the genre of the assignment I had created? I attempted to find a balance in how I
taught digital argument showing how the choices students made had rhetorical effects
on their audience but ultimately leaving the authorial decisions up to them.
In examining the digital arguments my students were creating and the feedback I
was giving them to help them shape their compositions, I began to notice students were
adhering to a structure that I modeled and that few students deviated from the genre
conventions they were shown. I became aware, very quickly, that how I presented
material dictated how students composed and structured their stories. This is nothing
groundbreaking in the composition field countless studies have connected instruction
and directive feedback to student work (Conners & Lunsford; Straub; Cho, Schunn &
Chamey) but my experiences in the classroom, along with my experiences in a digital
storytelling workshop, made me want to see just what was happening in the world of
digital storytelling and if I could pinpoint how and where my instruction and
curriculum began to affect my students stories and where the line between facilitative
and prescriptive fell.
The world of digital storytelling is incredibly small. My entry into this realm was
through the CDS, but I had assumed that I was only experiencing a small branch of
digital storytelling and that the field existed before Dana Atchley and Joe Lambert made
it more public. However, almost all materials about digital storytelling lead back to
Lambert and the CDS citing their influence in history of digital storytelling as well as
using their definitions, writing activities, curricular materials, and examples to present
methods for creating and facilitating digital stories. This cult of personality is intriguing
to me, especially as I began to unpack how the genre features of digital storytelling
guidebooks present contextual messages and assumptions.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE, TEXT SELECTION, AND METHODOLOGY
This project rhetorically analyzes digital storytelling guidebooks, using genre
theory as the main theoretical lens while also adopting an autoethnographic methodology
to examine my relationship to digital storytelling. This chapter will provide the necessary
background discussion of digital storytelling as written about in mainstream media and
academia; an exploration of the key concepts in genre theory that best fit my project; and
a look at methodological tool of autoethnographic writing stories, which I will use to
integrate my personal experiences and observations with digital storytelling in order to
begin showing how the digital storytelling guidebooks are used in the classroom. It also
will describe the methodology I use to select, exclude, and analyze guidebooks for
Review of Literature: Digital Storytelling
While there is essentially an entire field of research devoted to computers in the
classroom and multimodal composition1, digital storytelling is an important star in the
constellation of multimodal composition, though the scholarly research focused on digital
storytelling is significantly less robust. The literature about digital storytelling can be
divided into three broad categories articles about digital storytelling found in the
1 Key scholars in the field of multimodal composition include Gunther Kress, Carey
Jewitt, Cynthia Selfe, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Fiona Ormerod and Roz Ivanic, and Kay
popular, mainstream media; books and articles that use a pedagogical approach, offering
a rationale for digital storytelling as well as practical, classroom-based activities and
suggestions on how to execute assignment sequences; and a more theoretical examination
of digital storytelling, an analysis of the texts authors create, and the changes authors
experience while working with this digital stories. Digital storytelling transcends one
specific setting it has been used as an artistic outlet, in a therapeutic capacity, in
education, and in non-profit work. Therefore, the literature where digital storytelling is
discussed is quite varied, as well. This review of literature illustrates how digital
storytelling moved from a fringe idea in the art world into the mainstream, and then
gained cache and attention in academia, both for its use in the classroom as well as in a
nonprofit setting. I will show that digital storytelling, while relatively new, has found a
place in a variety of fields, and thus warrants further examination, especially in the field
of rhetoric and composition.
Digital Storytelling in the Mainstream Media
While a review of literature aims to track what has been published on a particular
topic, this review does not typically extend to publications outside of academia. Because
digital storytelling is a relatively new type of communication, however, I wanted to show
how the study of digital storytelling appeared after its use in the mainstream world.
Digital storytelling first was introduced to the world in mainstream media, although it
was not well defined or developed. These articles in newspapers and magazines aimed to
introduce their readership to digital storytelling and to illustrate how storytellers were
using new media to create interesting and compelling stories as well as help promote
events where digital storytelling was happening. In 1995, Newsbytes mentions digital
storytelling as a part of Digital World, an exhibition and conference that addresses how
information is digitized on a massive scale. A 1996 article in Daily Variety mentions the
American Film Institute offering courses in digital storytelling but does not elaborate on
what digital storytelling is. In 1996, the media begins to pick up on Dana Atchleys work
with digital storytelling and his annual festival in Crested Butte. In a Weekend Australian
article, Fred Harden advances the upcoming festival, writing of Atchleys work and
background and then giving it credibility by describing the guest speaker list as the
cream of the digerati, complete with major games producers, creative film and
videomakers and online and interactive program producers (S07). Other mainstream
newspapers write about the Digital Storytelling Festival in subsequent years, citing it as a
place where people can learn about the medium potentially capable of combining film,
audio and text into something which powerfully exceeds the sum of its parts
(Naughton). Articles published later began to reference the power of digital storytelling
and to share various resources to help readers create their own digital stories. David
Zgodzinski, in a 1999 article for the (Montreal, Quebec) Gazette, offers a wealth of
resources for readers interested in digital storytelling, citing a digital storytelling bee on
Bubbes Back Porch, the Digital Storytelling Festival in Crested Butte, and other
resources to help people tell better stories. Articles in the early 2000s mark digital
storytellings presence in Wales and a partnership with the British Broadcasting
Corporation to produce digital stories (Price).
As digital storytelling became more well-known, journalists began to highlight
the uses of digital storytelling, especially in education and advocacy work. These articles
briefly define digital storytelling and then show the effect digital stories have on authors.
This helped lend credibility to the art form as well as to show the practical (and powerful)
uses of digital storytelling. Thq Korea Herald, in 2001, profiles an alternative school that
uses digital storytelling to help high-school dropouts find self-empowerment and
direction (Chee). Other articles show how digital storytelling can help troubled youth,
and begin to show the trend of using digital storytelling as a way to work through
traumatic events. For example, a 2002 article in the New York Daily News discusses
digital storytellings use in easing post-9/11 trauma (Bode), and a domestic-abuse
survivor interviewed in a 2003 society article in The Guardian speaks of digital
storytellings help in processing her violent past (Tickle). In a 2006 Jerusalem Post
article, digital storytelling is described as art therapy to help children process experiences
with terrorism (Irwin).
Media coverage continued to discuss digital storytelling with articles aimed to
educate readers on digital storytelling and to promote upcoming workshops geared
toward the public, as well as to highlight its uses in education. The Melbourne, Australia
publication The Age, in 2004, calls digital storytelling transformative and previews
available workshops offered (Zion). In a 2009 Washington Post article, digital
storytelling is touted as high-tech art, and credited as a way for students to keep up
with technology while creating something useful (Shapira). A Denver Post article, also
published in 2009, aims to educate readers about the Center for Digital Storytelling in a
question-and-answer format with the CDS Rocky Mountain/Midwest Region Director
Daniel Weinshenker. He tells of the CDS mission to empower authors to learn the
technology while owning their stories, highlighting the work the CDS does with
nonprofits as well as members of the general public (Martin). A 2010 article follows how
digital storytelling helps refugee children process their experiences, and understand how
these experiences in their past make them who they are (Curran). Digital storytelling also
moved into the mainstream during the 2011 Arab Spring in Egypt and a 2012 article
calls for readers to produce and upload their stories to 18 Days in Egypt, a project aimed
at providing character-driven stories about the Egyptian uprising (iMaverick).
Digital storytelling continues to have a place in the mainstream media, and it is
touted as a mainly transformative medium. Articles in large publications are pointing
readers to outlets where they can create digital stories, and understanding where they are
being pointed (to workshops, nonprofit organizations, how-to guidebooks) is important to
process because it situates digital storytelling as a medium that must be facilitated not a
self-guided, insular process. This focus on what digital storytelling can accomplish is
significant, as it presents digital storytelling as a creating a story with meaning and
impact, not just digitizing a story. By understanding how digital storytelling is being
presented to the general public, I can adjust to determine what the general public is
anticipating, wanting, and expecting from the digital guidebooks Em analyzing.
Digital Storytelling Pedagogy
While digital storytelling received a moderate amount of attention in the media,
beginning in the mid 1990s, its presence in academic journals and articles did not surface
until academics began working with the medium itself. In the early 2000s, digital
storytelling was introduced to the post-secondary level, in many cases through workshops
offered by the Center for Digital Storytelling. The types of literature about digital media
divided into two camps a pedagogical approach geared toward helping others create
digital stories, and a theoretical approach, which provided a more close examination of
the genre, an analysis of the texts authors created, and the changes authors experience
while working with this genre. This literature helped cement digital storytelling in the
field, first by disseminating information on how to create digital stories and then by
illustrating how these stories were influential and important. By examining digital
storytelling in the field, using qualitative research and more deeply analyzing the texts
authors were creating, scholars offered credibility to digital storytelling, showing it is
worthy of being studied and belongs in academia.
Because I will be analyzing the digital storytelling guidebooks in this thesis, I will
only briefly mention them here in this review of literature. These texts explore different
uses of digital storytelling and provide steps to help learn digital storytelling for different
purposes to create your own digital story, to facilitate a digital storytelling unit in a
classroom, or to implement digital storytelling in nonprofit or advocacy work. Joe
Lamberts Digital Storytelling Cookbook is a self-published guide used in the Center for
Digital Storytellings three-day workshops. It offers insight into the CDS mission, a
definition of digital storytelling, a series of writing activities to help brainstorm and
workshop scripts, and a brief tutorial in using non-linear editing software to produce a
digital story. Jason Ohlers Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways
to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity uses a similar structure and offers similar content,
although it is geared toward educators and shows how to implement digital storytelling
into a classroom setting. Bernard Robins article, Digital Storytelling: A Powerful
Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom, offers definitions of digital
storytelling, an analysis of elements of the genre, and pedagogical tools and techniques to
help educators teach digital storytelling. These texts provide wonderful, although
differently focused, rationales for digital storytelling, which allows educators to begin
implementing digital storytelling into the classroom. Other guidebooks use similar ways
to teach digital storytelling, including Lamberts Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives,
Creating Community, Midge FrazeTs Digital Storytelling Guide for Educators, The New
Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media by Bryan Alexander, and Make
Me a Story: Teaching Writing Through Digital Storytelling by Lisa Miller.
The second category of texts in this review of literature attempts to address the
why question about using digital storytelling in both the classroom and nonprofit work,
framing how groups use digital storytelling and the effects of digital storytelling on
authorship, learning, and communication skills. These articles provide a rationale for
using digital storytelling, and they back up this rationale using qualitative research and
data. This type of scholarly research lends credibility to digital storytelling, moving it
from a cool, new technology into something more substantive and important in the
field of composition. These articles examine how digital storytelling fits within the
curriculum, (including the skills authors learned by creating digital stories). What sets
these articles apart from the mainstream media was their adherence to the academic genre
and the use of qualitative data to examine the effects of digital storytelling. Such studies
show the effects of digital storytelling on students communication skills (Gregory and
Steelman), and the ability to help ELL students grasp nuances of the English language
(Nelson). Other studies illustrated the impact of digital storytelling on at-risk youth, and
how the digital storytelling process helped youth gain a sense of authorship and agency
(Hull and Katz). Other studies examine the type of atmosphere that is created while
working in digital storytelling, and show how the digital storytelling workshop process
can create a strong community in the humanities classroom (Benmayor). By focusing on
the impact digital storytelling can have in a variety of settings (educational and
community-based) and using the academic article to prove this impact, the authors
articulate how digital storytelling is a medium worth studying and that there is a wealth
of information that can be discovered by studying digital storytellers and their stories.
Cresting the Digital Divide, by Kay Gregory and Joyce Steelman, describes a
digital storytelling initiative at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North
Carolina. Gregory and Steelman found that communication skills improved, students who
had digital storytelling experience in their first-year composition course performed better
in subsequent courses compared to students who did not complete a digital storytelling
component, and students felt a great deal of pride in their accomplishments after creating
a digital story (882). In Crafting an Agentive Self: Case Studies of Digital Storytelling,
Hull and Katz examined two participants with Digital Underground Storytelling for
Youth (DUSTY), a community technology center in Oakland, California, that is an
impoverished, educationally grim setting (44-48). In this case study, they followed
Randy, a 24-year-old man, and Dara, a 14-year-old girl, both from Oakland, collecting
ethnographic data including the students writing from that class; two-hour long
transcribed interviews with the subjects, the digital stories the students created; and field
notes of conversations over a three-and-a-half-year period (49). Hull and Katz illustrate,
through the analysis of these artifacts, how digital storytelling can help give people
authorship and agency, traits that extend past the classroom.
Other studies hone in on specific subsets of education, examining the effects of
digital storytelling on that population. In Mode, Meaning, and Synaesthesia in
Multimedia L2 Writing, Nelson studies the effect of digital storytelling on English
Language Learner (ELL) students, examining five freshman ELL students original
digital essays, journal entries, in-class interactions, student interviews, and digital-story-
related artifacts, looking for synaesthesia, the emergent creation of qualitatively new
forms of meaning as a result of shifting ideas across semiotic modes. Nelson identifies
a quality he calls Amplification of Authorship, or instances where the students digital
stories began to demonstrate a deeper, fuller quality of meaning through the synaesthetic
process of shifting expression across modal boundaries, i.e. transduction (65). Nelsons
claim becomes more convincing when he shows not only the potential positive effects of
digital storytelling but also the negative effects and the yet-to-be-determined but possible
effects for ELL students. This case study is one of the first to highlight the possible
negative effects of digital storytelling, and the discussion of students using language that
is over-accommodating to the audience (68-70) begins to influence the academic
conversation about digital storytelling and its effects (positive, negative, and yet-to-be-
determined) on students.
In Digital Storytelling As a Signature Pedagogy for the New Humanities, Rina
Benmayor, a professor of Oral History, Literature and Latina/o Studies, uses a case study
approach, discussing her student Lillys experience with digital storytelling in the course.
She analyzes the language and semiotic choices within the script; shows screen grabs of
the digital story to illustrate the types of images Lilly chose as well as how dissolves and
transitions create effect; and interviews Lilly about her experiences in the class. She
suggests the digital storytelling process involves sharing personal experiences, which
encourages students to grapple with their lived experience in significant ways and
create an empowered and safe space to speak out about their diverse issues. This
sharing creates a process of bonding and cross-cultural alliance (Benmayor 200).
These examples of scholarly research on digital storytelling and the contrasting
findings illustrate how digital storytelling is worth studying more deeply, to understand
its implications on those who create digital stories. By examining the stories that authors
create and the effects the creation process has on the authors, facilitators can make more
educated decisions on how to implement digital storytelling in the classroom. The fact
that digital storytelling has been studied in the classroom setting, and done so with sound,
qualitative research as well as in-depth textual analysis of digital stories created in these
settings, helps show the effects (positive and negative) of digital storytelling and help
those wanting to incorporate it into their classroom make more informed decisions about
how and why to adopt it.
Digital Storytelling in Nonprofit and Advocacy Work
As digital storytelling moved outside of the classroom and into the nonprofit
sector, scholars began to study its effects on authors. This scholarly work is
groundbreaking, in that it begins to question the implications of using digital stories to
empower members of a disadvantaged community. This examination of
privileged/underprivileged is important, as most of the benefits of digital storytelling are
anecdotal and not data-based. Using qualitative research to examine the benefits and
pitfalls of digital storytelling moves it into a more credible area, where researchers could
more definitively identify what digital storytelling was offering participants and how it
affected authors and communities. By showing how digital storytelling initiatives
navigate the murky waters of the advantaged (facilitators) helping the disadvantaged, I
can show how this field must acknowledge this dynamic between facilitator and
facilitated, and then illustrate how the digital storytelling guidebooks are (or are not)
taking these power dynamics into consideration.
Many articles examine digital storytelling in foreign countries, illustrating how
the implementation of a digital storytelling in a community can help people combat
poverty or illness. In Finding a Voice: Digital Storytelling As Participatory
Development in Southeast Asia, Jo Tacchi examines digital storytelling in communities
in Asia. In this ethnographic study, Tacchi concludes that digital storytelling can
empower poor people in marginalized communities to communicate their voices within
and beyond these communities (2). While Tacchis study included other forms of
information communication technology (ICT) projects, she focuses on digital
storytelling, saying that this form of ICT can help people who otherwise have little access
to the media and digital world find and express their personal voice (4). In Situating
Digital Storytelling Within African Communities, Thomas Reitmaier, Nicola J. Bidwell,
and Gary Marsden discuss their attempts to create a digital storytelling workshop
protocol after an ambitious ethnographic study in tribal South Africa. While aspects of
digital storytelling were similar across the communities, providing sites of collaboration
and cultural translation (666), the authors found that some areas of digital storytelling
were not directly transferable to other communities. While this could affect the authors
argument, this moment of candor where the authors admit that it is almost impossible
not to let our cultural heritage influence or methods, activities, and design decisions
offers a sense of credibility that is not often seen in research or journal articles (667).
This admission illustrates that digital storytelling is not a magical, one-size-fits-all
application, but that truly understanding the community where it can be implemented can
create a better chance for meaningful production.
While digital storytelling has long been used outside of academia, scholars have
found that digital storytelling is not only worth studying it is useful for helping gather
and present research findings. This use of digital storytelling in ethnographic research
lends it credibility and cache, helping push it past a fringe activity or simple writing
exercise into a valid method of presenting knowledge. In Storytelling in a Digital Age:
Digital Storytelling as an Emerging Narrative Method for Preserving and Promoting
Indigenous Oral Wisdom, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Sherilee Harper, and Victoria Edge
argue that digital storytelling is a valid methodological tool for gathering participant-
created, story-centered narratives that is respectful of the community they were studying
and its value on oral history (130). They found the digital stories were a way to gather
information from subjects in a less invasive, more personal way; that the individuals
digital stories could be examined individually and together as a whole; and that this
method allowed for a more democratic gathering of data that worked toward the
decolonization of research methods (138). By moving past just studying the effects of
digital storytelling and beginning to incorporate digital storytelling as a methodological
tool in academic research, scholars are showing how powerful of a tool digital
storytelling can be and offering it a place in academia.
In understanding how digital storytelling has moved from an artistic endeavor into
the classroom and then into nonprofit work nationally and internationally, I can begin to
examine how the process of digital storytelling is being used in different situations.
Because this thesis examines the curriculum used to deliver digital storytelling to these
different groups, it is beneficial to see just how widespread it is, as well as to examine if
and how the curriculum addresses these different audiences.
Review of Literature: Genre Theory
In this project, I argue that digital storytelling guidebooks, as a genre, present a
cohesive history and ideology of digital storytelling that transfers into the types of stories
readers of the guidebooks create, and this genre becomes restrictive, dictating how
readers will create and facilitate digital stories. The features of genre theory that are most
relevant to my analysis of digital storytelling guidebooks are genre as ideology (Miller,
Coe, Bazerman, Devitt); genre systems (Bazerman, Swales, Yates & Orlikowski), where
genre is flexible and shifting over time; genre as communicative act (Bazerman,
Berkenkotter and Huckin, Askehave, Swales, Goodwin); and genre analysis in
guidebooks and composition classrooms (Goodwin, Sullivan, Bawarshi, Wardle). These
theoretical lenses allow me to show how the guidebooks, while different, fit within a
genre, and how the genre features the authors include present a shared philosophy of
what digital storytelling should be and how creators should create digital stories and feel
about the process.
A main aspect of my argument emphasizes how different genre features of digital
storytelling guidebooks present an underlying ideology of what digital stories should
accomplish. Carolyn Millers work marked the beginning of examining genre with a
rhetorical studies lens and one of the first instances where genre is linked to a particular
ideology. In Genre as Social Action, Miller, after briefly showing previous approaches
to genre (mainly Frye, Campbell and Jamiesons applications of genre analysis),
illustrates how a genre becomes a complex of formal and substantive features that create
a particular effect in a given situation (22). To Miller, her definition of genre mandates
that genre is based in rhetorical action and gains meaning from situation and social
context; genre can be interpreted through rules; genre is distinct from form; genres
constitute the substance of our culture life; and genre connects the public and private
spheres by mediating private intentions and social exigence (31). Miller suggests using
these features to evaluate genre claims, and discusses ways in which a genre claim can
fail. This theory is important to my genre analysis, as I argue that the digital storytelling
guidebooks use form, content, and function to align them to a genre and promote a
Ten years after writing the seminal Genre as Social Action, which defined a
new way to define and rhetorically analyze genre, Miller revisits her ideas about the
importance of genre in Rhetorical Community: The Cultural Basis of Genre and
reexamines her earlier concept of cultural art[i]fact, providing a more in-depth
definition of the term. This new explanation of culture artifact is key to my project
because by examining digital storytelling guidebooks as cultural artifacts, I can see how
the guidebooks do more than just teach the reader how to create digital stories. I then can
argue that the patterns that the genre offer are significant and embed the text with deeper
meaning. After reflection, she suggests that artifacts literally incorporate knowledge -
knowledge of the aesthetics, economics, politics, religious beliefs and all the various
dimensions of what we know as human culture (69). The creator embeds all of this
knowledge into his or her compositions, and then readers of these compositions must
reconstruct the knowledge that it takes to see these patterns as significant and as
Other genre theorists suggest that, as authors work within a genre, they begin to
adopt that genres ideology. Richard Coe, Lorelai Lingard and Tatiana Teslenko, in
Genre as Action, Strategy, and Differance: An Introduction, argue that the rhetorical
dances authors use while writing a genre-specific text shape their beliefs and values. The
act of learning and performing the formal and strategic differences of genres can cause
authors to accept the social deferences they embody and thus the social hierarchies in
which those genres participate (4). Charles Bazerman echoes this phenomenon, stating
that writing in genres exposes authors to all the feelings, hopes, uncertainties, and
anxieties, and the authors build identities based on those thoughts and experiences.
Thus, genre shapes intentions, motives, expectations, attention, perception, affect, and
interpretive frame (14). While writing genred texts contribute to an authors identity,
this process (and reflection on how the genre is affecting identity) also contributes to the
evolution of the genre itself, influencing others to perceive and act in the communicative
world in new ways (Bazerman 17). Because the genre of digital storytelling guidebook
and its influence on how authors create compositions that fall within the genre of digital
story are so intertwined, using Bazermans theory to examine digital storytelling
guidebooks and see how it shapes intentions is an important component of my project.
Another facet of genre theory that is relevant to my project is the cyclical nature
of genre how working within a genre begets more of that genre. As authors create
digital storytelling guidebooks that fall within that genre, they become more indoctrinated
in what their guidebooks are preaching, and the guidebooks then reinforce that ideology.
Writers, when working within a genre take up that genres ideology, and the genre then
reinforces that ideology, particularly if the writer is unaware of the genres ideology
(Devitt 339). Authors who adopt a genres ideology become part of what Miller calls a
rhetorical community, and genre and narrative help keep the community from
dissipating. Rhetoric provides powerful structurational resources for maintaining (or
shoring up) social order, continuity and significance. Figures make connections that
otherwise cant be made; narrative imposes intelligibility on past events; genres impose
structure on a given action in space-time (Miller, Rhetorical Community 75). The
digital storytelling community is a small community as seen in the interactions between
the authors and texts. These guidebooks (and the commonalities between them,
especially in the resources they give and the cross-referencing between authors) create a
tight-knit community. Anis Bawarshi suggests that genre and invention work in a
symbiotic way and help us function within particular situations at the same time as they
help shape the ways we come to know and organize these situations (24). I argue that
digital storytelling guidebooks, as a genre, help shape readers views of digital stories and
what they should be and accomplish while also helping them create the digital story
While adopting the ideologies within a genre can be beneficial to authors, because
genre can be constructed from a position of power and institutionalization, Anthony Pare
is wary of how genre can suppress individuals. In Genre and Identity: Individuals,
Institutions, and Ideology, Pare discusses how the forms and structures of genre can
seem natural and inevitable, but that institutional genres are constraining and conserve
and standardize and usually offer the individual writer little room to improvise (59). He
examines social work texts and the features of the genre that eschew personal pronouns
for professional third person. This textual feature illustrates how this institutional genre
creates an erasure of self that creates a professional persona and locates the learner
anonymously within the institutions naturalized ideology (68). While the main players
in the digital storytelling world come from a place of empowerment instead of
suppression, I argue that the insular nature of the digital storytelling world (especially in
where the field places Lambert and the Center for Digital Storytelling) can be a bit
suppressing to authors who use these guidebooks.
The Flexibility and Interconnectedness of Genre Systems
The guidebooks I have chosen to analyze comprise a genre system, as they are a
collection of texts that illustrate the dynamic and flexible nature of genre, shifting and
changing as digital storytelling becomes more popular and present in the field. The
guidebooks, in their form (organization of information, structure and order of sections)
and content (history of digital storytelling, discussion of story structure, examples of
digital stories), have similarities and all fall under the genre of digital storytelling
guidebook. These guidebooks can also be considered part of a genre system because
there are subsets within the genre, based on the texts audience and their needs within the
digital storytelling guidebook. Analyzing texts within the scope of a genre system allows
me to see how the guidebooks interact with each other and communicate ideas to the
readers who use the genre. The key scholars who use genre systems are Bazerman, Yates
and Orlikowski, Medway, and Berkenkotter and Huckin, and they argue that genre
systems function to offer insight to readers, create organizational structure, work
intertextually, and establish a hierarchy between texts that exist in a genre system. By
parsing these theorists work, I can show how digital storytelling guidebooks operate
with a genre system and how that system functions for the reader.
As rhetoricians and genre analysts continued to look at genre, the definition and
function of genre expanded to include the idea of genre serving as a communicative act
(Bazerman, Swales, Yates & Orlikowski). Genre analysts recognized that while
examining an individual genre could yield insight to the community that utilizes that
genre, exploring how genres interacted with each other could shed light on norms,
practices, and ideologies (Yates & Orlikowski 103). This study of genre systems offers
genre analysts a way to see how genres work independently and together. These systems
create an organizational structure for a community, providing expectations for the
purpose, content, form, participants, time, and place of coordinated social interaction
(104). By examining digital storytelling guidebooks, both independently and how they
interact, I can determine how the field is structuring the digital storytelling community.
Digital storytelling guidebooks, while containing very similar content, can be
structured in different ways, making strict genre analysis tricky. Peter Medway argues
that the idea of genre needs to be fuzzy and that genreness can range from tightly
defined to baggy and indeterminate (141). This flexibility allows users of the genre to
truly define how it is most useful and meaningful to their particular situations and
identities. Medways latitude for fuzziness makes it easier to define the genre while
focusing on meaningful ideas. While Medways definition of genre focuses mainly on
the single text, other analysts study genre in relation to other texts. Berkenkotter and
Huckin take the idea of genre systems further, suggesting that examining genres within
the context of other genres allow genres to be flexible and dynamic, capable of the
modification according to the rhetorical exigencies of the situation (501). They discuss
identifying genre systems by examining their intertextual activity, suggesting that texts
within a genre system are responsive to, refer to, index, or anticipate other texts
In examining my digital storytelling guidebooks, I found that most texts referred
back to Joe Lambert and the Center for Digital Storytelling, and that Berkenkotter had
experienced a similar phenomenon while analyzing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders (DSM). Berkenkotter defined the DSM, a manual used by a variety
of mental health professionals, as a meta-genre, which informs and organizes a
constellation of professional activities (and their genres) (339). In the case of the DSM,
Berkenkotter argues that, due to the sheer amount of professionals who rely on the text,
the DSM holds a suasive force that can be seen in the variety of texts that refer to the
text and that published to help professionals use the manual (340). By identifying the
suasive force of Lambert and the CDS, and identifying how and where the digital
storytelling guidebooks were presenting this force, I can understand more about the genre
of digital storytelling guidebooks as well as the emphasis they place on ideology, process,
Genre as Communicative Act
While writing within a specific genre allows for writers to demonstrate
professional knowledge and develop an identity around that knowledge, genre also
provides an opportunity for writers to develop communication skills, both personally and
in communicating in the world around them (Bazerman 17). When examining digital
storytelling guidebooks, using this dual-functionality lens can aid in identifying and
understanding these multi-faceted messages and how they serve multiple purposes to
disseminate the ideals and ideology of digital storytelling while offering the nuts-and-
bolts, how-to-create a digital story information. The key scholars who examine genre as
communicative act are Berkenkotter and Huckin, and Askehave and Swales. By looking
at this lens of genre theory and examining recent articles where authors applied this
theory in analyzing other guidebooks and textbooks, I show how this theory can be
applied to examining digital storytelling guidebooks.
Berkenkotter and Huckin suggest that genre knowledge is a form of situated
cognition and can develop over time as writers participate in the communicative
activities of the genre (477). They also argue that genre is closely tied to community,
signaling a discourse communitys norm, epistemology, ideology and social ontology
(477). Digital storytelling guidebooks are almost inseparable from the digital storytelling
community, and this analysis of the genre can help identify the norms and ideology
present within the community. Inger Askehave and John Swales examine how discourse
communities shape a genre and how genre analysts, by identifying the genres discourse
community, can examine a genres communicative purpose. This communicative purpose
helps situate the genre within a community, giving the genre an internal or schematic
structure while also allowing the analyst to retain and maintain a narrow concept of
genre (198). Because my goal is to show how digital storytelling guidebooks perpetuate
specific philosophies and actions within the digital storytelling community, being able to
show the communicative purposes in the guidebooks is imperative.
Giovanni Parodi uses Askehaves and Swales idea of communicative purpose
when analyzing the textbook genre, adopting a moves analysis approach, which
operationalizes a text into particular segments and identifies the communicative purposes
of each (198). This study examines the organizational structure of textbooks across
several disciplines, identifying the communicative purpose of the textbooks moves and
steps, analyzing on macro- and micro-levels. Moves analysis offers a way for me to
examine the digital storytelling guidebooks on both this macro and micro level, as well as
to define specific sections of texts and determine the rhetorical moves they make.
Another idea key in my genre analysis is to mark the multiple functions genre
features serve. Digital storytelling books function as a how-to guide as well as a way to
impart the philosophy behind digital storytelling and to encourage readers to create the
types of digital stories that the authors deem appropriate. Genre theorist Jill Tomasson
Goodwin tackles this idea of dual function, by redefining Millers idea of pragmatic
dimension. She shows, while genres can create community and influence ideology, they
also can present different threads of communicative acts. Goodwin examines pragmatic
dimension while analyzing the genre of psycholegal reports from a Canadian civil court
case. Goodwin first redefines Millers ideas of strategic function and pragmatic function.
Goodwin suggests that the strategic function helps foreground objectivity, while the
pragmatic function keeps the subjective, tactical dimensions in the background (169).
Goodwin examines the arguments found in these reports, and, using this lens of dual-
functionality, also looks at the arrangement, layout, and language of these reports and the
rhetorical functions they serve. In this project, I utilize this idea of dual-functionality,
searching for the strategic and pragmatic function of genre features in digital storytelling.
Genre Analysis of Non-Educational Guidebooks
While there are no published genre analyses of digital storytelling guidebooks,
there are a few published genre analyses that examine handbooks on other subjects with a
solely genre analysis lens. These articles have helped give me insight in the various ways
I can accomplish my analysis using genre theory as well as models that incorporate
theoretical lenses outside of genre theory. Berkenkotter uses genre analysis to examine
the DSM-IV, a handbook on psychological disorders, using genre systems as a main lens;
Goodwin jointly examines a handbook on psycholegal documents and the documents
produced using said handbooks using the pragmatic/strategic function lens. By seeing
how these authors approach genre analysis while examining these guidebooks, I can
apply the same theoretical lenses to digital storytelling guidebooks.
There are other interesting analyses that examine more obscure handbooks, as
well, however these authors do so using a combination of genre theory and critical
discourse analysis. These articles illustrated how genre analysis works on a multi-level
function, and that additional theoretical lenses may need to be used to be able to examine
genre texts at a closer level. For instance, in Dysfunctional Workers, Functional Texts:
The Transformation of Work in Institutional Procedural Manuals, Francis Sullivan uses
genre analysis and systemic linguistics to examine the differences between governmental
manuals that IRS employees use and the reference books that serve as translations for the
manuals. Likewise, Beverleigh Quested and Trudy Rudge, in Procedure Manuals and
Textually Mediated Death, use a combination of discourse analysis and genre analysis to
examine language and communicative acts in hospital procedure manuals. Other articles
examine writing curricula (although not digital writing) but choose to not utilize genre at
all. Shelly Stag Peterson, in An Analysis of Discourses of Writing and Writing
Instruction in Curricula Across Canada, examines writing curricula and textbooks using
discourse analysis instead of genre analysis. In seeing the range of ways that academics
examine texts, I was inclined to frame my project using genre theory as my primary
theoretical lens, but then adding in aspects of critical discourse analysis to more closely
analyze elements of the digital storytelling guidebooks.
Implications of Teaching Genre
In previous sections of this literature review, Ive discussed various ways that
scholars have approached genre theory. Another important aspect to genre theory is the
problem of teaching a genre, especially in the classroom. Often times, in genre analysis,
there is much emphasis placed on what the genres do and not how people use the genre
(and what theyre attempting to accomplish). In studying the genre of digital storytelling
guidebook, I want to illustrate how the use of these guidebooks can affect writers and
that facilitators should use these books with caution, especially when teaching writers to
create within the digital storytelling genre. Key scholars who have examined the
problems of teaching genre include Devitt and Wardle. Devitt suggests that, while genres
are embedded in ideologies, a teacher cannot begin to address, teach, or even personally
identify, all of the ideologies that encompass a genre. These genres can then easily
become watered down, focusing mostly on the forms and features the genres possess,
reducing the rhetorical to the formulaic (340). She promotes using more robust genre
pedagogy that explicitly teaches particular genres, antecedent genres, and critical genre
awareness (342). This approach honors the rhetorical aspects of genre, examining
context, form, and the issues surrounding genre theory itself. Elizabeth Wardle, in
Mutt Genres and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the
University? argues that first-year composition students are not able to transfer the
knowledge about writing for specific genres to other courses in the university, and that it
is more important to teach about writing than to teach how to write. Wardle explores
the importance of exigence in recent genre theory and states that genres arise when
particular exigencies are encountered repeatedly. But she acknowledges that the
exigence is not sufficient, and people must be attuned to the specifics of the current
situation in order to employ the institutionalized feature of the genre effectively or, in
some cases, throw them out (768). When examining the digital storytelling guidebook
genre, I will look for places where the books shift from teaching the about to the how
to, and what these moves accomplish for the reader, the facilitator or author, and
ultimately, the field of digital storytelling.
Methodology/Selection of Texts
Methodologically, this project has been guided by genre analysis that identifies
genre features, examines how these features perform rhetorical moves within texts and
then analyzes those moves using both textual and contextual lenses. My search for
guidebooks was shaped by Bazermans call for defining a sample that is substantial but
manageable (327), and Medways idea of a fuzzy genre, where genre is less rigid.
An initial search for digital
List of criteria for text selection
Common definition of digital story: A short, digital
composition that includes a personal narrative, images,
voiceover track, and audio soundtrack
Purpose: Intended use is for educators
Software: Does not promote, endorse, or focus on a specific
type of software with which creators can produce digital
stories. Discusses software in a more general manner
Publishing date: Published in the year 2010 or later
Publisher: Published by an academic press or imprint
yielded a large corpus that
varied greatly in content,
focus, intended audience
and purpose. In order to
Figure 1.1: Description of Text Selection keep my sampje sjze
reasonable, I worked to categorize the different guidebooks and find a way to narrow my
sample to a more manageable and focused set of texts. In choosing my texts for this genre
analysis, I examined guidebooks for a common definition of digital storytelling, an
explicit statement that showed the intended audience was for educators, a recent
publication date, and an academic press or imprint as their publisher (See Figure 1.1,
After completing an initial search for digital storytelling guidebooks, I found that
there were several types of books, each written for a different audience. Some
guidebooks were geared toward K-12 educators, offering a definition of digital
storytelling and showing how they could fit within the standards-based outcomes and
curriculum dictated by school districts, states, align with the (now-defunct) No-Child Left
Behind mandates, and relate with the Core Common Standards. Some guidebooks were
geared toward multiple types of users, including people wanting to create digital stories
as genealogy projects, for art therapy, or to highlight non-profit work. Other guidebooks
showed the casual user how to manipulate technology to create digital compositions
(including digital stories as I defined them). As my focus was on using digital storytelling
in the classroom, understanding that guidebooks served different purposes was helpful in
determining the genre I was analyzing was the digital storytelling guidebook that offered
curricular guidance for creating and facilitating digital stories.
Another issue I encountered in my search was the varying interpretations of what
a digital story entailed and accomplished. I excluded several interesting texts because of
this difference in how authors interpreted what constituted a digital story. In some texts, a
digital story was anything digital that told a story. In others, digital stories had to meet a
list of criteria in order to truly be considered a digital story. Because these guidebooks all
worked under a different definition of what a digital story was, I first began excluding
texts by definitions that focused solely on the digital aspect. For instance, several texts
defined a digital story as anything that was digital a video game, information kiosk,
fictional movie. Because I was interested in how these guidebooks affected the author
(especially in their directive nature in encouraging authors to write about personal
Table 1.1: Selection Criteria for Digital Storytelling Guidebooks
Author Common Definition of Digital Story Marketed to Educators No Focus on Software- specific Content Published in 2010 or Later Academic Press or Imprint
experiences), I narrowed the definition of digital storytelling to digital compositions that
included a personal narrative, images, voiceover track, and audio soundtrack.
In searching for texts, I attempted to find guidebooks that were online or
available for free to the general public. I was surprised to find a dearth of these types of
materials ironically, there is a significant absence of digital digital storytelling
guidebooks. As digital storytelling is touted as a truly democratic experience with
organizations heralding digital stories created by the people for the people it is curious
that there is not free access to the curriculum to help the masses learn and experiment
with this form. There are a few program-specific e-guidebooks, published by Adobe and
Microsoft; however, these deal more with the nuts-and-bolts technological aspects of
digital storytelling. Also, because of their close affiliation with the software a creator
would use to produce the digital story, I felt uncomfortable analyzing them alongside
books that were not software-specific. For instance, the e-book Tell A Story, Become a
Lifelong Learner, written and published by Microsoft, spends a majority of the text
showing how students can create digital stories using PowerPoint. Adobe Systems
published a digital photography and video guide for educators that included a chapter on
digital storytelling; however, because it was published in 2008 and included only one
chapter on digital storytelling, it did not meet my criteria for inclusion.
Very few of the guidebooks I ultimately selected had electronic editions published
alongside the print editions. Wherever possible, I analyzed Kindle editions (my e-reader
of choice, as it works on multiple platforms, including the Kindle, iPad, and Mac
desktop) and the print editions of the text, noting where authors utilized the technology to
link to digital examples of concepts they describe in-text. Essentially, there were few
differences from the print and Kindle texts in print, the authors reference a website as
an additional resource, and in the Kindle text, that reference is a hyperlink to the website,
where the reader can immediately access the information. I found that the Kindle versions
did not significantly vary from the print editions. This would be an area worth further
study, especially as authors and publishers begin to recognize how e-editions can break
down the issues with discussing technology in the stationary medium of print.
An initial search for digital storytelling guidebooks that were most frequently
referenced and reviewed yielded two guidebooks: Joe Lamberts Digital Storytelling
Cookbook and Jason Ohlers Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways
to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity. While Lamberts guidebook included all of the
genre features of a digital storytelling guidebook, I chose to exclude this text, and instead
analyze Lamberts Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community because it
was a newer edition, published by a professional press, and more readily available to
members of the public (rather than only to those who were participating in CDS-
sponsored workshops). As there was much overlap in the material presented in both of
Lamberts text, I felt comfortable excluding the Digital Storytelling Cookbook altogether.
I chose to analyze Ohlers new edition of the text, published in May 2013, to be able to
see how he addressed newer aspects of technology and social media and integrated
technology into the book. While much of the book is unchanged, there were expanded
online resources for the reader to be able to see Ohlers examples in action.
After wading through the other digital storytelling guidebooks and eliminating
texts that did not fit my criteria of consistent definition of digital story, geared toward
educators, published by an educational press or imprint, and recent publication date, I
arrived on a sample of five texts to use in this genre analysis. The texts, and a brief
description of each, are highlighted below:
The New Digital Storytelling by Bryan Alexander: This text offers a history of
digital storytelling and argues that we are currently in the second wave of digital
storytelling, where technologies and social media have transformed digital
storytelling as we know it. Alexander organizes this text to first look at the
history, then at how digital storytelling can be reframed by using the new
technologies around us. The rest of his text discusses ways to brainstorm,
organize and write a digital story; how educators can facilitate digital storytelling
in their classrooms; and ways to look ahead at the next wave of digital storytelling
- and how to prepare and adopt new technologies and ways of telling stories
digitally. The guidebook, published by Praeger, is 275 pages.
Digital Storytelling Guide for Educators by Midge Frazel (print and Kindle
editions): This text, published by the International Society for Technology in
Education, offers a bit of background on digital storytelling, but its main focus is
to present educators with ways to introduce, teach, and assess digital stories
across the curriculum. The book offers many resources and support for those who
arent familiar with digital storytelling or who arent comfortable with
technology. It is 190 pages and is available on the Kindle as well as in print.
Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community by Joe Lambert (4th
edition and Kindle edition): This text, recently updated in 2013, is considered a
key part of the digital storytelling canon. Written by the founder of the Center for
Digital Storytelling, this text offers a deep history of digital storytelling with a
focus on the purpose and power of digital stories. Lambert then offers a how-to
section, describing how to create digital stories and how to facilitate others
digital storytelling processes. He also provides context, showing how digital
stories can be applied in various fields, from education to advocacy work. The
guidebook, published by Routledge, is 224 pages. There is a Kindle edition
Tell Me a Story: Teaching Writing Through Digital Storytelling by Lisa Miller:
This 102-page guidebook is geared toward K-12 educators. It introduces the
concept of digital storytelling and shows how it can be incorporated into a
classroom setting. The book, published by Stenhouse Publishers, offers a rationale
for using digital storytelling and aligns it to teaching standards and outcomes. It
offers a guided curriculum for the reader to use, from assignment prompts,
activities to facilitate the writing process, to methods of assessing student work.
Miller refers to actual examples of student work and allows the reader to easily
view these examples by including an accompanying CD.
Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy,
Learning, and Creativity by Jason Ohler: In this 304-page book published by
Corwin Press, Ohler discusses the history and genre of digital storytelling and
then illustrates best practices for educators wishing to implement digital
storytelling in their classrooms. Eleven out of fifteen chapters in the book show
ways to teach digital storytelling and then give specific techniques for
incorporating it in the classroom, including an assignment sequence to guide
students through the composition process, tips on software, rubrics for
assessment, and handouts. A Kindle edition of this book was not made available
until late June of 2013, after this thesis was completed.
Methods and Procedures for Genre Analysis
In this thesis, I use a variety of analytical methods to identify and make claims
about the digital storytelling guidebook genre, including textual and contextual
approaches to genre analysis, critical discourse analysis, and reflexive ethnography to
show how the genre of digital storytelling guidebooks can affect an individual authors
story and process.
This project is grounded in using a descriptive analysis of genre features, while
being critical of the implications of what I find (Freedman and Medway 11). I look for
ways to examine both the form and content of the guidebooks, identifying the
observable and physical linguistic features of the text as well as the social motives,
themes, and topics being expressed in the communication (Yates & Orlikowski 301). I
attempt to use both textual and contextual approaches of genre analysis to illustrate how
the genre features illustrate the relationship between genre and power (Schryer 74). I
also adopt Schryers call to examine closely not only the guidebooks in-text features
using close analytical readings but also include participant accounts using the texts. In
analyzing, textually, how the digital storytelling guidebooks formed a genre, I examined
the guidebooks using a close reading, identifying regularities of structure, rhetorical
moves, and styles (Pare and Smart 147-8). Contextually, I examined how the genre is
produced and received and how agents strategically use genres and their resources in
specific contexts (Schryer 74). This contextual approach also allows me to examine how
the guidebooks work together within a genre system, and to see the intertextuality
between the guidebooks.
After identifying key features of the genre, I knew I would need to do a deeper
textual analysis, looking at specific parts of speech. To do so, I borrowed aspects of
critical discourse analysis, using Faircloughs Dialectical-Relational Approach, which
examines linguistic features of texts and the contextual ramifications of those features
(Wodak & Meyer 27). Using Critical Discourse Analysis as a methodological tool in
genre theory is appropriate, as CDA is derived from a variety of theoretical background
and thusly informs a variety of theories. CDA also places emphasis on the context of
language (Fairclough & Wodak), which is also echoed in genre theory. By adopting a
methodological tool to examine some of the more micro-textual aspects of the
guidebooks, I can ground my findings in more quantifiable data. This CDA-approach also
calls upon Hallidays functional examination of pronouns, which offers a way to examine
the specific use of personal pronouns that I identified as a genre feature of digital
storytelling guidebooks. I utilized digital copies of the text (mainly Kindle versions,
where available) to capture portions of text digitally and import them into a word
processing document, where I could find and count pronouns and calculate the
percentage of pronouns used in a given sample of text.
Autoethnographic Research Methods
While I was not able to, in this thesis, study the direct effect of the digital
storytelling guidebooks on students work, I found that I could (and should) discuss my
own experiences with the guidebooks, both as an author and facilitator and examine how
my work was shaped by the curriculum and ideas Im analyzing in this thesis. I use a
reflexive ethnography approach to analyze my experiences and a digital story I created
using the CDS curriculum, which means I reflect on my experiences in writing and
facilitating digital stories and analyze a digital story text I created. I am an active
participant in these actions, and reflexive ethnography offers a grounded way for me to
analyze these actions while still honoring my experiences, my feelings, and my
observations. Digital storytelling guidebooks prescribe the facilitation process, but by
adopting a reflexive approach, I can examine my experiences as writer, facilitator,
facilitated -to illustrate how these experiences affected the text in its various
In non-autoethnographic approaches, researchers often attempt to avoid inserting
their experiences and feelings into their writing, using language that is often void of
description, emotion, and life. A proponent of reflexive ethnography, Carolyn Ellis
argues for academic writing that is emotive and heartwrenching, that it should take the
reader by the throat, break her heart, and heal it again (676). Ellis promotes the use of
narrative to make academic writing more accessible, interesting, and useful to a larger
audience. Sociologist Laurel Richardson echoes this sentiment and suggests using
writing-stories, narratives that situated [her] sociological work in academic,
disciplinary, community and familial contexts (34). In this project, I include a writing-
story, separated into prologues for each chapter of analysis. I use these narratives to
preview the complicated issues that I found within digital storytelling guidebooks as well
as to give a face (and real-life example) to the problems within the facilitation process.
Critics of the autoethnographical and reflexive approaches question the ability for
impartiality and truth and argue that the authority of the ethnographer is challenged in
reflexive ethnographies (Denzin). One can argue that truth is subjective, however, and
that researchers present a varied truth when interpreting and presenting material,
becoming an, in essence, an ontological narrator. Richardson argues that because
language is so closely tied to ones subjectivity (and that language can be interpreted in a
variety of ways due to its discursive nature) ones subjectivity is shifting and
contradictory, not stable, fixed, rigid (36). Richardson also suggests that no matter the
discipline, people are always writing about their lives, although at times they disguise
this through the omniscient voice of science or scholarship (34). Ellis is less concerned
with the appearance of impartiality, suggesting that there is no single standard of truth
(675). Adrienne Reis, in Bringing My Creative Self to the Fore: Accounts of a
Reflexive Research Endeavour, defends her use of the writing-story model to discuss
her research about the environmental impacts of hunting, suggesting that a reflexive and
embedded methodology can be conducive to creative approaches to research (3).
Having had experience in writing about my own tribe, I understand the fine line
between bias and impartiality. My first inclination, when talking about myself and my
work, is to defend the way I have done things. However, after working in both
journalistic and scholarly pursuits and recognizing the need to be critical in order to offer
constructive feedback on a subject, I feel that I have the ability to be critical of myself
and my work and that, by having both the knowledge of my intention and the reception
of my work, I can present a more robust representation of my experiences. This writing-
story model will show how digital storytelling guidebooks are used in real practice, and
how their direction can not only change the digital story itself but also shape how I
approached, wrote, revised, and processed my story.
ANALYSIS OF THE HISTORY OF DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Sitting around the table, I began to doubt myself. Fellow workshop
members brought stories of great importance a recovery from a
traumatic spinal surgery; coming to terms with an abusive father; the
heartbreak caused by an unfair and unfeeling immigration law. I signed
up for a digital storytelling workshop in order to learn more about the
medium, but I didn 7 have a story to tell. I only knew it was an opportunity
to finally use the photos from my wedding to commemorate that day. My
story about the inability to plan every detail for my wedding was
humorous. The facilitator questioned why I thought it would be a good fit
for digital storytelling, as opposed to a more traditional storytelling
platform, like The Moth radiocast or This American Life. I didn 7 have a
good answer, and that made me realize how my story didn 7 completely
jell with the Center for Digital Storytellings mission.
Many how-to guidebooks do not provide a historical background of the field a
book teaching someone how to garden doesnt often describe the history of gardening -
and this dedication to providing a historical look at the field over time is a genre feature
of digital storytelling guidebooks. While the presence of a history itself is the genre
feature, more telling is the fact that this history is similar across the guidebooks. The
authors state that digital storytelling, which combines personal narrative with multimedia
features like images and music, was a movement that began in the early 1990s, with Dana
Atchleys work and what would become the Center for Digital Storytelling. They trace
the CDS work with individuals, educators, and non-profit organizations and show how
digital storytelling became a viable form of writing over time.
In this section, I suggest that the inclusion such
histories of digital storytelling creates an emphasis on the
educational and cultural impact of digital storytelling, which
in turn shapes the digital stories that guidebook users create
and facilitate. However, this inclusion of (a shared) history
de-emphasizes the fact that there are different ways to
accomplish what digital storytelling aims to accomplish -
empowerment, a strengthened sense of identity, clarity and
that perhaps there are other goals that digital storytellers
wish to accomplish. It also creates a common view/history of digital storytelling that, at
times, is too homogenized and from a place of privilege. In this section, I first identify
how the digital storytelling genre requires each guidebook to present the history of digital
storytelling. I utilize a genre system approach in identifying instances of this genre
feature, embracing Medways idea of a fuzzy genre, where there are variances present.
I then illustrate how these features embed this ideology of empowerment, and how my
experience in learning the history of digital storytelling in workshops affected my digital
storytelling process and compositions.
References to Center
for Digital Storytelling
References to early
pioneers including Joe
Lambert, Dana Atchley,
and Bemajean Porter
References to early
examples of digital
References to early
software used to create
Figure 2.1: Key Phrases
Used to Describe History
Shared History of Digital Storytelling
Each digital storytelling guidebook offers a similar history of digital storytelling
(See Figure 2.1), harkening to its modest beginnings with Atchley and Lambert in
Berkeley, with a few variations in the method of delivery of this history. Some authors
include an explicit discussion of the history, organizing it into a separate chapter or
section, while others embed the history within the how-to portions of the guidebooks. No
matter how the authors integrate this historical background into the digital storytelling
guidebooks, this inclusion of the history of digital storytelling is deliberate, and it lays the
groundwork to educate (and even indoctrinate) future authors and facilitators of digital
stories of the importance of digital storytelling and to encourage these creators to create
digital stories that follow in the footsteps of the historical models.
All of the digital storytelling guidebooks I analyze point to the Center for Digital
Storytelling as the beginning of digital storytelling, as I have defined it, although the
authors accomplish this in different ways. In Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives,
Capturing Communities, Joe Lambert gives the background of how he discovered adding
digital media to storytelling when working with artist Dana Atchley, and ultimately
founding the Center for Digital Storytelling. Bryan Alexander, in The New Digital
Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media, traces its origins to digital gaming,
interactive fiction, and emailed, chain-mail-type stories2. While his idea of the origins of
online digital storytelling predates Lamberts historical account of digital storytelling, the
timelines line up when Alexander cites Lambert and Atchleys work in digital storytelling
in the 1990s.
2 Alexander argues that the omnipresent email forwards sent by well-meaning friends and
family members are an early form of digital storytelling that is deeply social and the
inclusion of embedded email message headers narrates one items passage through
people connected by school, work, or friendship (20). Victims of Nigerian financial
scams or exasperated daughters-in-laws slogging through full in-boxes may beg to differ.
Table 2.1: Author Participation in
Center for Digital Storytelling Workshop
Unlike Lambert and Alexander, the
other authors do not begin their
guidebooks with separate chapters
about the history of digital
storytelling. In Digital Storytelling
in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Jason Ohler sprinkles in background
information about the key players in digital storytelling and by giving examples of early
digital stories and showing how they fit within the scope of digital storytelling as a field.
Midge Frazel adopts this approach, as well, referring to early pioneers of digital
storytelling (including Lambert), and listing online web resources that reference those
pioneers and their work. In this grouping of guidebooks, Lisa Miller is an outlier, in that
she doesnt explicitly reference digital storytelling outside her world at all, instead
discussing her experience with digital storytelling and how her practice changed over
time. There are hints of this shared history, however, including her participation in a
storytelling workshop facilitated by the Center for Digital Storytelling (See Table 2.1).
Author Participated in CDS Workshop
Lambert Yes4 5
3 I created my first digital story in 2003. Two brilliant teachers from Berkleys Center
for Digital Storytelling led a workshop at the Center for Educational Technology in
Middlebury, Vermont (Alexander xi).
4 As Lambert is one of the founders of the Center for Digital Storytelling, he has
participated in and facilitated hundreds of workshops.
5 This list [developed by the Center of Digital Storytelling] has been adopted by many; I
followed it when I put my first digital story together during a CDS workshop (Miller
6 Ohler doesnt specifically mention attending a CDS workshop, but including the CDS in
the acknowledgements suggests that he has worked with them in the past.
The fact that all roads lead back to the Center for Digital Storytelling indicates that the
CDS is a main part of the history of digital storytelling helping create believers of the
medium as well as advocates for its use in education, in non-profit work, in the world.
Much of the CDS philosophy is seen in the other guidebooks other authors
place emphasis on story, personal narrative, author empowerment and author self-
discovery, key tenets of the Center for Digital Storytellings mission. The fact that work
extends past the CDS also indicates that there are people who believe that the CDS
definition of digital story is not the sole definition and that there are other ways to
facilitate authors digital stories than by using the CDS model.
The amount of time and space dedicated to presenting the history of digital
storytelling is also worth noting, following Bazermans genre-as-communicative-act
theoretical lens. The varying levels of depth in which the different authors discuss digital
storytellings past and trajectory correlate with the scope of digital stories that the
guidebooks show the reader how to create. For instance, Lamberts text, which heavily
references Lamberts past and the Center for Digital Storytelling, offers a narrow
definition of digital storytelling that does not deviate from the CDS mission or
Lamberts vision. Millers text, which only briefly mentions her attendance at a CDS
workshop, promotes a much broader definition of digital storytelling that allows authors
to create on any subject matter, using any type of writing (not only first-person narrative).
For example, students created digital stories that give information (an apples life cycle,
told in the point of view of the apple); offer humor (take the viewer on a hamsters
adventure, with the hamster as narrator); or promote someones business (creating an ad
for a fathers woodshop). None of these stories would fit Lamberts description, and the
authors likely would be facilitated so that their eventual stories would have a personal
point of view and include a moment about the subject that was focused on a singular
The locations where authors placed this history create emphasis and a framework
for the text that cues the reader to the importance of the history. One place where I found
that four out of five authors recognized the history of digital storytelling was in the
introductory features of the guidebooks the acknowledgements, forewords, prefaces, or
introductions of the guidebooks. These textual features are easily skipped over, but they
are embedded with meaning dedications provide context for the work; forewords give
the author credibility and help situate the text within the field; introductions offer a
framework for the texts and help guide the readers throughout the text. Lambert includes
a dedication page that honors the history of digital storytelling and its beginnings, with a
photo of Dana Atchley, one of the co-founders of the Center for Digital Storytelling. The
Center for Digital Storytelling describes media artist Atchley as principle inspiration for
the Centers work in digital storytelling. The dedication reads For Dana Atchley; Artist,
Friend, Digital Storyteller. Your final exit7 was beyond reason. Your vision will live on.
See you on the flipside. It is a testament to the importance Lambert and the Center for
Digital Storytelling place on maintaining a clear vision of what digital storytelling is and
should be in the future. The fact that Atchley died in 2000 and that the CDS has done
many things outside of Atchleys work shows the deep connection to history that
7 Atchley first became involved with digital storytelling when he asked Lambert to help
produce NEXT EXIT, an autobiographical experience where he told stories around a
digital campfire in front of a live audience while adding media to enhance these stories
(Storycenter.org). It was through working with Atchley that Lambert began to see how
digital media could transform stories.
Lambert and the CDS place on digital storytelling and sets up a text that uses this
history to create a framework and context for readers who want to learn digital
storytelling. Yet, digital storytelling has changed greatly since the books first edition was
published in 2002: the CDS facilitated thousands of participants digital stories;
technology has become more advanced and accessible; and the audience for digital
stories has grown.
Name Dropping to Create Ethos
This genre feature of providing a historical background in digital storytelling
guidebooks also helps the authors situate digital storytelling within an established field.
More so, the digital storytelling guidebook authors establish ethos in the opening material
of the guidebooks (acknowledgements, forewords, prefaces, introductions, and early
chapters of the books) by including names of digital storytelling pioneers. By dropping
names (as opposed to simply writing about the contributions these pioneers have given to
the field), the reader can infer the existence of a relationship between the authors and
those people they thank, which helps authenticate the authors connection to the field.
Several authors use the acknowledgements section in their guidebooks to trace the history
of digital storytelling and it is here that I began to notice the link to Lambert and the
Center for Digital Storytelling in the majority of the texts.
As in most acknowledgments sections, the authors offer a list of names of
contributors to the creation of the digital storytelling guidebooks, acknowledging people
who made the guidebook possible. Lamberts acknowledgement section traces the help
he received from Apple Computer and the Institute of the Future to first create books
about digital storytelling; discusses the evolution of the book over the previous three self-
published editions; and thanks the editors of this professionally-published fourth edition8
(xii). Lambert pays homage to past experiences, to previous texts, and to the
people/things that made those texts possible, which helps situate this digital storytelling
guidebook as a piece of a larger something as an organism that works together with a
larger ecosystem of storytelling and the power that storytelling has on individuals and the
community. His history with digital storytelling is long and established, and the names
(individual and corporate) give him and the text ethos. Ohler includes references to
historical key players in digital storytelling in the acknowledgments section, thanking
the people at the Center for Digital storytelling ... and many others whose work in
digital storytelling has informed my own (xvi), and this illustrates the interconnectivity
between Ohlers work and Lamberts work9 as well as shows how previous work in
digital storytelling affects current work. In the first two sentences in his introduction,
Alexander writes that he created his first digital story in 2003 at workshop in Middlebury,
Vermont10, facilitated by Joe Lambert and the Center for Digital Storytelling (xi). In Part
I of her text, Frazel refers to leaders in the field (9) and mentions Joe Lambert and
Bemajean Porter by name, calling them the king and queen of digital storytelling, and
linking to their websites (14).
8 The first, second, and third editions were all self-published, through Digital Diner Press.
9 Ohler doesnt specifically mention attending a CDS workshop, but including the CDS in
the acknowledgements suggests that he has worked with them in the past.
10 Barbara Ganley, the author of the foreword of Lamberts text, refers to a CDS-led
digital storytelling workshop in Middlebury in the early 2000s it is not apparent if
Alexander and Ganley were in the same workshop.
While all of the other authors use digital storytellings past to frame their
guidebooks, Millers text is an outlier. She does not drop names of digital storytelling
pioneers in her text,11 instead only briefly mentioning the Center for Digital Storytelling,
her attendance at a CDS workshop, and adapting the ways the CDS defines elements of a
digital story (15). However, this lack of history in Millers text, which is unencumbered
by what digital storytelling has been over the past 20 years, serves to allow the reader to
think more freely about the possibilities of what a digital story can be.
Digital Storytellings Evolution Over Time
Just as the authors situate digital storytelling as an established field by mentioning
pioneers by name, they also authenticate the importance of digital storytelling by
showing its evolution over time. While digital storytelling is relatively new (roughly 20
years or so), by showing the amount of work that has been done in digital storytelling and
how much it has changed over time, the authors give weight to the medium. The
corroboration of this history, as well, gives the field credibility and begins to show an
ideology that is present in digital storytelling. This history is a rhetorical dance that
digital storytelling guidebook authors perform (Coe) and it illustrates their beliefs and
values surrounding digital storytelling. This ideology presents a challenge and call to
action for readers encouraging them to create and facilitate meaningful and
11 Miller is not averse to mentioning names she mentions composition theorist Donald
Murray, known for his theories on process-based writing, in her introduction, citing his
book Write to Learn as an eye-opening text that helped her develop her pedagogy in
teaching writing (1).
empowering digital stories but, it also can lead the guidebooks to become prescriptive
and narrow, presenting only a fraction of what digital stories could be.
The authors use the history of digital storytelling (showing what it has done in the
past and how has evolved) to present a shared ideology of what digital stories should
accomplish. Lambert, in telling the history of digital storytelling, explicitly describes the
ideology of digital storytelling, as he and the Center for Digital Storytelling understand
it12. To him, digital storytelling is a method for giving authors insight into and ownership
of their stories. He also situates his definition of digital storytelling as something that is
accessible to every person, and that his wish for this book is to help everyone use the
power of storytelling to project their authority, to expand their sense of being celebrated,
of becoming at whatever level, a celebrity in their community (2). Alexanders history
of digital storytelling also traces the effects of the CDS and how other organizations have
adopted its model for facilitating digital storytelling workshops. Alexanders inclusion of
Lambert, Atchley, and the CDS illustrates a pattern beginning in these guidebooks this
shared vision of the history of digital storytelling creates a uniform definition of digital
storytelling and a uniform ideology of what digital storytelling should accomplish. To
Alexander, like Lambert, digital stories should allow the author to experience self-
discovery, and that the process of creating a digital story should be transformative. Ohler
presents his Twenty Revelations About Digital Storytelling in Education, and how his
views about digital storytelling have changed over time. Many of these revelations echo
Lamberts philosophy about digital storytelling, including the ideas that people in conflict
12 Although Atchley had no problem allowing a user to define digital storytelling in
whatever way the user felt comfortable, Lambert disagrees, stating a movement without
a theory, or at least a point of view, wasnt a movement at all (Lambert 37).
have the inherent need to tell their stories; stories are essential for survival; and stories
can be dangerous and there is the need to blend the power and engagement of
storytelling with the skills and perspective that insight and critical assessment offer (10).
Miller and Frazel also present a historical context for digital storytelling,
suggesting, through their descriptions and resources listed, that digital storytelling is
more than just a way to compose with multimedia. The ways in which they introduce this
history, however, differ from the other guidebooks. Looking at this set of texts as part of
a genre system through Medways fuzzy lens does allow me to still identify similar
ways of executing the historical background genre feature. Miller articulates the idea that
digital storytelling engages and empowers students, can change how authors see
themselves, and can build community (6). In Part I of her text, Frazel offers an overview
of digital storytelling, referring to leaders in the field who describe digital stories as
multimedia tales [that] are the modem expression of an ancient art (9). By offering a
nod to others in the field as well as situating digital storytelling in both the past (ancient
art) and present, Frazel embraces the idea that story is foremost in digital storytelling and
that its history and ideology should factor in during its creation. Frazel also offers a list of
bullet points that highlight the benefits of digital storytelling, including engaging
students, meeting the needs of a diverse group of students, and addressing the need for
relevancy in learning for todays K-12 students (2). This language is much more
education-specific than Lamberts text, however, the idea of engagement, meeting
students needs, diversity and relevancy all fall within Lamberts philosophy of what
digital storytelling should accomplish and for whom.
While Lambert, Alexander, Ohler, Frazel, and Miller offer a context for digital
storytelling in varying degrees, the inclusion of digital storytelling outside of their worlds
helps give digital storytelling a greater meaning than just the digital file that is produced.
Because the history all begins around closely the same place (with the exception of
Alexander, where he widens the definition of digital storytelling to include pre-World
Wide Web incarnations), there exists a uniformity that can be stifling to the reader and
future author/facilitator of digital stories. This undeviating history also indicates a place
of privilege: the kings and queens of digital storytelling are white; the Center for
Digital Storytelling, while a non-profit organization that works with a variety of
populations in need, charges for its workshops for individuals and educators, and the
technology needed to create digital stories is still not accessible to everyone. However,
this history can give potential creators and facilitators of digital stories a starting off
point, and simply understanding the implications of this uniform history is a step in
expanding past its limitations.
My History With Digital Storytelling
Like most of the authors of the guidebooks Ive analyzed, I, too, have a
connection to the Center for Digital Storytelling and its model of digital storytelling. I
discovered digital storytelling after a Denver Post colleague suggested that digital
storytelling was a perfect way to marry my skills as a personal essayist and visual
designer. I was making the move from journalist to graduate student, and I felt that digital
storytelling dovetailed nicely with what I was aiming to achieve in the composition
classroom. I attended my first digital storytelling workshop in April 2010, not knowing
much about the CDS but ready to create a story about my wedding.
The digital storytelling workshop used a similar curriculum to the digital
storytelling guidebooks. One of the first items on the agenda of the three-day workshop
was a lesson in the background of digital storytelling. The workshop facilitators
introduced us to digital storytelling, telling us about the beginnings of the CDS, Dana
Atchleys work, and Joe Lamberts definition of a digital story. They also screened
examples of digital stories, including Tanya, a digital story produced in the inaugural
CDS workshop by designer Monte Hallis13. This story tells of Hallis friendship with
Tanya, a woman dying from AIDS. This story is an integral part of the CDS workshop,
and many facilitators, including Lambert, share this story in particular during workshops,
to illustrate the elements, impacts, and potential minefields of digital stories.
The screening of Tanya can be inspiring it can show how the creation of a
story can be powerful (and often unexpectedly so, with the creator unaware of the story
bubbling beneath), and it opens up conversations about the storytelling process, about the
use of media, about telling another persons story but personalizing it to ones self. It is a
story about multiracial friendships, about taboo subjects (AIDS, in the early 1990s,
wasnt a topic that many were comfortable with), about death. It is a lesson in the nuts-
13 This story is also featured as an interlude in Lamberts text, including the text of the
story as well as his reflections about her storytelling process. Lambert speaks of the
creation myth surrounding the Tanya story, discussing its use in hundreds of digital
storytelling workshops and how the story behind the story has added to its power. Hallis,
dealing with stress and sadness about Tanyas situation and impending death, was a
weary participant in the workshop. During the screening of participants digital stories,
Hallis arrived late. She had driven straight from the hospice, where Tanya had died
earlier that day. Lambert interviews Monte Hallis about her experience and the story, 20
years later, in a Feb. 28 blog post (storycenter.org/blog).
and-bolts of digital storytelling about the finding of a singular moment, about using
dialogue for impact, about the pitfalls of using music that has lyrics. It can create many
conversations, however, it can also have negative effects.
After seeing Tanya, I was concerned that I had signed up for a workshop that I
wasnt ready for that I would be expected to tell an emotional, dark story that was
incredibly personal and meaningful. After all, I had just planned on telling a funny story
about my wedding. This is a concrete example of the effect this curriculum can have on
an author. I am a confident writer, fairly extroverted and willing to share, and this focus
on history this weighty example immediately made me question my participation, my
story, and my contribution to the workshop. I can only imagine how students, who arent
in a safe space or an intimate group setting, who lack confidence in their writing skills as
well as feel like they have nothing original to contribute, would feel about this
curriculum. In its current incarnation, it is structure so participants have a lot to live up to.
While setting a high standard is fine, in this type of situation, it is a difficult path to
negotiate. Using caution in how facilitators frame what digital storytelling has been and
should be as well as scaffolding the curriculum to first build up the participants
confidence in their stories can help alleviate these issues.
THE SUPPRESSION OF DIGITAL
IN DIGITAL STORYTELLING GUIDEBOOKS
Holding my smartphone up, I prayedfor just one more bar indicating
cellphone reception. I needed a specific set of photos to use in my digital
story, and the lack of an Internet connection at the farm was holding the
pictures my father emailed me hostage. After a seemingly interminable
wait time, I was able to download photos to my phone and then move them
to my laptop. After putting together a rough edit of my digital story, which
framed my struggle to process my mothers cancer with my decision to
donate my hair for her wig, I realized I had a photo for every noun. I
was being entirely too literal in the digital story, and I needed to edit my
images so that my voiceover narrative wasn 7 overwhelmed. I deleted
some photos andfound that without the visual clutter, my story was more
clear and powerful.
A genre feature of digital storytelling guidebooks is the insistence that the most
important aspect of a digital story is the story (also known as the script). This manifests
as heuristics and procedures for brainstorming, developing, and revising the script. The
genre feature, while helpful for guiding the script, de-emphasizes the digital aspects of a
digital storyin other words, marginalizing the rhetorical implications of the technology,
implications that warrant being taught. Digitality is an important aspect of digital
storytelling and offers students a variety of ways to present effective and compelling
arguments, and the lack of discussion of digitality implies it is only a tertiary skill to
learn. This chapter will identify how the digital storytelling guidebooks focus on
developing the writers script while downplaying the digital aspects of digital stories, and
will examine areas in the text where the digitality of a story is downplayed.
In all of the digital storytelling guidebooks Ive analyzed, every author asserts the
most important aspect of a digital story is a well-developed story. They emphasize that a
digital story, no matter the bells and whistles the technology provides, is only as good as
the story it tells. Frazel argues the story or curriculum contents is the most critical part
of a digital story (19) and asserts that story is the heart of the matter (37), and Miller
states that in digital storytelling, writing is paramount (4). Ohler argues that good new
media rest on the foundation of solid writing, and that the script in a digital story is that
foundation, stating no amount of good acting or special effects could compensate for
the lack of a good script (78). Alexander takes less of a hard stance in the ability to
separate a story from its digitality, but he does isolate a story from its digital elements
and discuss how to build a strong story (77). Lambert is most critical of digital stories
that dont include a story as he defines the term, questioning how education has co-
opted digital storytelling. He dismisses these synonym[s] for taking any subject, written
in any style of discourse, and making a multimedia piece with it and questions why
educators attach the words story or storytelling to the project (37). This attitude,
prevalent in all of the digital storytelling guidebooks I analyzed, dictates how the
guidebooks are structured, as well as the amount of material devoted to helping digital
storytelling creators develop and organize their scripts.
Although the digital storytelling guidebook genre calls for a discussion of the
technology available to produce digital stories, the genre requires authors to devote more
space to teaching readers how to create and structure an effective story, which the authors
define as the most essential ingredient for an effective digital story. One genre feature
consistent among digital storytelling guidebooks is how the authors frame storytelling -
and the models, heuristics, and brainstorming activities they suggest using to help authors
structure their stories. The ways digital storytelling guidebook authors create categories
of stories and their descriptions on how to structure a story directly influence how
students create a digital story (See Table 3.1). A majority of these descriptions focus
solely on the script aspect of the digital story as opposed to the other media used in
creating a digital story (images and sound). These heuristics/models, while beneficial to
the creator who needs help with developing a script, focus too heavily on the fallacy that
the script is the only important aspect of a digital story. If facilitators adhere too much to
these structures, stories can become too homogenous and not utilize all facets of the
digital storytelling medium. This, in turn, can limit the effect these stories can have on an
audience. In this section, I will examine the form and content of this genre feature,
showing how each guidebook categorizes story types, describes how to structure stories,
and suggests how authors should organize/map their story. I then will analyze this feature
Table 3.1: Features to Teach Digital Story Structure
Authors Types of Stories Components of Digital Story Describe Central Plot Development Activities for Planning Story
using Goodwins pragmatic dimension approach, which examines a text for its pragmatic
function and strategic function and analyzes the differences between the two to determine
the communicative acts of the genre features (169). Using this theoretical lens, I will
show how these genre features accomplish different communicative acts: teaching a story
structure that digital storyteller can use, and downplaying the impact of digitality on a
Types of Stories
The digital storytelling genre requires a descriptive definition of digital
storytelling, including in this definition not only what a digital story looks (and sounds)
like, but also the subject matter the digital stories contain. The guidebooks I analyzed
achieve this in two ways by offering categorical types that digital stories can fall into,
or by describing how the storys subject, no matter what it is, must be engaging to the
storys audience. Lamberts, Alexanders, and Frazels guidebooks create a definition
that fits into the former category, while Ohlers and Millers texts fall into the latter.
Using Goodwins dual-functionality lens, I found that this genre feature functions
in two ways: The strategic function of this genre feature allows digital story creators to
reflect and brainstorm ideas for digital stories. The pragmatic function of this genre
feature reinforces the idea that creating a story that falls within these prescribed
conventions is the most important aspect of the digital story, and that creating a story that
focuses on using an alternative format of story or relies on other modes of
communication is not correct. Also problematic is the fact that these categories are the
same across the guidebooks, which further stymies creativity and different types of
digital stories. The guidebooks that describe
the relationship a story should have with its
audience are still offering a way to define
digital stories, which meets the requirement
of the genre, but this method allows for
authors to be more creative in what they
write about instead working with what the
story should accomplish.
Lamberts guidebook could be
considered a meta-genre text (Giltrow), as it
has definitely influenced other texts within the digital storytelling guidebook genre,
especially when guiding readers on how to structure stories. It focuses on types of
personal stories, and categorizes these stories into different character sets and subsets
(See Figure 3.1). Alexander, in describing the CDS model, also shares its typology of
stories (181). Alexander presents these prompts as methods to help reluctant participants
brainstorm story ideas, or to help authors move past writers block or fear. By framing
this typology as a prompt rather than a requirement that a story must adhere to, Alexander
illustrates how these are simply tools to use to help facilitate, rather than to force an
author to conform to a specific type of story. He explicitly states this philosophy in this
section, writing that he doesnt mandate a particular format for the writing process,
allowing writers to select a process that makes them most comfortable (181). Frazel also
offers up categories of digital stories community, family, identity, and place and
Digital Story Categories
Story About Someone Important
Story About a Place in My Life
Story About What I Do
Story About an Important Event in My Life
Figure 3.1: Typology of Digital Stories
refers the reader to the CDS website to see examples of stories that fall within those
Unlike Lambert, Alexander, and Frazel, the authors Ohler and Miller do not offer
categories of stories that authors can tell. Rather, they discuss the relationship between
author and listener. Although this appears to break from the genre convention, this
discussion focuses solely on the written script, ignoring the possibility that technology
connects with audience. Thus, it adheres to the genre feature Fve identified. Ohler
frames stories as an ancient covenant between listeners and tellers, and that a story can
be about anything as long as it honors this agreement where: listeners are engaged in
what happens and arent disappointed with the outcome; listeners find the action makes
sense but isnt predictable; tellers dont stray from the message of the story; tellers feel
they kept the listeners attention; and the story isnt too long, and the payoff at the end
was proportional to the listeners investment of time, trust, and attention (94-95). By
describing the traits of a good story and illustrating the importance of the storyteller and
listener working in tandem, Ohler opens up the opportunity for a good, effective story to
be about anything.
Even more so, this attention on the audience helps writers think about the
rhetorical effect of their stories and shows writers how to adjust their writing to best
address their intended and actual audiences. When discussing rhetorical effect, there is an
opportune moment to also discuss other ways digital stories can use rhetorical devices to
connect with the audience and to illustrate how visual rhetoric and audio rhetoric can
add impact to a story. This type of discussion does not exist here, however, placing an
unbalanced emphasis on a digital storys script. Miller also does not offer categories of
stories, as her focus on digital storytelling is less about the finished product and more
about the process. The digital storytelling examples she gives as well as the insistence
that digital storytelling can be taught across the curriculum (and not just in Language Arts
classrooms) also shows that she does not want to limit the types of stories authors create
by categorizing or pigeonholing them. The fact Miller gives little importance to how the
digital aspect of a digital story can add to the power of the finished project and spends a
majority of her curriculum addressing how to create and revise a script, illustrates how
her text also adheres to the genre conventions of digital storytelling guidebooks.
Elements of Stories
One consistent genre feature among digital storytelling guidebooks is the
discussion of the elements that comprise digital stories, and each guidebook frames the
digital storytelling process by encouraging authors to consider these elements when
composing their stories. This focus on process (and on the pieces that help comprise a
digital story) is due to the fact that digital stories are a very specific genre, yet that genre
is defined by the way the story is constructed and not the content of the story itself. Each
guidebook author agrees, with a little bit of quibbling, that
digital stories are compositions that include multiple tracks
- voiceover narrative, images (still or moving), and music
or sound. But, the story is the most important component
of digital stories, so the digital storytelling guidebooks
provide a list of criteria the digital story should follow to
Figure 3.2: Components
of Digital Stories ensure that the story within the composition is strong,
Point of View
Economy of Language
Soundtrack or music
compelling, and well developed. Of the five guidebooks I analyze, all but Frazel use the
CDS list for digital storytelling elements, at least as an initial framework, adjusting
language to fit the guidebooks audiences (See Figure 3.2). By looking at these features
using a genre system lens (Berkenkotter and Huckin), and seeing how the guidebooks
related to each other intertextually, I found that this reliance on the CDS model is
problematic, although less so than the typology of digital stories.
By using the same language and ideas to help authors build digital stories, these
guidebooks dont differentiate to other types of learners, or people wanting to create
digital stories that accomplish different goals. Some of the elements also clash with the
tenets of academic writing, and thus can dissuade educators from teaching digital
storytelling.14 For instance, in a composition classroom, writing is more focused on
creating an academic argument that uses a combination of ethos, pathos, and logos, while
a digital story relies more on a pathos-driven, anecdotal story to support the authors
main thesis. Also, when teaching multimodal composition, most educators focus on the
rhetorical power that technology can provide, showing how visual, audio, and digital
rhetoric can persuade an audience as effectively (if not more so) than textual rhetoric.
Although the guidebooks cite Lamberts elements, most focus solely on the
elements that address the structuring of the script. The CDS defines these criteria as the
Seven Principles of Digital Storytelling, found in Lamberts earlier text, Digital
Storytelling Cookbook. Five of these components directly relate to the writing of the
141 battled with this and eventually developed a curriculum to teach digital argument. It
borrows many of the tenets of digital storytelling, but allows for students to balance
personal experience with adding research-based argument. See Appendix A for more
story itself: Point of view; dramatic question; emotional content; gift of voice; and
economy (Digital Storytelling Cookbook)15. In 2010, Lambert and the CDS revised these
elements, changing them to steps, which moved away from the what and toward the
how the process used to achieve these elements. These steps are what Lambert uses
in subsequent editions of the digital storytelling cookbook as well as in his text I
analyzed. It defines digital stories in a similar manner but adds more emphasis to the
creation process and the intention behind the creation of a digital story.16
Both Alexander and Miller cite the old CDS criteria, although Miller uses
slightly different language17 that is more geared toward younger student writer. She
reframes the element of dramatic question into a more kid-friendly term of An
interesting question to answer, and removing emotional content from the list because
she questions the appropriateness of requiring students to produce emotional work (15).
Instead of emotion, she calls for stories to have impact, which places less focus on the
writers internal emotions and more emphasis on the way the author wants the audience
to receive and react to the story. Frazel highlights the importance of creating an
15 The other two elements relate to the multimedia aspect of the digital story: soundtrack
and pacing, which are both accomplished after the final script is written.
16 Lambert defines the seven components of CDS digital stories as: self-revelatory;
personal or first-person voice; about a lived experience and described in scenes; using
still images as the majority of the visual track, instead of video; relying on soundtrack or
ambient noise instead of solely voice; length and design (short with a minimal amount of
video editing bells and whistles; and the focus on self-awareness and processing rather
than on audience and publication (37-8).
17 Millers list of elements includes: An interesting question to answer; impact; a clear
point of view; economy; the power of a students voice; art that helps tell the story; and
emotional connection between the storyteller and audience and identifying and
understanding the audience (36-37). She does not require digital stories, in her definition,
to adhere to any other contraints, however, which encourages the reader to consider any
topic or structure fair game when creating a digital story. I find it problematic that so
many authors spend a majority of the time discussing the textual elements, ignoring the
digital elements that are arguably what make a digital story different than a text-based
Ohlers important traits of digital stories also mirror the CDS elements, citing
these criteria for writing18: Point of view; emotional engagement; tone; spoken narrative;
creativity, originality and creatical thinking19; and story length and economy (29-36).
However, the way that Ohler presents the steps differs from the other texts he
crowdsources the important elements of digital stories, describing how he showed a
variety of stories to educators and asked them to identify important elements of the genre
as a whole. This collaborative effort does a few things it indicates that there are
multiple ways to view, analyze, and assess digital stories, which then supports the idea
that there are many ways to compose digital stories; and it also shows that digital stories
can exist on a continuum, with varying levels of point of view, emotional engagement,
creatical thinking and that this genre can be flexible in these aspects. I think Ohlers
use of others to help define the important elements of digital stories is most successful in
18 Other multimedia elements include soundtrack music and the role of video and
19 Ohler coins the term creatical thinking, which is the ability to combine creative and
critical thinking into an original, reflective piece of work through an iterative process of
creation, reflection, adjustment (35).
showing that these are merely guidelines, not laws and this style is most empowering to
a facilitator who is tasked with helping guide an authors creative process.
Discussion of Digital Elements
As a heavy user of technology, I am aware of how rapidly the software and
technology surrounding digital media changes. Because the programs are changing,
becoming popular and then falling out of favor so quickly, I inductively understand why
digital storytelling books do not focus on how to use specific software, as they could
quickly become outdated. However, this lack of focus on how to produce the technical
elements of digital storytelling has translated into a reluctance to talk about technology at
all and has created a genre feature that places an emphasis on writing rather than on the
other media used in digital storytelling. This lack of attention to technology places it on
the backburner, marginalizing digitality to a bells and whistles mentality instead of
honoring its rhetorical value. This section will examine how the authors of digital
storytelling guidebooks discuss technology, will identify the amount of space in the
guidebooks devoted to technology, and will illustrate how the framing of this information
de-emphasizes its importance.
As explored earlier in this section, all of the guidebooks suggest that the script is
the most important aspect of a digital story. The guidebooks, after determining this to be
the case, then offer little discussion of technology either in presenting the rhetorical
value of technology or in showing how to piece together a digital story using software
(See Figure 3.3). Lambert offers seven steps to digital storytelling, and of the seven steps,
two relate directly to digitality: Step 4, Seeing Your Story, Step 5, Hearing Your
Story. Aspects of Step 6, Assembling Your Story,
relate to digitality, especially when Lambert articulates
how the multiple layers of digital stories (visual and
audio) work together to create a multi-faceted story.
Alexander only slightly addresses the rhetorical value of
images or audio, defining the audio voiceover as the
spine of a digital story and deeming the value of images
as either expressive or complementary (186). His discussion of assembling a story is
limited to using a storyboard, which provides a way to organize the different elements of
a digital story (182). He also addresses digital story software that is available, but this
section is limited to offering recommendations of software to use for audio recording and
editing, image manipulation and management, and video editing (190-192). Ohler
provides a similarly limited examination of digitality,
Frazer s discussion of digitality is even more limited in scope. She relegates the
technical aspects of digital storytelling to a single checklist -including the items Select
or create music/sound effects; Select or create images, video; Apply transition
special effects; and Render into video file format (23). Because Frazel offers little
direction in how to select or create music or images that best fit the story, she is de-
emphasizing the value that these elements have in adding meaning and impact to a digital
story. While Frazel does include information about software to use to create digital
stories (including iMovie, MovieMaker, and PhotoStory), these tutorials only focus on
the how-to aspects of using the software as opposed to the why behind assembling a
Figure 3.3: Key Terms to
story in a certain way for maximum effect. Miller uses a similar approach to the digital
elements of digital storytelling, offering a tutorial on using the program Photo Story 3.
After examining the digital storytelling guidebooks from a macro-level, noting
how they approached the discussion of technology, I began to analyze the text more
closely, noting how much the authors were discussing technology. Each book had a
disproportionate focus on the digital storytelling script in comparison to a discussion of
technology, with the number of pages discussing story structure dwarfing the number of
pages discussing digitality by almost 50 percent (See Figure 3.4). In the books that
offered technology tutorials, only Lamberts text was generic enough about the nature of
non-linear editing software to provide a tutorial that could transcend the lightning-fast
obsolescence that software users must face.
This incomplete discussion of digitality and easily-outdated treatment of
technology illustrates how the digital storytelling guidebooks position technology as a
secondary citizen in the digital storytelling process. It elevates the script to a higher
Figure 3.4 Comparison of Authors Focus on Script Versus Digital Features
plane, and underplays the power that digital media music, voice performance, images,
and editing can play in creating a compelling, entertaining multimodal composition.
This is a missed opportunity in teaching digital literacy, as discussing visual rhetoric,
audio rhetoric, and digital rhetoric dovetails well with the production of a digital story.
While the authors argument that the script is the essential element of a digital story, by
not addressing ways to fully incorporate the other elements of a digital story, the authors
shortchange just how persuasive and compelling a digital story could be.
My Story of Juggling Story and Digitality
In my first attempt at digital storytelling, I built a story around the digital assets I
already had: 800+ wedding photos and an audio recording of Klezmer music. Digitality
was not a lesson I think I needed to learn -1 had been teaching digital rhetoric for more
than a year, and I knew how the right image and music could convey a message. The
draft of my script didnt change at all which, now I regret. The longwinded, complex
sentences make me cringe, and the redundancies of images and audio are disappointing.
When going into the second CDS workshop, in June 2011,1 had three images at my
ready and no preconceived thoughts about music. I expected to walk into the workshop
with an almost completed draft of a script and that Id record and produce a digital story
in no time at all. I felt I understood the expectations of what a digital story should be -
both in script and in its final incarnation and that my vision of my story matched the
What really happened, however, was my story changed vastly from the first draft
to the final product. Much of that change occurred due to the facilitation process,
especially during the story circle reading, where my draft was met with silence,
confusion and some constructive criticism. The first draft contained problems of
structure, of tone, and of focus. Facilitators werent sure what story I was trying to tell,
and to whom I was telling it, so many questions followed my reading. Was I complaining
about the inconvenience of my mothers cancer? If so, was my audience my mother?
What moment in time was I trying to highlight? My draft spanned weeks, not a specific
moment. What tone was I trying to accomplish? Humor? Frustration? Sadness? Fear?
My draft was all over the place, emotionally, and I needed to find a focus to help shape it.
Through a discussion about why I was telling my story (because my mothers cancer is
horrible and I feel helpless and so far away and like Ive abandoned her), and if I wanted
my mother to see the story (yes, because I want her to know that Im thinking about her
and I want a piece of me to be there all the time for her), I recognized that my first draft
of the script did not give the messages I wanted to give.
After the story circle, brainstorming exercises and individual conversations with
facilitators helped shape my story. In an attempt to get me to focus on a single moment in
time, I was tasked with the challenge to describe the happenings of a single photograph. I
participated in a freewriting activity, where I first described what anyone could see in the
picture. Then, after a few minutes of writing, I described what people couldnt see in the
picture, providing the context to the situation, the things that couldnt be captured in the
frame. In this exercise, I was able to tap into emotions that I hadnt been able to articulate
- that this haircut, while a fun, superficial change, was a reminder that my mother had
cancer. In the phrase Reminded that the hair isnt there mannerisms. Mom has
cancer, I define my purpose here are times when I realize my Mom has cancer. In
describing the haircut, I was able to define the moment when I was able to physically
(and metaphorically) do something about my mothers cancer. When I wrote Part of me
likes telling the reason behind the haircut, but I worry that Im sharing too much and
bringing people down. But, I cant not tell the story, I was able to articulate the
discomfort I was feeling in writing and sharing a story that is personal and that I was
worried about the audience finding me to be intolerable or self-aggrandizing. I also
realized that my need to tell this story outweighed the worries I was having about how the
story would be received.
This piece of freewriting, along with the facilitators comments created a major
shift in the structure of my story, the purpose of my story, and the audience of my story.
While I was amenable to changing my story, I think this willingness to shift was due to
my familiarity with the CDS workshop process, and the understanding that my ultimate
goal was to release the story to process my emotions and begin to move on from the
trauma of dealing with my mothers cancer. I understood that the story was secondary, no
matter what it ended up looking like. Others going through this digital storytelling
process are not necessarily aware of this meta-effect of digital storytelling, and are much
more reluctant to shift and this is why I worry about the facilitation process being too
prescriptive or heavy-handed.
A major shift that is seen in the evolution of my story, titled Good Hair Day, is
the rhetorical purpose. In the first draft of the script, the exigence reads of the annoyance
of my mothers cancer. The structure of the story emphasizes this inconvenience,
describing how busy I am and how the diagnosis fell smack dab in the busy times in the
semester. Introducing my mothers cancer with the sentence And, oh yeah produces
an almost flippant tone, suggesting that the cancer is an afterthought, the straw that broke
the camels back in my busy life. I also attempt to avoid the emotional, attempting to
quantify the (horrible) circumstances with complaints about the heat, humidity, and how
my hair doesnt cooperate in San Antonio. While the main defining action of the digital
story is the donation of my hair for my mothers wig, that action is reduced to two
sentences in the story and because I call the hair a kinda creepy, but well-meaning
gift, I further downplay the importance of this action.
Structurally, my story was informed and shaped by the digital storytelling
guidebooks, framing my story within a specific moment in time the haircut. A second
draft focuses on specific moments in time. Told chronologically, I write about moments
of struggle with my hair, building to a moment of tension where I describe the haircut to
donate my hair. I then reveal the reason why I chose to cut my hair, my mothers cancer,
and the feelings about this decision.
After sharing this draft with facilitators, I was encouraged to instead frame my
story around the haircut, breaking from the chronological model and building the story
around the haircut, providing history as to why my hair was so important to me and my
identity, and then revealing the (sentimental) reason why I cut my hair. In the final draft,
I create a series of vignettes, and arrange (and rearrange) them to help create this type of
recommended structure. This break from the chronological is a specific technique that
facilitators often use to help authors truly pinpoint moments in time, and in that
technique, they often encourage authors to use dialogue to help present the story in a
more compelling and dynamic way, as well as to eliminate wordiness and awkward
While the facilitation process (which aligns with the process prescribed by the
digital storytelling guidebooks) most certainly shaped my story, the digital aspects of my
final product were not a major focus of the storytelling process. The workshop facilitators
prided themselves on creating a space with no easy Internet access, which served to help
focus on the script. Images are important, but arent mandatory in fact, some digital
storytelling workshops are moving into a One Photo, One Story model, where
participants shape a digital story around one single image. Likewise, not much time is
spent on discussing the power of music often times, choosing the right song is an
afterthought, and the choice is made in a manner of minutes by browsing the facilitators
iTunes library. Part of this lack of emphasis on the digital-ness of digital stories is due to
the truncated amount of time for a workshop three days is just not enough time to teach
everything. But, this emphasis on story (and de-emphasis of digitality) is also a concerted
effort to keep the stories created in workshops adhering to the CDS movement. This
dismissal of technology and digitality is disconcerting, as it removes a multitude of ways
in which creators can express themselves. Ignoring digitality also ignores the power of a
smooth edit, a pairing of a song lyric with an amazing image, or other creative outlets of
PUTTING THE STORYTELLING
IN DIGITAL STORYTELLING GUIDEBOOKS
I encouraged him to tell me stories about him and his friends and wrote
down what he dictated. After finding an interesting story about him and
his friends he then felt comfortable working through some of the CDS
steps, although he was still suspicious of the process and worried that the
final project would be something he didn 7 feel comfortable sharing.
Ultimately, with a heavy-metal soundtrack, some time recording his script
in the sound studio (and working on emoting energy and happiness in his
voice), and some help in adding visuals and quick-cut transitions, he
walked away with a story that he loved-and a story that fit within the
mission of the CDS.
In examining digital storytelling guidebooks, I found that the genre included a lot
of stories and these stories werent limited to examples of digital stories. Rather, the
genre included many personal stories from the authors that show the authors experiences
with creating and facilitating digital stories. These stories, while illustrative in nature and
not completely necessary to teach a reader how to make a digital story, comprise a genre
feature and serve to eliminate the distance between the author and reader and make
digital storytelling seem more achievable. The personal stories and examples are
conversational in nature, eschewing the more technical type of writing used often in
guidebooks. Because these guidebooks emphasize storytelling and personal narrative,
there is a space in this genre for the use of stories and narratives.
Just as the genre uses the history of digital storytelling to illustrate the importance
of the medium, the language and use of narrative also highlights the impact these devices
have. Narrative and informal language (as opposed to the technical writing style often
found in other guidebooks) serve to make the task of digital storytelling less intimidating
to the reader. By eliminating super-technical language and using stories and language that
create a sense of a team between the author and the reader, the authors empower the
reader to be a successful digital storyteller. However, this approach is also presumptive
and can be condescending, as it implies that digital storytelling is difficult and readers
must have their hands held in order to learn this skill. In this section, I will identify how
the use of narrative constitutes a genre feature of digital storytelling guidebooks and how
the authors personal examples frame key concepts the authors are trying to address.
Also, I will show how the authors use of language (especially personal pronouns) within
these examples can both empower and alienate the reader.
Authors Use of Personal Narrative
A common thread among the digital storytelling guidebooks is the concept that
the story is the most important component of a digital story. The visuals may be
awesome, the music may be emotive and dramatic, but without a strong story, an authors
digital story will fall flat. By using personal narratives here defined simply as the telling
of a story within digital storytelling guidebooks, authors are modeling, firsthand, the
power of storytelling and are illustrating how a narrative can introduce and explicate a
concept. Each digital storytelling guidebook includes the genre feature of narrative to
help present concepts, although some authors integrate this use of narrative better than
others. These stories and narratives are important in digital storytelling guidebooks, and
their presence within the guidebooks help define the genre. The short narratives are
interspersed throughout the text, usually helping to illustrate more complicated concepts
the author is trying to convey or to help personalize the more difficult ideas. This type of
writing also injects life in a style of writing that, for all intents and purposes, could be
devoid of description and pizzazz.
All of the guidebooks use narrative throughout, but of all of the digital storytelling
guidebooks I analyzed, Lamberts book included the most examples of personal
experiences with digital storytelling. In the introduction alone, Lambert describes his
history with the Center for Digital Storytelling; an experience he had with his daughter
and her homework crisis (and its implications on her identity); and a realization on the
connection between telling stories and health (3-4). In most chapters, he frames his
writing by including a personal story that connects to the topics he is addressing: in
Chapter 1, he attempts to show that the difference between stories and ideas with ideas,
there can be a disconnect between the storytellers intended meaning and the meaning
that the storytellers audience actually perceives. This use of narrative throughout his text
serves a dual function it illustrates how there can be a story about anything, and a writer
can easily connect stories to ideas; and it creates camaraderie between Lambert and the
reader, encouraging the reader to follow Lambert along in this journey. He tells of the
power of story it allows the reader to intimately connect with the storyteller on an
emotional level (12), and through his stories in this digital storytelling guidebook, he
attempts to create this intimacy as well.
Lambert uses this type of narrative throughout his guidebook, sharing his
experiences with digital storytelling or having others tell their experiences while
facilitating the digital storytelling process. Throughout the text are five interludes,
chapters that separate sections of the book. These interludes describe a digital story that
was created through a CDS program and then include reflective narratives by the
facilitator who helped shape the authors story. These stories also practice what the CDS
preaches, describing moments in time and then using those moments to create feelings
and connections with the readers of the guidebook. By allowing the reader to be present
in that moment in time, these stories create an intimate connection with the reader and
model how effective storytelling can be.
In the digital storytelling guidebook genre, the narrative feature is mostly
controlled and used for a specific purpose to preview or explicate main ideas. The
places in the text where the authors use this narrative, however, differ (See Table 4.1).
Lambert and Alexander use this structure throughout, while Ohler, Frazel, and Miller
show more restraint with
narrative, mainly utilizing this writing style in the introduction. Ohler, in Chapter 1,
introduces the reader to concepts of digital storytelling through his Confessions of a
Digital Storytelling Teacher and shares stories about his first cell phone, his exposure to
computers and BASIC coding in the 1980s, and the first computer writing assignment he
Table 4.1: Textual Features Where Authors Use Narrative
Authors Introductory Features Separated from Main Text Embedded throughout Text
assigned. Miller writes about her first experience teaching digital stories in a second-
grade classroom and the take-aways of what she learned about the process. Frazel is an
outlier in this genre feature her experiences and personal stories are almost entirely
absent from her guidebook, save from the authors introduction.
It is in Alexanders guidebook that the importance of narrative is illustrated.
Alexander creates a structure where he uses narrative to preview main points of his
chapters, offering italicized narrative-style introductions to the chapters. These scenes
offer the same facets of storytelling that the authors deem so important they show a
specific moment in time and rely on description to relay a story and, ultimately, a
message that the chapter will later convey. For instance, Chapter 9 is meant to discuss
how mobile devices can be used for digital storytelling. The chapter begins with a short
scene, italicized to set it apart from the body of the chapter. In this italicized story,
Alexander describes a scene on a train showing how Olga and Vladimir interact with
their mobile devices, Olga as a consumer of media and Vladimir as a creator (139). The
main thesis of this chapter is that mobile phones are global computing platforms and
may become the ultimate digital storytelling device (139). However, by showing this
with a story illustrating the myriad uses of mobile devices in both consuming and
creating media, Alexander also models how narrative can convey information and
emotion, just as digital stories should do.
While this print-model structure certainly is not a digital story these books dont
utilize technology or digitality to present multimedia stories this type of narrative
structure is still a key component of digital storytelling, especially in the definition of
digital storytelling the authors provide. In his introduction, Alexander explains the
inclusion of these stories, calling them narrative epigraphs that serve as examples of
the practices to be covered (xvi). He also notes that while some of the scenes are true
stories, others are mildly fictionalized accounts or design fiction. The fact that some
of these stories are more based in reality than others but are still included in this
guidebook is a testament to the perceived power of a narrative account, and how
framing a concept within a story can be a powerful way to transmit ideas. Even though
Alexander doesnt have a completely true story to share, he creates one to help preview
the concept he wants his chapter to highlight. While Lambert and Alexander disagree on
the need for truth in stories Lambert would disavow fictionalized accounts this
continuum of truth in the digital storytelling guidebooks also highlights the different
ways that Lambert and Alexander define digital storytelling and their differing
ideologies. Alexander believes that digital storytelling can transcend the CDS model -
and that digital storytelling is found within multiple platforms and serves a broader
purpose than the digital storytelling of the CDS.
Just as the genre feature of personal narratives help introduce and frame the
concepts authors are attempting to explain, the genre feature of authors personal
experiences help eliminate the distance between the author and reader and create a more
intimate relationship. Using Parodis moves analysis lens, I found these personal
experiences tended to show weakness, uncertainty about aspects of technology, or
moments where an aspect of digital storytelling was challenging to the author (or
someone the author was working with). By positioning themselves (or people they were
working with) in this place of vulnerability, the authors create a space where it made it
acceptable for the readers to also feel vulnerable and then positioned the authors as the
soothsayers for this vulnerability. For instance, in Millers foreword, the author explains,
how she, a novice with technology, could use this book to help others (like her nephew)
create a digital story. Likewise, Frazel in recounting her experiences with technology,
discusses her successes and failures and describes how she has helped technophobes
with her low-fat, low-stress style in teaching technology. Ohler also adopts this type of
framework, attempting to comfort the reader that your technical skill level doesnt
matter nearly as much as you thought (xii).
This type of language may make some readers feel relieved, happy that the
authors can help them learn technology, no matter the severity of their technophobia.
However, this type of attitude is self-defeating and reinforces some of the stereotypes that
exist that educators are digitally illiterate and unable to even use, let alone teach,
technology. The National Writing Project discusses how language can construct
teachers as technology-resistant digital immigrants reluctant to change (DeVoss,
Eidman-Aadahl, and Hicks 135). The authors discussion of technology and use of
mollifying language that surround digital media perpetuates this stereotype, and this
negatively impacts educators. If authors framed this idea differently, in a way that
highlights technology as an enjoyable way to enhance learning for teachers and students
alike (DeVoss, Eidman-Aadahl, and Hicks 135), authors could still create the healthy
and intimate atmosphere they want to achieve with their guidebooks. However, this
atmosphere would not place readers at an intellectually or technologically lower place
that they need to fight to overcome.
Authors Use of Personal Pronouns
Just as the inclusion of narrative helps to create a relationship between author and
reader in digital storytelling guidebooks, the language the author uses can also help forge
this relationship. One feature that is consistent among the genre of digital storytelling
guidebooks is the use of personal pronouns, especially in the introductory sections of the
guidebooks. This language is more informal and conversational than the language most
how-to guidebooks or technical writing, which tend to avoid pronoun use and instead use
more directive language and imperative voice, where the sentences subject is understood
(Blake and Bly; Killingsworth and Gilbert; Thayer and Evans). This pronoun use serves
to eliminate the distance between the author and reader, which helps to inspire the reader
that adopting this new technology is not an impossible task, that it is something that the
reader will not be doing alone.
The use of personal pronouns, especially I and We, aligns with digital
storytellings mission of telling personal stories and writing in the first person, and it
creates a personal connection between the author and reader, especially when the authors
use we. While some digital storytelling guidebook authors use mostly first person
(singular and plural), there are moments when they shift to using second person, which
creates a distancing between the author and reader and also creates a hierarchy of
authority. In this section, I will analyze how a genre feature of digital storytelling
guidebooks is the use of personal pronouns, how and where the authors use personal
pronouns, and the rhetorical effects of these choices.
In order to examine pronoun use in the introductory features of the digital
storytelling guidebooks, I input the introductions of each book into Microsoft Word, and
then counted the number of total words in each introduction as well as the number of
pronouns (including contracted pronouns). I determined the percentage of pronouns per
total number of words (See Figure 4.1) as well as the percentage of types of pronouns
(case and number) per total number of pronouns (See Figure 4.2). With the exception of
Alexanders guidebook, the other digital storytelling guidebooks contained roughly the
same amount of pronoun use, falling within the range of 5.19% and 7.79%. More so, the
authors avoided using third person pronouns (falling within the range of 22.0% and
28.8% of total pronoun use), instead relying on the first and second person.
This choice of words serves an important rhetorical function, helping to create a
Figure 4.1: Total Number of Pronouns in Introduction
sense of community between the guidebook authors and the future creators and
facilitators of digital stories. For example, in Millers introduction, she writes, If I can
teach digital storytelling, you can. Moreover, after you read this book, I hope you will
want to (2). In speaking directly to the reader, and by referencing herself in the sentence,
she enters into a conversation with the reader, offering support and the challenge to join
her community of digital storytelling advocates. Ohler, in his preface, offers the same
support, acknowledging that technology is a bit scary but that he can help. If youre a
little queasy about using computers or other digital technology, Part III of this book
should help set your mind at ease. I provide a step-by-step approach ... (xii). Again, by
addressing the reader explicitly, acknowledging his or her concerns and then by using an
authoritative I, Ohler creates a relationship between author and reader and provides the
Figure 4.2: Personal Pronouns Broken Down By Case and Number
illusion of closeness that he and the reader will tackle the readers aversion to
technology together. Frazel continues this thread of togetherness in using first and second
person in the same you how to apply digital storytelling into the readers classroom and
pedagogical practice (3).
Lambert also creates a connection between the reader offering encouragement
and also presuming the reader wants to be a part of this connection by using a large
number of personal pronouns in his introduction to his reader, often using first person and
second person in the same sentence. However, he moves even closer to the reader,
choosing to use we. In using first person plural, he creates a connection between author
and reader, inviting the reader to join him in his crusade to create meaningful digital
stories together. By writing Through digital storytelling, we all can become storytellers
again, Lambert places the reader alongside him in the journey to create digital stories,
eliminating the distance both physical and philosophical between author and reader.
We, in contrast to I or you denotes the presence of a team, which allows the reader
to feel supported in his or her crusade to accomplish something new or challenging
(Keogh 13). This use of we, this creation of a team, serves as a rallying technique,
empowering the reader to not only learn how to create and facilitate digital stories, but to
join the community of digital storytellers and adopt the ideology that Lambert presents.
However, this use of we is highly presumptive and can be read as
condescending at times Lambert is assuming that the reader is on the same page as he,
that the reader wants to work in this collaborative nature, that the reader buys into what
Lambert is selling. Of course, Lamberts assumption that his readers are willingly going
along on the journey he is setting forth is par for the course he does not discuss how
there can be resistance along the way. To Lambert, the digital storytelling process is a
collaborative process, and this dedication to working together is what helps define the
digital storytelling guidebook as a genre the use of personal pronouns (and a
combination of grammatical person with first and second person used in the same
sentence) is not normally found in guidebooks.
The digital storytelling guidebooks inclusion of second person pronouns goes
against the trend of most guidebooks, and this use of second person eliminates the
distance between author and reader. More often than not, a guidebook adheres to style
rules of technical writing, where personal pronouns are not typically used (Reep).
Typically, if guidebooks were to use second person, it would be only for directive or
procedural directions, with the subject of you understood. Technical writing guides
advise an author to use imperative voice, which then eliminates the need to address the
reader as you (Blake & Bly 151). According to Kitagawa and Lehrer, this works to
create a distance between the author and the reader, and it depersonalizes the readers
journey of learning whatever the guidebook is teaching.
However, the use of second person in digital storytelling guidebooks does not
have a depersonalizing effect. Instead, it serves to personalize the digital storytelling
process, and authors use second person to connect with the reader, to directly address
their needs, concerns, and issues. The authors use of you in the digital storytelling
guidebooks creates a sense of camaraderie, inviting the reader into the authors world
view (Kitagawa and Lehrer 752). This addressing the audience using an informal you
allows the authors to speak to the reader directly and invoke membership categories,
which simultaneously gives the author credibility while also allowing the reader to
identify and witness the experiences of the author (Stirling and Manderson 1597). Frazel
and Ohler use second person primarily in their writing, with Frazel using second person
for 58% of pronoun use in her introduction and Ohler using second person 44.3% of total
pronoun use. This use of you is consistent with Kitagawas and Lehrers claim that
you can create a sense of camaraderie in both Frazels and Ohlers texts, the authors
attempt to put the reader at ease, coming from a place of authority and knowledge but
also encouraging the reader that creating and facilitating digital stories is something that
the reader can achieve with little frustration or strife.
Many of the genre features Fve described in this section personal narrative,
author experiences, and the use of personal pronouns harken to a more informal, less-
technical style of writing in contrast to the type of language that how-to guidebooks
usually possess. But it is these stylistic choices that help define the digital storytelling
genre and help cement its importance in the field. By sharing their personal experiences
and moments, the authors are highlighting how this type of storytelling can produce a
rhetorical effect to the reader. By using stories to help explicate more difficult ideas or
theories, authors are giving the reader more information and more ways to recognize and
process this information.
Digital storytelling guidebook authors, in offering these narratives and personal
examples, help show the human side to a multimedia technique and help illustrate the
power of a well-told story, something that every digital story should possess. While
some of these genre features are problematic some pronoun use can be highly
assumptive and can actually alienate readers the informal style of writing makes the
topic less intimidating and can serve to put an anxious reader at ease. In aiming to write
within the genre, potential digital storytelling guidebook authors should work to fully
integrate these genre features in a more consistent manner, to make the texts more
approachable, the subject matter less daunting, and more enjoyable to read.
My Story of Personal Connections
While many of the personal examples offered in digital storytelling guidebooks
highlight struggle, most have a happy ending the desired outcome is met. My personal
experience with the facilitation process has a somewhat happy ending, although there
were points where we all were willing to give up. This happy ending only occurred
because both the author and the CDS facilitators were willing to compromise. By sharing
my experiences with my first digital storytelling workshop with this reluctant participant,
and by using language with him that made me more of a peer figure instead of a
supervisor, I was able to make this student feel more comfortable and feel as if he still
maintained a majority voice in his writing process.
Josh seemed uneasy at the digital storytelling workshop in June 2011. He was
younger than most of the participants by at least 15 years, and he had been strong armed
into attending his mother was a close friend of the CDS and there was a spot that
needed filling at the last minute. After hearing everyone else share their story ideas -
serious topics including a womans battle with breast cancer; a mothers fight for doctors
to treat her disabled daughter with fairness and empathy; a daughter processing
abandonment by her father he shares his idea. My best friends are getting married, and
I want to make a video for them as a wedding present.
We workshop facilitators glance at each other, wondering who will be paired with
him during the three-day workshop. His idea is not novel many newcomers attend a
workshop wanting to make a video for a specific purpose but his vision does not match
the mission of the Center for Digital Storytelling, and the facilitator tasked with working
with him will need to find a way to persuade him to tell a story that is personal to him and
that adheres to the CDS definition of a digital story. I became that facilitator; my semi-
youthful appearance, my experience with creating a more humorous digital story, also
about a wedding, and my struggles with finding my story meant that I had a way to relate
to the possible struggles Josh would have with the three-day process.
Just as the digital storytelling guidebooks use personal experiences to help create
camaraderie between author and reader (and often use a struggle trope within these
experiences to show the reader that anything is possible), I adopted this type of tactic to
help Josh see how his struggles werent unique and that I understood his concerns with
losing himself in the story that he thought we wanted him to create. I found myself using
a lot of first person, framing what I saw happening in his process with my own
experiences and the emotions that accompanied them. I even showed him my digital story
about my wedding, and I pointed to places within the story that had changed throughout
the process and the effects those edits had on the story.
While there is nothing in the digital storytelling guidebooks that offer this
approach for working with students reluctant to adopt the given model, I can see the
connection between the facilitation style I used and how the guidebooks themselves
facilitate the process. This nurturing approach, which is highly empathic and relies on
reading the emotional cues the student is giving the facilitator, worked on this particular
person. However, I can see it just as easily backfiring on a different type of personality -
just as I can see the language used in digital storytelling guidebooks coming across as
patronizing and presumptive. While I would keep this facilitation approach in my tool kit
to use with certain students, I would definitely think about whether this method would
work or backfire horribly.
AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVERY AFTER:
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT DIGITAL STORYTELLING GUIDEBOOKS
TO CREATE A RESPECTFUL, EFFECTIVE EXPERIENCE
The following two days were difficult at times Josh shut down because
he felt that the digital storytelling format required more from him than he
felt he could give the fact that his story was funny as opposed to tragic,
like the other participants stories, made him feel as if it was less
important. I found ways to reframe the term digital story, and instead
began calling it a video toast. We looked at examples of good wedding
toasts, and saw how the best toasts were speeches that included stories or
information that only the toast-giver could offer.
I encouraged him to tell me stories about him and his friends and wrote
down what he dictated. After finding an interesting story about him and
his friends he then felt comfortable working through some of the CDS
steps, although he was still suspicious of the process and worried that the
final project would be something he didn 7 feel comfortable sharing.
Ultimately, with a heavy-metal soundtrack, some time recording his script
in the sound studio (and working on emoting energy and happiness in his
voice), and some help in adding visuals and quick-cut transitions, he
walked away with a story that he loved-and a story that fit within the
mission of the CDS.
This workshop brought up a lot of concerns I had with the digital storytelling
facilitation process, as both my experiences with the story about my mothers cancer and
the Joshs reticence with the process indicated that not all digital storytelling processes
go smoothly. I felt my story change significantly throughout the week, and these changes,
while ultimately appropriate for my reasoning for telling the story and audience, didnt
feel appropriate at the time. Likewise, I felt that my direction for this young mans story
was heavy handed and although he had an illusion of choice and input, in reality, the
story shifted from something he wanted to tell to something we wanted him to tell. I
recognized that these were not isolated incidents, that the curriculum geared toward
digital storytelling is designed to help authors create stories that fit within the genre.
This is not to say that digital storytelling guidebooks are evil texts that dismiss the
authorial process and shouldnt be used. This genre provides a well-needed resource for
educators and facilitators interested in using digital storytelling. The books, however,
need to be used as the guides and not as set-in-stone laws. Recognizing how the genre
perpetuates an ideology and dictates specific structures of digital stories is a first step,
and hopefully this awareness can help educators create a curriculum that meets the need
of the group using it, adopting a definition of digital story that best fits the intended
teaching outcome or creating a new definition of digital story that accomplishes this
Weaving Composition and Rhetoric into Digital Storytelling
In this project, I have used several theoretical lenses within genre theory to argue
that digital storytelling guidebooks comprise a genre, and that the shared history of digital
storytelling, the ways the authors define and structure the scripts of digital stories, and the
authors use of narrative and personal experiences are features that are consistent among
the guidebooks. I also argue, that while all of these function on a pragmatic level -
helping the reader create a digital story, they also serve a strategic function to
perpetuate the philosophy of digital storytelling and continue Lamberts movement of
creating powerful digital stories that can change the world. Some of the curricula,
especially these pragmatic functions, are transparent about what constitutes a digital story
(and how facilitators should guide authors into creating stories that adhere to the genre).
However, much of this ideology and philosophy is embedded deep within the textual
features of the curriculum. This projects closer analysis to see how the features do this
and how facilitators can be mindful of these issues is a first step in ensuring that digital
story creators are achieving what they need from the digital storytelling process.
My main critiques of digital storytelling guidebooks lay in the border between
what the guidebooks authors purport they do empower a writer to create a meaningful
digital story that sheds light on an inner question and what the genre features of digital
storytelling guidebooks actually do present a philosophy of digital storytelling that is
restrictive and a curriculum that doesnt fully emphasize the digitality of digital stories,
all while using language that while engaging, is presumptive and condescending at times.
This project, in examining these genre features and the pragmatic and strategic functions
they achieve, illustrates that digital storytelling guidebooks have room to improve. This
improvement is necessary both in how they identify and address the audience as well as
how they frame digital storytelling in a larger sense, within the realm of digitality as well
as what functions digital stories can and should have and how they can achieve these
(lofty or modest) goals.
Areas of Further Study
To me, examining digital storytelling guidebooks is simply the first step in
researching digital stories, their place in the post-secondary composition curriculum, and
their potential effects on student writers. This textual analysis is important these
guidebooks can often be the major source material an educator has to develop a
curriculum, as in-person workshops and professional development arent always
affordable or practical. These guidebooks can influence how an educator teaches and
facilitiates the digital storytelling process. This project, however, doesnt extend past the
texts themselves and a project that studies how the guidebooks are being used in
context (and examining the effects of the curriculum) is an important continuation of this
study. In future studies, I would like to explore how teachers implement digital
storytelling in the post-secondary composition classroom, and I would like to design a
case study that examines how the students respond to the curriculum and how it changes
their writing process and written work. I also think that there is a great potential for
studying how English Language Learner students adapt to the digital storytelling format,
as well as seeing how digital storytelling can be used to create a more accessible type of
writing for students with disabilities.
As digital storytelling has morphed into a methodological tool for research, I
would also like to find a way to incorporate digital storytelling into the methodology of
my research using digital stories about digital storytelling to help capture research
subjects experiences, helping show readers examples of digital storytelling as well as
showing the varied (and legitimate) uses digital stories can have in academia. While I
have long been a convert to the power of digital storytelling, there are still skeptics out
there but I believe that, as technology becomes more ingrained in our lives, this method
of communication and writing will be accepted for its merits and potential.
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DIGITAL ARGUMENT CURRICULUM
Unit: Digital Argument
Grade Level: College Composition
Estimated Time: 10-12 lessons, 75-minutes
After teaching Core Composition courses during the past four semesters, Eve come to
realize that students prefer assignments that allow them the freedom to choose topics that
interest them, and I prefer grading assignments that illustrate these interests, show a
personal connection to the material, and produce arguable claims that demand a call for
In this writing project, students will identify a topic that is compelling enough to sustain
their interest over a large chunk of the semester, explore their connection to the topic (and
motives for choosing the topic), research the topic, and then create a 5-minute digital
composition that presents a solid argument. This digital argument will include a recorded
voiceover narrative, sound effects and music, and images (still or video). The audio and
images offer additional rhetorical devices for the students to present their arguments, and
the multimodal composition component creates an opportunity for students to explore
and utilize digital rhetoric as well as an outlet for easy publication online.
While this writing project may not seem like there is much writing involved, the early
stages of the project include lots of writing: a research proposal, exploratory essay,
annotated bibliography, multiple drafts of the voice-over script, and a reflection on the
final project. This project, which encourages critical reading, the development of an
arguable claim, developing research skills and the ability to evaluate resources, and using
a variety of appeals and rhetorical devices to present a persuasive argument, fits well
within a composition classroom and the composition programs outcomes. It helps
students develop multiple literacies, including visual and digital literacies, which not only
expands their abilities to think critically about the world around them but also to compose
using these literacies.
Students may have varying degrees of familiarity with technology, so I will gauge
knowledge and access at the beginning of the semester with a technology survey. The
assignment sequences builds in skills to help learn the technology, so most will feel
comfortable by this point in the semester. Additional technology tutorials are available.
II. Featured Resources
Types of Argument handout: This handout offers heuristics for different types of
arguments, including proposal argument, solution arguments, and Rogerian
Visual rhetoric handout: This resource explores different ways to rhetorically
analyze visuals, examining both the composition of the images as well as how to
put images together to create impact.
Digital argument assignment sheet: This worksheet explains the assignment, the
required elements of the digital argument, and the process the students will use to
build the digital argument including information about the proposal, annotated
bibliography, exploratory essay, and final digital argument.
Digital argument rubric: This rubric, which we will create together in class, gives
students insight into how the digital argument will be assessed.
Digital argument script peer review: This offers specific ways students can give
other students feedback on their work. It explains a story circle format and looks
at ways students can ask questions of the writer to help them examine their own
Technology wiki/ tutorial exercises: This wiki offers detailed instructions about
using digital recorders, editing audio with Audacity and GarageBand, editing
video with iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, and JayCut. It also includes files
students can download to then practice with.
Examples of digital arguments: I will show students examples of previous
students work (with their permission, of course) as well as other types of digital
arguments created by professionals.
This curriculum aligns with the following UCD Composition Program Outcomes:
Purposeful Writing. Student writing successfully addresses academic and non-
academic audiences by adopting clear and consistent purposes, as well as
appropriate organization, tone, and format, according to genre.
Revision and the Writing Process. Students produce multiple drafts. Student
writing demonstrates careful revision in response to commentary from peers
(when relevant) and the instructor.
Argument and Analysis. Students write persuasively and analytically. Student
writing contains convincing arguments and is supported with evidence.
Research. Student writing evidences understandings of citation and website
validity, and avoids plagiarism. At the intermediate level, student writing
integrates credible academic research.
Technology and Multimodality. Students function in electronic writing spaces,
and use technology to compose, revise, and present their writing. At the
intermediate level, students analyze and/or produce visual, audio, and online texts,
while working half-time in computer classrooms.
IV. Resources and Preparation
Materials and Technology:
Computer lab with Audacity, Windows Movie Maker, internet access; course
wiki; examples of digital arguments; argument handout; digital argument
assignment description and rubric; digital argument peer review guidelines; ix
visualizing composition exercises; storyboarding worksheet; audio essay
rhetorical strategies handout; copyright/fair use worksheet;
Printouts (paper or electronic handouts you will give students)
Include: argument handout; digital argument assignment description and rubric;
digital argument peer review guidelines; ix visualizing composition exercises;
storyboarding worksheet; audio essay rhetorical strategies handout; copyright/fair
Center for Digital Storytelling: Storycenter.org
Course wiki: http://ucdenglishcorecompositionsmilack.wikispaces.com/
o This site, still under development, offers help with technology, including
instructions for using digital recorders, audio editing software, non-linear
video editing software, and tutorials for students to practice using the
software. Eventually, it will include handouts and assignment sheets,
which currently are posted on the courses Blackboard site. I can also
envision using the discussion function on this website to encourage
students to help each other with issues they are having while composing.
Visual analysis skills; research proposal; exploratory essay; research skills;
annotated bibliography; research outline
V. Instructional Plan
SESSION 1: Types of argument (proposal, solution, Rogerian)
identify different types of arguments (and understand the elements that differentiate types
brainstorm proposal argument topics
identify elements necessary for an effective research proposal
1. Students freewrite: When creating an argument, what is most important? Students
share with class list on the board.
2. Show Monty Pythons argument clinic. Ask question: If you were to create a real
argument clinic, what would you have there? What types of argument could happen
3. Introduce different types of arguments (handout)
4. Divide students into groups, and hand out examples of arguments. As a group, students
will look at the argument and identify the type of argument. They will create a list of
elements that helped them decide what type of argument they were examining.
5. Freewrite: Brainstorm types of things youd like to research. Pick topics that you think
you could offer a concrete solution to help change the way things are currently.
6. Introduce research proposal assignment (handout) and list the things the proposal must
Homework: Write a 1-page research proposal for your final project.
Reading: Read 3 articles posted on Blackboard (examples of personal narrative).
Define and identify elements found within the personal narrative genre
Identify their personal connection to their research topic
Understand expectations for the exploratory essay
1. Writing opportunity: Provide a 2-3 sentence summary of the three articles you read.
Then describe elements they had in common? How did they differ?
2. Discuss writing opportunity. Look at the three pieces. Identify global elements,
paragraph level elements, and sentence level elements. Make sure to discuss language
3. Introduce exploratory essay assignment.
4. Freewrite: What is your personal connection to your research topic? Describe a
moment when you realized this issue was important to you. How does a solution to this
issue affect you personally?
5. Share freewrite with partner.
Homework: Write exploratory essay.
Receive quality feedback on their exploratory essay from their peers.
Give quality feedback for their peers exploratory essays.
Create a revision plan to help guide their rewrites.
1. Divide students into peer groups. I keep students in the same groups all semester,
unless there are issues that need to be addressed. Groups were created based on interests
in research, a diverse ability level, and student attitude/personality.
Students have enough copies of essays for each group member. Students will each read
the same essay at the same time. When reading, restrain yourself: Dont write on the
essay yet. Then, answer these questions as a group. The author should also read his or her
essay during this time and reflect on these questions.
What are your favorite moments?
What moments are confusing? Are there places in the text where you, as a reader,
How is the essay organized? Does it contain the benchmarks of a narrative? Is the order
of the story effective (with hook, problem, and solution)?
Is the "problem" clearly identified? Are you convinced it is a problem?
Are there things that, as a reader, you still want to see addressed?
Talk about one essay at a time, and then assess your peers' scripts using the rubric. What
areas need to be addressed? (Be specific.)
Repeat with each group members essay.
2. Reflection: Describe the peer review process. What was helpful? What wasnt helpful?
What questions do you have for the instructor? What steps do you think you will need to
complete to revise your draft?
Homework: Email a revision plan for the exploratory essay.
Learn strategies for completing research using the online library website.
Learn strategies for evaluating sources.
Learn strategies for organizing citations and avoiding asset loss.
Understand expectations for annotated bibliography and digital argument assignment.
1. Arrange for librarian to give a tour of the librarys website, with a heavy emphasis on
database searches and up-to-date articles. (This requires at least 2-3 weeks notice, but the
librarians are a wonderful resource to help show students how to use the features.)
2. Show the students ways how to manage resources. I show them citation software
(Sente, Zotaro, Endnote), but it can be as simple as a word document with the citations
and google docs or a flash drive with pdfs.
2. Break students up into groups of 4. Assign them a random topic (I stay away from
topics theyve been researching) and have them use the library database and find as many
sources as possible. They compile a works cited list (with proper citation format) and
then decide which source is most likely the most useful and credible source. They share
with the class. Write the students reasons for why the sources are credible and useful. As
the students share, they should see more reasons why some sources are better than others.
At the end of the activity, the students turn in the works cited. I typically use an extra-
credit incentive, but this isnt really necessary.
3. Introduce the annotated bibliography assignment and digital argument assignment.
Because the annotated bibliography is gathering research for the digital argument, its
best to introduce these assignments at the same time so students feel more comfortable
with what theyre supposed to be researching. Read the assignment descriptions out
loud, and answer any questions as they occur. At this point, you can create a rubric
together, or let the students, as homework, brainstorm criteria for assessment than can be
put on a rubric later in the unit.
Homework: Exploratory essay rewrite due. Annotated bibliography due in a week or
week and a half.
View and analyze a sampling of digital arguments.
Identify what elements comprise a digital argument genre.
Identify visual, textual, audio, and narrative tracks in a digital argument.
1. Explain that students will be completing a genre analysis on a new type of
composition, a digital argument. As they watch a digital argument, they need to list the
elements they observe (which could mean see, hear, or feel).
2. Play an excerpt from The Story of Stuff. Students take notes while watching.
3. Play an excerpt from a student example. Students take notes while watching.
4. After students compile their lists, they share similarities and differences they saw in the
pieces. Together, we compile a list that helps create guidelines for creating their digital
5. Discuss the idea of different tracks in each story: a visual track (the images you see
on screen); audio track (the music or sound effects you hear); narration track (the
speakers voice); and textual track (any words that appear on screen).
6. Play a narration track only (I usually pick a short piece from NPR and hand out a
transcript of the narration). After they listen to the piece, have them create a storyboard
that adds in the other tracks they can just describe images and sounds or do rough
7. Have the students share their storyboards on the document camera (or on the board).
Homework: Write a first draft of digital argument script
Learn a different style of peer review the story circle.
Create questions about their writing that they would like their peers to address.
Listen to their peers scripts.
Offer constructive feedback while encouraging the writer to articulate and talk through
his or her own concerns.
1. Introduce the idea of story circle and explain how it may feel different than other
peer reviews weve done in the past. A story circle is an opportunity for a writer to share
a piece of writing with no prelude or apology and then have a group of listeners
provide feedback based on the writers wishes. Encourage the members of the story
circles to ask more questions than provide answers, which can allow the writer to clarify
intentions and talk through the process.
2. Students take 5-10 minutes to silently create a list of questions they would like to
answer about their piece of writing.
3. Story circle begins: A student takes a deep breath and begins to read his or her script
out loud. After he or she is finished reading, the group remains silent for a moment. Then,
the reader asks a question he or she would like discussed. The group members provide
feedback based on that question, and then the reader asks another question. This
continues for 10-15 minutes, and then the next group member reads his or her script out
4. Freewrite: After the story circle is finished, students will write a reflection about the
review process as well as create a list of questions they would like the instructor to
address when reading their scripts.
5. Students begin working on revising their drafts either by creating a detailed list of
things theyd like to address, or by simply starting to rewrite.
Homework: Final draft of script.
Discuss an article about the rhetoric of music.
Identify the rhetorical function of music in various video clips.
Identify the emotion in music.
Brainstorm types of music to use in their digital argument.
1. Writing Opportunity: What is Claudia Gorbmans main argument in the article
Aesthetics and Rhetoric? What examples/evidence does she use to support her
argument? What is Carla Fellers main argument in the article What a Wonderful
World: The Rhetoric of the Official and the Unofficial in Good Morning Vietnam?
What examples/evidence does she use to support her argument?
2. Use students work from Writing Opportunity (aka Reading Quiz) to guide discussion
about the main rhetorical functions of music.
3. Reiterate main points of articles with Prezi, and transition into identification of how
music adds rhetorical effect to visuals.
4. Play clips of instrumental music. In a Think/Pair/Share structure, have students draw a
circle on a piece of paper and then draw the emotion the music makes them feel, in the
form of a facial expression on the circle. Share and discuss.
5. As an exit ticket, have students write the different emotions they want their argument
to evoke. As homework, they will need to find a piece of music that accomplishes this.
Practice editing a short audio clip.
Practice adding music to audio.
Import audio and images into a non-linear editing software.
Export and email a rough edit.
1. While some students may be more comfortable with technology than others, its
usually beneficial to give students the opportunity to work with software before they are
overwhelmed with finishing a final project. This lab time tutorial provides a quick, easy
way for students to get an introduction to the software as well as to see the wealth of tech
support available online.
2. Student download the tutorial files from the course wiki.
3. As a group, have students import audio files into Audacity.
4. Let students choose a 30-second clip and delete the rest of the audio.
5. Students import music file and sync with audio.
6. Students export audio as an mp3.
7. Students import audio into Windows Movie Maker.
8. Students search for related images and import into WMM.
9. Students create a rough edit (pairing images with the narration) and export as a
10. If students get stuck, either provide help or have them watch youtube videos that are
also on the course wiki. If students finish with time to spare, they can either work on a
rough edit of their digital argument or can help others students who may need help.
Homework: Record script, begin rough edit of digital argument.
Structured lab time for students to work on digital argument. This is an opportunity for
students to get time in front of a computer while the instructor (and peers) can offer
technical support and feedback.
Share their digital arguments
Answer questions about their projects
Reflect on their composing process
1. Over a two-class period, students will screen and take audience questions about their
digital argument. Students sign up for time slots, and there is an extra-credit incentive for
2. Students introduce their digital argument and screen it. Following the piece, students
may ask questions about the production of the digital argument or about the argument
3. Popcorn and caffeinated beverages often help fuel good discussions.
4. The students will turn in their digital arguments on a flash drive or DVD, as well as a
formal final reflection that describes their experiences in producing the digital argument.
VI. Student Assessment and Reflection
Ultimately, the digital argument will be graded for how effectively the argument is
presented; how the author weaves his or her personal connection to the topic in with
outside research; if a valid solution is proposed; and how the author uses visuals and
audio to create rhetorical appeals to the audience. Include rubric.
Students will also need to reflect on their experience in creating these projects and they
will do so throughout the process in informal reflections (through free writes and email)
as well in a more formal, final reflection when they turn in their final project. This
reflection will ask the students to discuss their experience working with the project, the
technology, and share impressions of their most successful aspect of the project as well as
areas where they feel they could still improve.
VII. Related Resources
Gorbman, Cynthia. Aesthetics and Rhetoric. American Music 22.1 (2004) 14-26. Print.
Fellers, Carla A. What a Wonderful World: The Rhetoric of the Official and the
Unofficial in Good Morning Vietnam. War, Literature & the Arts: An
International Journal of the Humanities 17.1/2 (2005): 232-241. Print.
Argument: A Review
In successful arguments, authors know their purpose for writing and think about the
audience for whom they are writing.
Types of arguments
Position argument: the writer makes a claim about a controversial issue.
o In a successful position argument the writer:
Defines the issue
Takes a clear position
Makes a convincing argument and acknowledges opposing views.
Proposal argument: the writer proposes a course of action in response to a
recognizable problem. The proposal outlines what can be done to improve the
situation or change it altogether
o In a successful proposal argument, the writer:
Defines the problem
Proposes a solution or solutions
The solution or solutions must work, and they must be feasible.
Definition argument: the writer sets out criteria and then argues that whatever is
being defined meets or does not meet those criteria
o In a successful definition argument, the writer:
Makes a definitional claim
Thinks about what is at stake. Is the issue controversial? Who
argues the opposite of the claim? Why or how do they benefit from
a different definition?
Lists the criteria for the definition
Analyzes the potential readers.
Causal argument: the writer creates claim that suggests that x causes y (or x
does not causey; or x causesy which, in turn, causes z)
o In a successful causal argument the writer:
Moves beyond the obvious to get at underlying causes
Does not mistake correlation for causation
Examines immediate causes, background causes, hidden causes
and causes most people have not recognized.
Evaluation argument: the writer sets out criteria and then judges something to
be good or bad or best or worst according to those criteria.
o In a successful evaluation argument the writer:
Makes an evaluative claim based on criteria.
Lists the criteria and decides which criteria make something good
or bad, which criteria are the most important, and which criteria
are obvious and which he or she will have to argue for.
Narrative argument: tells a compelling story. Readers infer a claim and the
reasons that support that claim.
o In a successful narrative argument, the writer:
Establishes that the narrative is truthful and representative of more
than one persons experience.
The incident is representative. The argument is more effective if
there is more than one incident.
Includes detail and the significance of the event
Rebuttal argument: the writer refutes another persons argument by
emphasizing the shortcomings of that argument without making a positive case of
his or her own. The writer can also provide counterargument, which emphasizes
the strengths of the position he or she wishes to support.
o In a successful rebuttal argument, the writer:
Identifies a claim to argue against as well as its main claim
Examines the facts on which the claim is based.
Examines the assumptions on which the claim is based.
Visual Rhetoric Handout
A good argument includes:
Claim that is interesting and interests and engages your audience.
At least one good reason that makes your claim worth taking seriously.
Some evidence that the good reason or reasons are valid.
Some acknowledgment of the opposing views and limitations of the claim.
Visual arguments are often powerful because they invite viewers to co-
create the claims and links. For example, art to convey a religious
Visual metaphor: the use of an image that represents an abstract concept to
make a visual analogy. The viewer is invited to make the connection
between the images and the concept. (This is your brain on drugs.)
Images and graphics might not make an argument on their own, but they
are frequently used to support arguments.
o Photographs, tables, charts, and graphs.
What is the context?
Who is the audience?
Who is the designer/author?
What is the subject?
What is the medium/genre?
Are words connected to the image or object?
What appeals are used? (Ethos, pathos, logos)
How would you characterize the style?
Foss Lecture Notes (posted to course website after class)
In A Visual Analysis of Prescription Drug Advertising Imagery: Elaborating Fosss
Rhetorical Techniques, Lawrence Mullen and Julie Fisher suggest that combining visual
rhetorician Sonja Fosss methods for rhetorically analyzing visual images can enhance
the explanatory power of rhetorical visual analysis (186). The authors first explain
Fosss methods: message formulation from images and evaluation of images. Using these
techniques, Mullen and Fisher create an elaborated method and then visually analyze an
ad for a prescription allergy medicine.
Message formulation from images (187)
1. Identify presented elements. Identify the visual concepts within an image (lines,
textures, colors, lighting, camera angles, and other identifiable visual concepts.
2. Process the presented elements. Viewer examines the presented elements and
begins to search for connotative meanings one attaches to those elements. (For
instance dark lighting is moody and scary, while bright lighting is sunny and
cheerful.) Meanings can be symbolic, religious, social, etc.
3. Formulate the message. The viewer of the image devises an assertion, message or
thesis, based on the elements and meanings the viewer finds in the image.
Evaluation of images (187)
1. Identify the function of an image, based on the physical data within the image.
This data includes: Subject matter, medium, materials, forms, colors. A function
should be differentiated from the creators purpose. Interpretations are up to the
2. Assess the function of an image. How well is the function communicated?
3. Examine the connection between the function and the image elements that support
or create the function in the first place.
The elements are seen as the building blocks of the image (188). As a reader of this
image, do you think the elements help support the function of the image? This is not
about the intent of the author it is about how the receiver analyzes the image!
Due: Monday, Oct. 17
Total possible points: 125 (Rubric will be posted online)
All too often, when we conduct research on a topic, its easy to get bogged down in the
sources without examining the personal motivations and assumptions about your topic.
This assignment allows you to explore these issues on a more personal level. It will also
allow you to practice some of the technological skills necessary for your final project this
The assignment: In 3-4 pages, discuss the topic you are choosing to research for the final
research project: the digital argument. Think about the topic and begin answering
questions: Why do you want to research this? What is your background with the topic?
What personal connections do you have to this topic? What are your assumptions (before
research and after preliminary research?) What have you learned so far? What else do
you need to learn?
Instead of answering these questions in a list format, you need to create a narrative,
similar to the personal narrative genre we studied. While answering the questions, tell a
story. To do this, tell a story. Be specific, clear and compelling.
Here are some guidelines:
Be descriptive. Show the reader why you are connected to this topic, why it
matters to you. Pinpoint a specific moment when you realized how much this
topic affects you and describe that moment.
Name your topic of study.
Discuss your thoughts over time observations from when you first became
aware of the issue through now. Address the research you need to do to find out
Be personal. Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid
speaking in the editorial we. Write in words or phrases that are comfortable for
you to speak. This is your voice make it sound like you wrote it! Read it aloud
to make sure youve found the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief
and the way you speak.
English 2030 Exploratory Narrative Essay
Narrative style, tells a story 20 The presenter seems to be writing from knowledge or experience. The author has taken the ideas and made them "his or her own." 14 The presenter seems to be drawing on knowledge or experience, but there is some lack of ownership of the topic. 10 The writer has not tried to transform the information in a personal way. The ideas and the way they are expressed seem to belong to someone else.
Hints at argument, explores topic 35 Relevant, telling, quality details give the reader important information that goes beyond the obvious or predictable. 24.5 Supporting details and information are relevant, but one key issue or portion of the storyline is unsupported. 17.5 Supporting details and information are typically unclear or not related to the topic.
Organization 25 Organizational structure establishes relationship between/among ideas/events. 17.5 Organizational structure establishes relationships between ideas/events, although minor lapses may be present. 12.5 Organizational structure does not establish connection between/among ideas/events. The overall structure is incomplete or confusing.
Logical thought process, sentence structure, grammar and syntax 20 Demonstrates skillful sentence fluency (varies length, good flow rhythm, and varied structure). 14 Demonstrates reasonable sentence fluency. 10 Sentence fluency is lacking.
Style and tone (with purpose) 15 The presenter is able to convey his or her emotions very expressively using language and tone. 10.5 The presenter is able to convey his or her emotions expressively through language or tone (but not both). 7.5 The presenter is not able to convey his emotions well.
Comments: Total: out of 115
Jackie Smilack, English 2030-006
Due: Wed., Dec. 14
During the semester, we have examined visual rhetoric, the audio essay, ways to
present effective arguments, and the research process. Now, its time to put all of these
skills together, in the form of a digital argument. Weve spent some time looking at the
digital argument genre: it melds together images and video; audio, sometimes using
personal narrative or interviews; and music and sound effects to create a polished,
compelling argument. While you could certainly do this in a traditional research paper,
by incorporating a multimedia aspect, you have more rhetorical strategies available to use
in your argument as well as the opportunity to learn some technology along the way.
This task may seem a bit overwhelming, so Im breaking it down into some more
manageable chunks, with due dates to keep you on track.
1. Research Outline (Due 11/2 by email): Take the research youve collected and
evaluated in your annotated bibliography. Create an outline for your argument.
Im looking for something detailed, not just a simple list. Basically, youre
turning in a paper (but without transitions). In the outline, youll organize your
research, choosing the best way to present your argument. Highlight each main
idea, then list the evidence youll use to support that main idea. Remember that
evidence doesnt have to be a text-based source, it can include an interview,
personal experiences or other non-traditional sources (like a movie or song).
2. Script (First draft due 11/7, final draft due 11/16): The script will be the audio
track that will serve as your narration to your argument. We will do a peer
workshop in class, which will give you the opportunity to get feedback on the
effectiveness of your script as well as areas for improvement. The more times you
read this script out loud the better because it is an aural text, you need to hear
how it sounds. The transcript of your final script (which you will eventually
record onto an audio track and will serve as the foundation for your argument) is
due 11/16. Turning in a final script to me will allow me to give you necessary
feedback to ensure you are on the right path for an effective, compelling digital
argument BEFORE you spend precious time recording.
3. Digital argument (due Dec. 14): Now, its time to put everything together! The
final project, a five-minute digital argument, will combine your recorded script,
images, and music. You may use a variety of programs to create this digital
argument we will discuss several programs in class, including iMovie, Windows
Movie Maker and JayCut. Of course, the content of your assignment is most
important, but you will need to remain aware of digital grammar the things
that help make this genre accessible and readable. We will discuss this grammar
in class, and I suggest you leave yourself plenty of time to address the little
issues that can take much more time to fix. The digital argument is due Dec. 14,
and you must bring the file on a flash drive or DVD. You will present your
argument in class during the final exam time. If you are interested in extra credit,
we will have time in class on Dec. 7 for an early-bird show and tell. I will not
accept late assignments.
English 2030-006 Digital Argument
Argument: Thesis Thesis statement is visible in the beginning of the digital argument, is related to the essential question and provides a road map to the rest of the piece. Thesis statement is present, although it does not provide a road map for the rest of the paper. A thesis statement is missing, is not placed prominently in the paper (near the beginning), or does not relate to the essential question or arguable claim.
Argument: Research The paper uses at 6-8 reliable sources, and at least one in-depth example that relate to the diesis statement and arguable claim. Sources are identified and integrated into die argument (using summary and analysis) of each source. The paper uses 5 reliable sources and at least one in-depth example. They mostly relate to the thesis statement and arguable claim, although the connection isn't quite as clear. The sources are mostly integrated into the argument, although there may not be as much analysis. The paper uses fewer than 5 reliable sources. It is missing an in-depth example. The examples are not related to the thesis statement or essential question, or the connection is not clear. Sources are not integrated into the argument.
Argument: Organization Organizational structure establishes relationship between/among ideas/events. Organizational structure establishes relationships between ideas/events, although minor lapses may be present. Organizational structure does not establish connection between/among ideas/events. The overall stucture is incomplete or confusing.
Argument: Narrative Style The presenter seems to be writing from knowledge or experience. The author has taken the ideas and made them "his or her own." The presenter seems to be drawing on knowledge or experience, but there is some lack of ownership of the topic. The writer has not tried to transform the information in a personal way. The ideas and the way they are expressed seem to belong to someone else.
Visuals A variety of images create a distinct atmosphere or tone that matches different parts of the digital argument, while avoiding redundancy with the audio track. The images may communicate symbolism and/or metaphors. Images create an atmosphere or tone that matches some parts of the the reflective photo essay. The images may communicate symbolism and/or metaphors. The images may feel a bit repetitive and redundant to the audio track. There is little or no attempt to use images to create an appropriate atmosphere/tone. Images don't advance argument.
Audio The presenter is able to convey his or her emotions very expressively using language, music, and tone. The presenter is able to convey his or her emotions expressively through language or music or tone (but not all three). The presenter is not able to convey his or her emotions well and sounds dull.
Digital "grammar" Visuals are easy to see and have proper digital resolution, audio track is clear and understandable, musical transitions are smooth, and the file is formatted properly to be able to be viewed. There may be a few issues with resolution or voice clarity, but the majority of the digital argument is viewable and audible. Technological issues prevent the viewer to see or hear the majority of the digital argument.
Comments: Total: out of
Checklist for Digital Argument
Arguable claim is present, relevant, and unique you are making an argument that
hasnt been overdone, is important, and is not predictable.
Thesis statement is present early in the piece and provides a roadmap to the rest of the
A minimum of 6-8 of reliable sources help provide evidence to back up your
argument, and your argument not only uses these sources but also provides analysis
to show how and why this evidence furthers your argument. (Think MEAL).
Organization: Argument is organized, both globally and at the paragraph-level.
Elements of the argument are in the most effective order.
Visuals can include a variety of images: photos, illustrations, video, charts and
graphs, and type (use this effectively not whole paragraphs!; look up kinetic
typography for some examples of cool effects)
For a five-minute piece, there should be at least 10 images, so to provide visual
Images show variety and arent too repetitive
Images arent redundant when paired with audio (for instance, if Im talking about the
American Flag, I dont necessarily have to show a photo of the American flag.)
Visuals are clear and readable keep an eye out on file size and photo resolution.
You dont want it to be too pixelated or blurry!
Narration is clear, animated, and an appropriate pace. Slow down. Pause between
There are clear transitions between ideas. Consider using music, sound effects, or
appropriate silence to highlight these transitions.
Language is concise make sure youre not using super-complex sentences; you
should be understood the first time without having to make the audience go back to
Use music and sound effects. The audio track needs to include more than just your
Include a title screen with a title for your argument and your name. Just like weve
discussed with titles for your paper, make it interesting and descriptive. Digital
Argument is neither interesting or descriptive. Zombies isnt that interesting,
either. BRAAAAINS: The Resurrection of Zombies in Popular Culture as a
Renewed Commentary on Consumerism is much more intriguing.
Works Cited. While you wont really be able to use MLA parenthetical citation in the
digital argument, youll still be mentioning those sources in your audio narration. So,
at the end of your piece, create a works cited list (like you could see in the closing
credits of a fdm).
You must save the file in a format that I can view! This means exporting the file from
the program you used to create it into a more manageable-sized file: think .mov,
Polish!!! While Im not expecting this to be a professional blockbuster film to be
shown on the big screen, this does need to show some polish. Give yourself enough
time to work on the audio, music, transitions between images, etc. Just as I would
expect a level of detail on a final paper, so do I expect attention to detail on this final
A PERSPECTIVE ON THE HISTORY OF RELIGION IN A CASE STUDY OF ZION BAPTIST CHURCH AND SHORTER AFRICAN M ETHODIST E PISCOPAL CHURCH by TERRI LYNNE SMITH GENTRY M. H. University of Colorado Denver, 2013 A thesis submitted to th e Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Humanities Humanities and Social Sciences 2013
ii This thesis for the Masters in Humanities degree by Terri Lynne Smith G entry has been approved for the Humanities and Social Sciences Program by Rebecca Hunt Chair Winston Grady Willis Thomas J. Noel Date: November 12, 2013
iii Smith Gentry, Terri Lynne ( MH, Humanities and Social Sciences ) A Perspective on the History A Case Study of Zion Baptist Church and Shorter A frican M ethodist E piscopal Ch urch Thesis directed by Professor Rebecca Hunt. ABSTRACT African American Christianity emerged from the depths of slavery and the inte rsection of African based phenomenology, and ideologies imposed by the Anglican Church, evangelical Protestant faiths, or Catholicism. The historiography of enslaved peoples as they moved toward freedom through the newly created religious beliefs also reve aled its impact on African American migration and communities in the west. This movement west landed some African Americans in Denver, where a small population started two churches during the 1860s. A case red the efforts of their membership as they established an African American community, and pursued their right to self determination. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Rebecca Hunt
iv ACKNOWLEDG EMENTS I am especially grateful to the Universi ty of Colorado Denver Professor Dr. Rebecca Hunt, my thesis chair, who walked me through every step of this process, and coached me to see the fruits of my labor. I am thankful to Dr. Margaret Woodhull, my D epartment Chair, and Dr. Tom Noel, Colorado History Guru. I am indebted to Metro State University Africana Studies Department, especially Dr. Winston Grady Willis, and Dr. Ella Maria Ray, for their insight and wisdom. I appreciate the support of Charlesz Danny Walker, Althea Redd, Annie Nelson, and Hadiya Evans from the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library. I thank Robert Pratt, III for assisting me with research material on Shorter A. M. E. Church. I must thank my dad C. T. Smith, and inherited m om Rosalyn Smith, my auntie, Dr. Charlene Smith, my aunt, Harriette Brown, my sister Dr. Tamie Smith, my sister Toni L. Bridges, and niece Lasana Bridges, my son Darrell C. Diggs and family, and daughter Aris Strong and fami ly for being great cheerleaders. I must especially thank my wonderful, loving husband Dwight Gentry, who took over everything else I set aside, and has been my biggest supporter. I have grown and learned so much more than I could ever write within these p ages. I dedicate this work to my mom, Anna McLuster, my grandparents, and great grandparents, who have been rooting for me from heaven, and I will always love and appreciate them.
v TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 1 I I HISTORIOGRAPHY AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 3 III CHRISTIANITY AND SLAVERY 14 African Based Theology 20 African Baptist Church 23 African Met hodist Episcopal Church 24 IV AFRICAN AMERICAN MIGRATION 27 African American Mi gration West 29 Civil War 3 1 Western States 33 Exodusters 34 V ZION BAPTIST CHURCH AND 37 SHORTER AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH Zion Baptist Church 40 Shorter Afri can Me thodist Episcopal Church 5 0 VI CONCLUSION 5 8 BIBLIOGRAPHY 61 APPENDIX
1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE As the journey from slavery to freedom has continued people of African descent in the Americas have had to reinvent the meaning of their lives, and either adapt or commingle new ideologies as part of their survival and their intent toward self determination. They began to redefine their spirituality, perception of religious ideals, but also ask the question creation They studied the scriptures, internalized, and in varying degrees began to recognize that slaveholders were not following the laws of God. T eachings from the Bible influenced the transition for some enslaved people to become free. They were on a path with a newly shaped sense of independence and freedom as they escaped slavery, oppression and racism. The religion that enslaved them became the religion that freed them. How has Christianity sustained African Americans through as W. E. B. Dubois framed it, double consciousness of being Black and being an American? 1 How has t heir quest for freedom been influenced by Christian doctrine ? The path of voluntary migration out of the South, juxtaposed agains t their involuntary migration across the Middle Passage highlights new paradigms for creating a newly defined sense of self. The western migration created communities scattered between the Mississippi River and the California coastline, from Canada to Me xico. Across Colorado there 1 W. E. B. DuBois. The Souls of Black Folk (1903 (NP); reprinted, New York: B antam. 2005), 148 149.
2 were more than fifteen Black settlements established in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Some of those communities settled in an d around Denver, the largest northeast of downtown Denver. It is especially interest ing to note that churches or faith based meeting spaces were at the foundation of their communities. Two of the oldest Black c hurches in Denver were organized in the 1860s: Zion Baptist Church, and Shorter African Met hodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The Af rican American community within their faith and within the support structure of their churches educated their children, took care of their neighbors, engaged in politics, and staged campaigns for human and civil rights. The church was a place of refuge, a place for social gatherings, and for spiritual, moral and emotional uplift. The churches were also places to for ge legacies and embrace future generations with spiritual guidance a nd teachings. Research into the historiography of the broader spectrum of African American Christianity will add insight into the c ommunity It will also shed light on the influence of religious ideals on the migration of African Americans, and the intersection of their communiti es and e xperiences in the West and specifically in Denver. This is a community rich with diversity of thought, be liefs and ideals. This paper will examin e how the community members collaborated in pursuit of freedom, and self determination.
3 CHAPTER II HISTORIO GRAPHY AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The historiography of slavery, the spirituality and religiosity of the enslaved people, the strategy toward self determination, and the intersection of these and other complexities of their daily lives have been examined a s part of the overall conversation about A frican Americans and the Black c hurches. Churches were an integral part of these c ommunities throughout the country, but the primary focus has been in the Eastern United States This includ ed research o n the inter section of African Americans, religion, and slavery especially along the E ast coast and in the S outhern states. E xtensive research and multiple readings of the theories presented through West African paradigms narrowed the focus of African spirituality as it integrated with African American religion. One approach described in An Eco cultural and Social Paradigm for Understanding Human Development: A (West African) Context by Dorris E. Ngaujah, counters the perspective of some western theorists, by enga ging social, eco cultural, and environmental framework s 2 The Jour nal of African American History, W inter 2007 edition published a into the intersection of Black women, sl avery, gender, and religiosity. 3 The article by 2 cultural and Social Paradigm for Understanding Human Development: A (West African) Context. Biola University Human Development and Learning (DE803) Dr. Dennis H. Dirks Fall 2003. Accessed April 9, 2013 3 The Journal of
4 Brenda Stevenson traced the early accounts of African women enslaved from Angola, (T) heir names bore the marks of Catholic baptism al 4 The author investigated their circumstances, their survival, cultura l transition, self identification, and the intersection of their lives among other enslaved people and the slaveholders. In one example she focused on the ratio of Black women enslaved on the farms of two related men, and continued a discussion of the soci ological variations in slave communities throughout the South. She also identified that gender and ethnic diversity in geographic regions of the South may have affected the degree of retention of traditions and cultural norms. 5 The brutality of slavery im po sed on women of African descent not only forced the unreasonable dem ands of physical labor, but also chronic sexual denigration. Many women were subjugated by family as involuntary or nurs ing the slaveholders children. They suffered the trauma of forced den ial of caring for their own children If there were few or singular women on plantations, the loneliness and ability to survive the trauma of slavery was more difficult. The African wom en on plantations brought their own cultural histories and identities and created circles of support. The women within the slave community created their own theology within African belief systems, African American History Slavery, an 4 5 the American S 7.
5 layered with the necessity to formulate double consciousnes s strategies for surviva l through self identity, social, gro up and individual dynamics. 6 In the article The Middle Passage, Trauma and the Tragic Re Imagination of African American Theology the author, Matthew V. Johnson Sr examined the evolution of A frican American Christianity through the psycho traumatic and chronic process of enslavement. It was created out of chronic mourning, tragedy, loss, inhumanity, and incredible despair. Africans arriving in the new world already suffering from the debilit ating effects of the sustained trauma of transport, complicated by violent separation from family and community and the shock of the threateningly unfamiliar were subjected to additional trauma and extreme stressors in the experiences of the auction bl ock, further violent separations, slave breaking, sexual exploitation and abuse, and institutionalized violence to a degree that coercion defined and exhausted the quality of African American participation in the nomo generative, hegemonic culture. 7 Communities of enslaved Africans created new theological references to heaven, and other worldliness. The nothingness of their lives created a fatalistic vision. The Middle Passage was part of the journey that never ended, as African Americans suffered po st traumatic stress of slavery and the effects of chronic oppression. 8 Charles Joyner wrote that there were divergent belief systems throughout the 6 90. 7 Pastoral Psycholog y, Vol. 53, No. 6, July 2005. 549. 8 2.
6 deep rooted African Christianity, then, lies neither in its African elements nor its Christian elements, but in its unique and creative synthesis of both 9 John Roberts explained in his article African American Beli ef Narratives and the African Cultural Tradition how culture evolves as it is practiced and repeated daily. 10 Even as different cultural groups were situated together throughout slavery, their belief systems cultural norms, and religious expression s were more similar than the unfamiliar and strange religious and cultural systems of the slaveholders. Additionally, the idea of embracing a system that imposed such brutality, while completely abandoning a lifetime of ritual and practices did not happen. Eve ntually, over time, the African belief systems, adapted, evolve d and integrated these new ideals into their own cultural and religious norms. The Great Escapes: Four Slave Narratives illuminated the risks of escaping slavery, and pursuing freedom The ed itor Daphne Brooks introduced each storyteller In subsequent chapters, s he transcribed four stories beg inning with William Wells Brown, who had to leave behind his mother and sister when he escaped to freedom. Two narratives were written by Henry Box Bro wn who packed himself in a large box and shipped himself to the north. The last narrative was the story of William and Ellen Craft a husband and wife who traveled north She pass ed as a white man with 9 African Ame rican Christianity: Essays in History Paul E. Johnson, Ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 37. 10 Research in African Literatures, Vol. 40, No. 1, Oral Literature and Identity Formation in Africa and the Diaspora (Spring, 2009), Indiana University.
7 his male servant. The stories described their exper iences while enslaved, and the strategy to gain their freedom. 11 The common thread was their Christian belief and how it fueled their action of escape. As tension rose between the North and South during the 1840s strategies in some churches and branches of government to end slavery spurred much debate. Some northern states enacted laws to protect the freedoms of runaway slaves. Congress, however, voted in the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, in an effort to reinforce and strengthen the Fugitive Slave Law of 179 3. The authors of African American Odyssey detailed the fight of fr ee l abor versus s lave l abor The story of William and Ellen Craft was written as an example of the effort to protect fugitive slaves from the journey back to Georgia 12 Creating Black Ameri cans: African American History and its Meanings, 1619 to the Present by Nell Irvin Painter detailed a time line of newly enacted laws, Supreme Court decisions, and events that spurred the Civil War as the country e xpanded west of the Mississippi River. 13 Bo th books addressed specific accounts of events that pushed or pulled African American s west, and included stories about urban dwellers, homesteaders, cowboys, Buffalo Soldiers, miners, and their 11 Daphne A. Brooks, Ed. The Great Escapes: Four Slave Narratives (New York: Barnes and Nobel. 2007), 305 6. 12 Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hine, and Sta nley Harrold. The African American Odyssey Combined Volume. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Co. 2003), 210 13. 13 Nell Irvin Painter. Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present (New York: Oxford U niversity Press. 2007), 117 9.
8 communities. Religion and the history of their c hurches were noted as part of their cultural fabric and foundation. 14 Many stories examine d the migration west and Black communities including the establishment of their churches; but there is less discourse or scholarship on the intersection of spirituality, or reli giosity within the African American community. Even few er works focus on the history of Black c hurches specifically in African American co mmunity. The role of the church is an important consideration in the movement and advancement of African Amer ican people and is important to this Denver community How have Black Churches shaped the ideas and influenced or supported its members ? Quintard Taylor wrote In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Ame ricans in the American West 1528 1990 and inspired a deeper look into the history of the western U S and the intersection of African Americans. 15 It was a well written overview of African descendants enmeshed in the history of Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, a nd California free or enslaved and later in other territories and states i n the west, including Colorado. It i ncluded accounts of men, women and children who live d in and around the Denver area within the overall context of African Americans in the we st, but also within the context of the other people that occupied the west. 16 14 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 48 9. 15 Quintard Taylor. In Search of the Racial Frontier: African American in the American West 1528 1990 New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998. 16 Quintard Taylor. In Sea rch of the Racial Frontier.
9 In 2002 Taylor co edited with Shirley Anne Wilson Moore, African American Women Confront the West 1600 2000 on the little known history of Black women who migrated west. Sch olars from a variety of history departments across the western U. S. contributed stories in more than eighteen chapters. 17 The book encouraged f urther research into the history of African Americans who migrated to Denver, a city that rests where the Great P lains converge with the Rocky Mountains. This has created a u nique history among the people who have made it their home. Although the history of the people in this area began more than ten millennia ago, the focus is about the people of African descent many of whom were formerly enslaved in other regions of the country as they migrated to this re gion beginning in the late 1850 s From Slavery to Affluence: Memoir of Robert Anderson, Ex Slave by Daisy Anderson, chronicled the life of Robert Anderson t hrough slavery in Kentucky, his military service during the Civil War, and his prosperity as a homesteader in Nebraska. He spoke about religion during slavery. At seventy nine years old he married a very young woman and school teacher, Daisy Graham and moved to Nebraska. After his death, Daisy moved to Steamboat Springs with her sister, and worked very hard as an unskilled laborer for many years. Throughout this story she and her husband professed their Christian bel iefs. 18 She never remarried nor had 17 Quintard Taylor, and Shirley Anne Wilson Moore. Eds. African American Women Confront the West 1600 2000 Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003. 18 Daisy Anderson. From Slavery to Affluence: Memoirs of Robert Anderson Ex Slave. (Steamboat Springs, CO: NP 1927).
10 children. 19 In 1993, she moved to Denver and lived at the Amberwood Nursing Home. In 1997 at the age of ninety six, she attended a Gettysburg Memorial and met a Civil War Confederate Widow. She died September 19, 1998, a t the age of ninety seven. 20 A memorial service was held at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church in Denver on September 30, 1998. 21 These stories also revealed the political climate, the politics of hegemony, the influence of religion, the cultural dynamics the disconnections and interconnectedness, but especially the stories from the storyteller s written from the bottom up. Who were the people in this community of African descendants ? Where did they come from? What were the circumstances that fueled thei r journey? How do their experiences fit within the framew ork of the neighborhood? Why do these stories need to be told ? The research through church documents, Denver directories, journals, diaries, newspaper articles, letters, court documents, government documents and other resources, described a variety of ways the community worked to gain freedom, pursue their right to self determination, and raise their children in a relatively safe environment. 19 New York Times September 26, 1998. http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/26/us/ daisy anderson 97 widow of former slave and union soldier.html 20 Rocky Mountain News (CO) Thursday, September 24, 1998. http://infoweb.newsbank.com.ezproxy.denverlibrary.org/iw search/we/ InfoWeb? p_product=AWNB&p_theme=aggregated5&p_action=doc&f_lastaction=doc&p_doci d=0EB4EC50D5A41507&p_docnum=3&p_queryna me=1 21 Tillie Fong
11 The 1866 Denver City Directory listed nine churches, inc luding an AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church and an African Baptist Church. Two of African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) later change d to Shorter Chapel organized in 1868, fueled the spirit of the new Denver residents. Both churches were meeting in the early 1860s but each had different experiences as they continued to expand their congregations, and establish permanent facilities. 22 Both churches have continued to be anchors in the Black c ommunity in to the twenty first century W hat was the impetus, and what influence was religion for their congregants to migrate west to Denver? The scholarship available examined the history of churches across the nation, and wh at may have influenc ed the number of churches founded by new Denver residents Five books offer ed different perspectives into the lives of African Americans and some examples of the churches. Each book established a foundation with which to build research and created a roadmap for further inquiry. The first was Growing u p Black i n Denv er co written by Billie Arlene Grant, Ernestine Smith, and Gladys Smith, and self published in 1988. 23 The authors interviewed a number of Bla ck families and individuals wh o talked about their who were interviewed included 22 Ronald J. Stephens, PhD., LaWanna M. Larson, and the Black American West Museum. Images of America: African Americans of Denver. ( Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing 2008 ), 20, 28. 23 Billie Arlene Grant, Ernestine Smith, and Gladys Smith. Growing Up Black in Denver Denver: (NP) 1983.
12 important details about their church affiliations, while others provided very little information. Five Points Neighborh ood of Denver detailed histories of residents in this neighborhood northeast of downtown Denver from 1870 through 2000. 24 Seven years later another pictorial book, African Americans of Denver written by Ronald J. Stephens, PhD, LaWanna Larson, and the Bla ck American West Museum expanded the list of African Americans in Denver and some in other areas of Colorado from the late 1850s through 2007 25 Bibliographic information from both books led to research housed at the Blair Caldwell African Am erican Resea rch Library. Clementine Washington Pigford researched and compiled a nine volume collection on Zion Baptist Church. 26 It included biographies, letters, newspaper articles, interviews, excerpts from diaries, legal documents, membership lists and other data. A life member of the church, she researched the history of the church from the 1860s through 1999. She identified members involved in various events who affected church history, Colorado history and U. S. history. The library is currently cataloguing bo xes of Shorter A. M. E. Church materials, such as books, newspapers, pictures, diaries, letters, and other primary documents 24 Laura M. Mauck. Images of America: Five Points Neighborhood of Denver (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2001). 25 Ronald J Stephens, PhD., et al Images of America. 26 Clementine Wash ington Pigford Their Backs : Book 1, Biographical Information 1863 1999. DPL R02301 12512. REF 286.178883P623th. Draft v 1. 1999, 3.
13 Denver Public Libra ry Western Genealogy Department has digitally recorded pictures, legal documents, newspapers, books, diaries, Denver directories, Colorado census, and other primary documents and research data from the 1850s to present day. The Stephen Hart Library at History Colorado provided extensive research into the U. S. Census for Arapahoe County Colorado. Ancestry.com h as digitally recorded census data from 1860s through the 1940s Researching the archives of Zion Baptist Church, and Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church, the biographies, newspaper clippings, and other church records help ed to frame the history of the African American community in Denver. Their perspectives are critical to understanding the intersection of various cultures, ideology and history of Denver. Studies and patterns of the movement west, and the research of earlier and evolved practices on plantations, the northeastern U. S. and the antebellum south, may also help to formulate the framework for discovering the insights and histories of these two churches, their impact on the communities they serve, and the impact of t he communities on the c hurches. Although, there were many Black churches that organized in Denver between 1865 and 1900, this paper will only include history leading up to the two oldest Black churches. It is a study of the lives of the people in these two churches and as a res ult will be a source about the African American c ommunity and how it fits in the greater discourse on Denver history. It is the beginning of an effort to record these stor ies and this history in depth.
14 CHAPTER III CHRISTIANITY AND SLAVERY Christianity was the dominant religion of the Americas. The conquest of the Americas was formulated in the Doctrine of Discovery, endorsed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, and propagated by Christopher Columbus during the fifteenth century, and by Sir H umphrey Gilbert, and George Peckham in the sixteenth c entury. 27 Three popes during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries documented the need to bring infidels into the fold and convert them to Christianity for the higher good. 28 As the Portuguese invested in the Trans Saharan slave trade and brought back slaves to the Iberian Peninsula, another opportunity opened in the Americas. Spain joined Portugal, and eventually so did the Dutch, the French, and the English. Skin color (socially constructed) race became a defining factor in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Christians deemed black skinned peoples as infidels who should be enslaved 29 The English gained control of th e slave trade in 1713 and outlawed the Transat lantic Slave Trade in 1807. The United States outlawed it 1808. 30 The illegal 27 Robert A. Williams, American Indian in Western Legal Thought: Discourses o f Conquest (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990) 74 77, 151. 28 Robert A. Williams, American I ndian in Western Legal Thought, 51, 159. 29 The American Historical Review Vol. 21, No. 3 (Apr., 1916), (Oxford University Press Ameri can Historical Association1994), 504 527. 30 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. The African American Odyssey 43 44.
15 transport of Africans to the Americas continued however, through the 18 40 s in the U. S and 18 60 s in the Caribbean and South America. 31 The domestic slave trade increased with the demand for more labor in cotton producing states. Breeding slaves for profit became an important base in the southern economy as African women were more and more brutalized and their families sold away 32 However, ex slave testimony supplies abundant e vidence that some owners all owners engaged in eugenic practices, such as rewarding women who bore children regularly and pressuring and selling women who did not. Slave wome n bore their first children around age nineteen, some two years earlier than the white women who owned them. Slave women continued having c hildren every two and one half years until they reached about age forty. (Their mis tresses, who could rely on wet nu rses, nursed their children for shorter periods, and bore children closer together.) 33 The southern economy was heavily dependent on slave labor on plantations, on some small farms, and as assignments in the cities and small rural communities. Slavery con tinued as an active system in the southern states until 1865, with the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment. 34 Slaveholders had different ideas about whether or not to teach the gospel to enslaved people. The Church of England pushed to change laws about te aching the Bible, but met much resistance from slaveholders fearing a baptized slave would be considered Christian and the doctrines would then allow their freedom. Until the late 31 Beverly C. McMillan, Ed. Captive Passage: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Ame ricas. Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002), 153 6. 32 Nell Irvin Painter. Creating Black Americans 97. 33 Nell Irvin Painter. Creating Black Americans 99. 34 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. The African American Ody ssey, 255.
16 eighteenth century when perceptions and attitudes began to change, mo st did not allow ensla ved people to hear the gospel I f h o w e v e r the slaveholder allowed it, Christianity was enforced by scheduling time during the week for plantation services. Some slaveholders continued to believe if any slave was baptized, their status would eleva 35 Some required white preachers, while others enlisted slaves as preachers. Of course there were varying ranges of what enslaved people were allowed or not allowed to hear. The preache rs were required to focus on passages that encouraged enslaved people to be docile or compliant, and to never speak passages that alerted them of their equal status in the world. Eventually, laws were passed to exempt slaves from the religious laws in the Bible 36 Methodist and Baptist preachers had anti slavery agendas that in the late eighteenth century had to be curtailed in order to gain better access to enslaved people. Still their sermons were interpreted with freedom 37 A large number of Black men were licensed to preach in the late eighteenth century, and some had gained more autonomy when preaching on plantations. Their sermons encouraged ways to live through slaver y, and to have independent thought. A number of independent Black churches with free and enslaved memberships organized throughout the south. 35 36 African American Christianity: Essays in History. Paul E. Johnson, Ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). 2 3. 37 Americans, Exodus, and the American Israel, 3.
17 In many ar eas enslaved people aligned Christianity with some western African b ased ideologies. Some Catholic saints aligned with Orishas in Yoruba traditions. 38 European Christianity interpreted a narrative from the Bible that explained their Exodus out of Egypt into Israel. H owever, enslaved people saw their own fate as being kidnapped out of Israel and dle Passage had brought them to Egypt land, 39 Enslaved people in Georgia and South Carolina Sea I slands had little contact with the slaveholders and were able to practice their traditional beliefs with lit tle inte rference. Known as the Gullah in the South Caroline Sea Islands and the Geechee in the Georgia coast islands, they began to integrate their West African Muslim a creolized Christianit y. 40 During the late eighteenth century evangelical preaching influenced more enslaved people to embrace Christia nity. Many had hoped that with accepting Christia nity, it might get them closer to freedom. 41 Early in the nineteenth century, in some areas Bla ck preachers gained more freedom to travel and preach. Many used the Bible passages to inform their congregations about other events, family members, planned uprisings or escapes. The call by the preacher and the response by the 38 23. 39 40 23. 41
18 congregation was a traditi onal African based form of communicating, and proved effective on plantations. 42 memoirs, From Slavery to Affluenc e. He recounted his experiences with religion and church services on the plantation where he was enslaved. The slaveholders in the 43 He described the sanctuary having church pews for white congregation, and benches upstairs for the enslaved p eople who were taking care of horses and carriages, or the 44 He took care of the horse and carriage for his slaveholder, and was able to attend the church service. It also gave him time to visit with enslaved people from other plant ations before the service started. 45 He also spoke about the religious beliefs and church services on the the plantation had our church services the same as the white f 46 He also described the details of the service and what was covered during the sermon. The religion was one largely of enchantment and fear, which fitted in very nicely with the African religion of witch doctors and fear. Th e side of religion as typ ified by Christ is his compassion for the sick, the poor, and the little children, was not 47 42 Nell Irvin Painter. Creating Black Americans 56 57. 43 Daisy Anderson. From Slavery to Affluence, 20. 44 Daisy Anderson. From Slavery to Affluence 21. 45 Daisy Anderson. From Slavery to Affluence 22. 46 Daisy Anderson. From Slavery to Affluence 22. 47 Daisy Anderson. From Slavery to Affluence 24.
19 Music was also part of many African traditions. Enslaved people sang about their despair or passed covert messages through the words about hope for freedom or planned escapes 48 Robert Anderson spoke about the congregation taking Bible stories and creating songs and keeping rhythm through chants, swaying bodies, or patting feet and hands. 49 Music and Bible stories woven with African folktales provided a forum for double consciousness; learn the ways to be and behave around slaveholders, while holding on to the actual self. 50 Learn to feign respect and passivity, while holding on to the truth of their experiences and resisting their circumstanc es; learn to live in the consciousness of a slave, a n d preserving the consc io usness of the whole person w h i l e strategizing their path toward freedom. This was a religion all their own; separate and distinct from American Christianity. 51 48 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 56. 49 Daisy Anderson, From Slavery to Affluence 24 50 Darlene Clark Hine, Afri can American Odyssey 143/4. 51 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 102/ 3
20 African Based Th eology Within the hopelessness and brutality of slavery, unexpected glimmers of hope infiltrated the system. African spirituality traveled the oceans, as the slave trade transported millions of souls to the Americas. Langua ges and cultur es, families and i dentities were devastated, but African descendents retained their religious beliefs and connection to some part of their heritage. Within this system communities developed, families were created, and churches were established. The enslaved people valued ot her people, not materialism or hierarchy. 52 African based theology evolved a new paradigm: African American Christianity. The peoples of African ancestry represent more than four hundred major language groups, and within that, thousands of dialects that id entify the diversity and spectrum of the cultures and ideologies. Religiosity and spiritual beliefs are as complex and diverse as language. 53 J ohn S. Mbiti wrote in his Introduction to African Religion stated: with all the other aspects of the heritage, it belongs to each people within which it has evolved. It is not preached from one people to another. Therefore a person must be born in a particular African people in order to be able to follow African Religion in that Since African Religion belongs to the people, no individual member of 54 52 Nell Irvin Painter. Creating Black America 103 53 Africana Studies: A Survey in Africa and the Diaspora, Third Ed. Mario Azevedo, Ed. (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2005), 403 54 John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion 39 40
21 These are no t separ ate, compartmentalized entities; each is collectively part of daily life African r eli gio n does not have a beginning, is not founded, or started by an individual ; i t do es not have a written history or scripture. 55 It is taught t hrough conversation a nd example oral tradition ; it is lived through daily experiences, and events, and evolves over time as circumstances, environment, and life experiences change Cultural heritage and standards, morality, personal accountability, work ethic, interaction wi th nature and stewardship, choices, and beli efs are taught through African r eligion 56 Most have a monotheistic belief in a Supreme Being, and believe their ancestors are part of the spiritual realm in this world. Some societies have spirit s as intermedi aries leading up to God, who existence. 57 They honor their ancestors respect and reflect their influences, and may express that with a shrine or with rituals and ceremonies; but they do not worship their ancestors 58 External observers, who do not fully underst and the theology of African Religion, mislabeled or misidentified some aspects as animism and fetishism. 59 In African Religion, objects are not worshiped. As they worship God through rituals or celeb rations, they may include natural or man made objects in the ceremonies, and 55 John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion 40 41 56 John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion 40 41 57 John S. Mbiti. Introducti on to African Religion 68 58 John S. Mbiti Introduction to African Religion 47 4 9 59 John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion 18/19.
22 i s, however, only a small part of th e many beliefs held in African r eligion 60 Family or community celebration s, rituals or festivals mark events such as birth, circumcision, harvests, weddings, or deaths, or practice community prayers for rain, to end droughts, or to change circumstances affecting their group. 61 African r elig ion is everywhere and every part of everything and every person I t can be in sacred places, or in shrines, man made or natural, where sacrifices or offerings are made to God, or prayers are made to God. It is part of the art, in symbols, in crafts, musi c and dance, storytelling, oral histories, myths, names of people and places, culture, customs mysticism, and every aspect of their belief systems. 62 Witchcraft, s orcery, and s pells are also part of African r eligion, but not its main focus. It is a super natural energy that can be used for healing, and can explore beyond the scope of our three dimensional being. It can also be used for evil and impose harm and/or danger on some one. 63 Christianity and Islam have been part of many societies, especially alon g the Mediterranean coast and Eastern regions, for hundreds of years. 64 Areas in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and parts of Chad were Christian two thousand years ago. Islam converted some Christian region s of Chad and north central Africa and has dominated 60 John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion 14 15. 61 John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion 131,143. 62 John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion 45, 60. 63 John S. Mbiti, Introduction to African Religion 165 167. 64 John S. Mbiti, Introduction to African Religion 181,185.
23 the Mediterranean regions and West Africa since the late seventh century. 65 The spread of these two religions have continued with Islam primarily in the Northern third of the contin ent, and Christianity in Sub Saharan Africa and Madagascar. African r eligion i s still practiced in most areas simultaneously with Islam and Christianity; however, many rituals and ceremonies were lost during colonialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Some communities are resurrecting past practices, while others are rewo rking rituals and ceremonies in conjunction with current systems. 66 Conflicts are prevalent as African Christian cultural and belief systems are not necessarily aligned with Western Christian cultural and belief systems and the missionaries who attempt ed t o enforce these systems. 67 African Baptist Church Black preachers experienced a wide range of challenges dur ing slavery They faced persecution, punishment s, or ridicule during the late eighteenth century from slaveholders. The Baptist churches in the s outh authorized ordained Black preachers, who preached in front of mixed congregations, and eventually in all Black churches. 68 65 Mario Azevedo, Africana Studies 410. 66 John S. Mbiti, Introduct ion to African Religion 190. 67 John S. Mbiti, Introduction to African Religion 190. 68 The Journal of Negro History Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan. 1922), 11 22 (Association for the Study of African Am erican Life and History), 21. Accessed August 2, 2013.
24 During the Eighteenth Century African churches emerged throughout the south. In 1773, the F irst African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia began meeting and by 1777 was officially organized 69 In 1773 or 1775 the Negro Baptist Church in Silver Bluff, South Carolina organized, and in 1776 the Negro Baptist Church in Williamsburg Virginia was organiz e d 70 The Black churches were places of refuge from the indignities and brutality of slavery. Members were taught scripture, taught to read, forged relationships and built communities. 71 Some churc h memberships include d enslaved people and free people of color The S outhern churches received help and support from N orthern churches when enslaved people transitioned to freedom. 72 African Methodist Episcopal Church The first African Methodist Episco pal Church was established for African Americans in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1787, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones founded the Free African Society, and began the framework for African Methodist and Episcopal theology. 69 First African Baptist Church, First African Baptist Church History http://firstafricanbc.com/history.asp 70 71 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2p30.html Accessed August 2, 2013. 72
25 Richard Allen was born into s lavery in 1760 in Delaware, and purchased his freedom in 1777. 73 He converted to Methodism and was a member and a minister at St George Methodist Church. Absalom Jones was born into slavery in 1746 in Delaware, and purchased his freedom in 1784. 74 He w as also a member of St. George Methodist Church and was the minister in charge of increasing Black membership. Church members were alarmed by the increase, and demanded segregation of the Black members to the upstairs balcony. 75 When ushers tried to move th em upstairs, Allen and Jones refused, and led the Black members to walk out of church. 76 Richard Allen & Absalom Jones founded the Free African Society in 1787 Allen organized Mother Bethel A. M. E. Church, and became the first A. M. E. Bishop in 1799. A bsalom Jones helped organize the St. Thomas African Episcopal Church 73 Wesley. The Journal of Southern History Vol. 2, No. 1 (Feb., 1936), pp. 111 112: Southern Historical Association. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2191567 Accessed: June 8, 2013 74 American Music, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 274 293 University of Illinois Press h ttp://www.jstor.org/stable/3052097 .Accessed: June 8, 2013. 75 Philadelphia PA, Mother Bethel African Methodis t Episcopal Church, 1993. http://www.motherbethel.org/arc_finder.php111 Accessed June 8, 2013 76 Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. http://www.motherbethel.org/arc_finder.php111.
26 and became the first African American Episcopalian Priest in 1804. 77 James Forten, a Founding Member of the American Antislavery Society, an d American Moral Reform Society, joined with Ric hard Allen and Absalom Jones in establishing the African Masonic Lodge of Pennsylvania. 78 Allen, Forten and Jones signed up to fight in the War of 1812. 79 They started the Black Brigade in Philadelphia, but never saw combat because the English stopped fig hting whe n they did not capture Baltimore. 80 Within their community, each worked diligently to end slavery and change the course of history. 77 The Archives of the Episcopal Church DFMS/PECUSA Reverend Absalom Jones, 1746 1818 and their Struggle for Justice. 2008 http://www.episcopalarchives.org/Afro Anglican_history/exhibit/leadership/jones.php. Accessed June 8 2013 78 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey 110. 79 Darlene Clark Hine, et a l. African American Odyssey 114. 80 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey 114
27 CHAPTER IV AFRICAN AMERICAN MIGRATION Slave resistance, revolts, and efforts to escape occurred throughout the c ountry. Indi viduals devised plans and ran away, or gathered small groups to escape, conducted mass insurrections, killed their own children, killed the slaveholders or commit ted suicide 81 In her book, Hine S ight : Black Women and the Re Construction of Am erican History Darlene Clark Hine wrote that t he combined influence of rape (or the threat of rape), domestic violence, and a desire to escape economic oppression born of racism and sexism are key s to understanding the hidden motivations of major social p rotest and migratory movements in African American history. 82 The Underground Railroad moved enslaved people out of the south to Canada, New England, Philadelphia, areas north of the Ohio River, or west beyond Missouri until slavery ended in 1865. Harriet journeyed back to Maryland numerous times to free several hundreds of enslaved people over ten years. 83 Free African Americans such as William Still and Frederick Douglas, religious groups such as the Unitarians, Qu akers and Black churches and other abolitionist groups and organizations scattered throughout the U nited States and Canada, actively protested slavery, or assisted enslaved people find ing safe routes, places of refuge, 81 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 103. 82 Darlene Clark Hine, Hine Sight, 32 3. 83 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 107 9.
28 food and shelter during their journe y out of the south. 84 Black ministers le d anti slavery activities in their churches a nd in other churches in their areas. They, along with several anti slavery newspapers and journalists, activated a rigorous campaign to end slavery Thousands escaped on their own without help. 85 Frederick Douglass believed that Christianity as it supported slavery ideology in the United States 86 He stated peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women whipping, cradle plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. 87 He believed that the American form of Christianity in many cases preache d a false and malevolent gospel, and contradicted the truth of pure Christianity. 88 William Craft escaped slavery with his wife Elle n Craft in 1848 They belonged to different slaveholders and their fear of possible separation loomed over their lives. H e wrote in his diary : Having heard while in Slavery that God made of one blood all nations of men these truths to be self evident, that all men ar e created equal; that they are e ndowed by their Creator with certain inalienabl e rights; that among these are 84 Darlen e Clark Hine, African American Odyssey 200/ 1. 85 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 105. 86 Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself Harri et Jacobs. (New York, Modern Library Mass Market Edition, 2004), 113. 87 Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 113. 88 Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 115.
29 right 89 Migration West A new chapter in American h istory began in the nineteen century as the lands west of the Mississippi River were opened to mass migration. The i ndigenous p eoples who lived on these lands for thousands of years were soon to experience the encroachment of new inhabitants. 90 European explorers, political leaders and militia had carved paths throughout the continent, and continued to move toward the west coast. In order to facilitate their endeavors and to confiscate the lands, the U. S. government enacted a number of new laws, issued proclamations, and established new treaties to validate their intentions. They purchased the land claimed by the French The Lo uisiana Purchase in 1803 between the Mississippi River and the Rio Grande River Mexico outlawed slavery in 1829. Texas fought for their right to own slaves and gained independence from Mexico in 1836 Congress annexed the territory a t nsistence in 1845. Slavery dramatically increased in Texas as new slaveholders entered the territory and purchased land. 91 The U. S. declared war against Mexico in 1846 to protect its acquisition of Texas. As the Mexican American War concluded in 1848, th e signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and then the 89 William Craft. les for Freedom; or, the Escape of William The Great Escapes: Four Slave Narratives. Daphne Brooks. (New York, Barnes and Noble, 2007), 223 90 Richard Griswold del Castillo The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conf lict Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990, 3/4 91 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. The African American Odyssey 190 193.
30 Gadsden Purchase of 1854 brought on significant changes in the westward movement i 92 The California Gold Rush in 1849 spurred the movement west through the regions that are now Wyoming and Utah, or on the southern route, through what is now New Mexico and Arizona. 93 While heading west to California, some heeded the rumors of gold in the western Kansas Territory. 94 As one of the bands of Arapahoe Nation moved back to their winter station, they encount ered these new inhabitants setting up permanent shelter at the confluence of the Cherry Creek, and the Platte River. 95 November 24, 1858, men who had traveled west realized their dream of chartering their recently established homestead. As territories o pened west of the Mississippi river, debates loomed over the issue of free states versus slave states. The Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854 nullified the people to determine wh ether a territory would become a slave state or a free state. 96 Violence erupted in Kansas territory resulting in a Kansas Civil War, nicknamed Bleeding Kansas. 97 This was one of several major events to spur the American Civil 92 Richard Griswold del Castillo. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 5 7. 93 Dee Brown. An Indian History of the American West: Bury M y Heart at Wounded Knee, (New York: Picador; Henry Holt and Company, 1970), page 8, 23. 94 Carl Abbott, et al. Colorado 44. 95 Thomas J. Noel and Duane A. Smith. Colorado: The Highest State second ed. ( Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011 ) 96 Dar lene Clark Hine, et al. The African American Odyssey 217/18. 97 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. The African American Odyssey 217 221.
31 War. Court cases such as the Dred Scott Decision in 1857 set off a firestorm of debate about slavery. The Supreme Court ruled that he was not a citizen of the United States, and therefore could not sue for his freedom. 98 Meanwhile in the west, African Americans were fighting for an ti discrimination laws, and encouraging protests against slavery moving to California and western territories. 99 In 1859, nine delegates representing ten of seven counties attended the convention at St. Andrews AME Church in Sacr 100 Civil War The expansion west prompted debates on the expansion of slavery in the west. President Lincoln was sworn into office March 1861, and faced the Civil War as it began in April 1861. His intention was to end the C onfederate hold on t he south, and reunite the secession states to the Union, not to end slavery. The war continued much longer and with more casualties than he anticipated. The majority of enslaved people walked away from their plight during the war, and many were captured by Union Troops 101 98 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. The African American Odyssey 217 221. 99 Quintard Taylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier, 37 40. 100 Quintard Taylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier, 91. 101 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 119 20.
32 In 1862 President Lincoln convened a meeting with Black abolitionist s to plan the relocation of enslaved people to Central America. 102 Eventually, as pressure mounted he allowed the enlistment of Black men into the military, and abandoned his push for relocation. n September 22, 1862 five days after the Union forces won the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln issued a preliminary proclamation that demanded that the rebelling states return to the Union by January 1, 1863, or their slaves would be 103 The Emancipation Proclamation took effect January 1, 1863 and freed enslaved people in the states seceding from the Union, but not the border states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri. 104 In 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States declared all people were freed (with the exception of those who commit crimes) and to educational institutions Bla ck churches, with the support f rom missionary associations, the AME church, and other religious institutions throughout the north and the south also supported the transition from slavery to freedom 105 The years after slavery, the church became the mo st imp ortant institution among African American other than the family. Not only did it fill deep spiritual and inspirational needs, it offered enriching music, provided charity and compassion to those in need, developed community and political leaders, and were free of white supervision. 106 102 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 121. 103 Judson L. Jeffries. N egro Educational Review; Apr Jul 2004; 55, 2/3; (ProQuest Research Library), 107. 104 105 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 146. 106 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey 264.
33 Western States As African Americans migrated out of the south, so did their spirited activism, desire for freedom, commitment to thrive, and their religious beliefs. The push of segregation, racism, violence, and the pull t o perceived better opportunities, and hope for a brighter future were part of the equation in the mass migration of African America ns throughout the United States. In their attempt to move West, and escape various forms of oppression, violence, racism, and unethical rules, many were confronted with a gradual shift in attitudes, such as de facto segregation, limited resources, restrictive housing covenants, and imposed borders. 107 New laws in California restricted homesteading, denied voting rights, and impos ed other exclusions. Oregon imposed laws excluding Black folks from most of regions in the territory. Utah legalized slavery in 1850. 108 New Mexico was part of Mexico, until the United States occupied it 1846. A few wealthy land owners maintained indenture d servitude for life, by increasing debt beyond the ability for those in service to pay. 109 In 1850 New Mexico there were more than 3000 enslaved Indians, and a large number of enslaved Africans. Eventually legislation was passed to restrict free Blacks, an d enforce stricter slave laws. Many states such as Kansas, Nebraska and Utah continued to impose restrictions on free Blacks. 110 107 Quintard Ta ylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier 82. 108 Quintard Taylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier 74. 109 Quintard Taylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier, 75. 110 Quintard Taylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier 82.
34 Exodusters The Thirteen th Amendment in the U. S. Constitution legally abolished slavery in 1865 T he Fourteen th Amendment gran ted citizenship in 1868, and the Fifteen th Amendment granted Black men the right to vote in 1870. 111 A ttitudes and behaviors however, continued that these citizens with their newly established freedom were not entitled to the rights and privileges guarantee d in the Constitution. 112 Many had left the south to escape slavery, and later Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes oppressive laws and imposed rules that enforced separatist and segregationist access to accommodations, transportation, services, schools and hous ing 113 The laws and rules dramatically increased during the decline of Reconstruction Era (1865 1877). 114 Lynchings and other forms of extreme brutality coupled with the effort to push Black folks backward as closely to slavery as possible without calling it slavery, spurred migration north and west. Some of these laws imposed impossible or unreasonable limitations on their livelihood and access to resources. Sharecropping left many in deeper debt and few options to improve family or living conditions. 115 It also included people with adventure on their minds, desire for military duty, to escape share cropping and farm their own land, establish businesses, or to rear their 111 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey A9 A10. 112 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans 141 2. Quintard Taylor. In Search of the Racial Frontier 138. 113 Quintard Taylor. In Search of the Racial Frontier 138 114 Darlene Clark Hine, The African American Odyssey page 313 15. 115 Quintard Taylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier 138/9.
35 children in a place of freedom. 116 M any people loaded up their belongings and moved to the west African coast of Liberia, moved north into the industrial cities, or west of the Mississippi River looking for their own land to farm, or settlements to start a new life. 117 Several waves of post slavery African American migration from the sout h occurred from 1865 through 1 945 118 O ne of the earlier waves of migration, from 119 Nicodemus, Kansas Tennessee 120 The end of the Reconstruction Era spurred African Americans to leave the south en masse fearing re enslavement. 121 The migrations of 1879 in which 6,000 African Americans settled in Kansas took on a religious tone. African American migrants saw themselves as taking part in a biblical exodus, with Kansas as the Promised L and. In 1879, often referred to as the Exodus Year, more than 20,000 black men, women, and children passed through St. L ouis to Kansas and points west. 122 116 Darlene Clark Hine, The African American Odyssey page 324 26. 117 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey, 319 21. 118 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey 323. 119 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey 323. 120 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey 323. 121 Nell Irvin Painter, Creating African Americans 152. 122 Jack Ravage Encyclopedia of the Great Plains David J. Wishart, Ed., Center for Great Plains Studies, 2004, 14. http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.afam.018
36 Ida B. Wells Barnett, a member of an A. M. E. church, an activist a nd a journalist for thirty or more years, wrote news articles and publications in Nashville, New York and Chicago that urged black people to leave the s outh to get away from lynchings and vi olence, and more than 7,000 took heed and moved west 123 As one of the co founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, she brought national attention to lynchings and justice system. T here were settlements in Indian Territory such as Boley, Liberty, and Langston, Oklahoma; and the migration continued throughout the western states, including large settlements in Nebraska, New Mexico, Colorado, California, British Columbia and other Canad ian and Indian territories. Smaller settlements or families scattered across most of the western states 124 123 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey 3 21 3. Jacqueline Jones Royster, Ed. Southern Horrors and Other Writings: the Anti Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892 1900 17/19 124 Darlene Clark Hine, et al. African American Odyssey 321 3. Jacqueline Jones Royster, Ed. Southern Horrors and Other Writings 17/19
37 CHAPTER V ZION BAPTIST CHURCH AND SHORTER AFRICAN METH ODIST EPISCOPAL CHUR CH K CHURCHES November 22 1858, sev eral men who ha d traveled west e stablished Denver City Town Company at the confluence of the Cherry Creek, and the Platte River. 125 Three Russell brothers from Ge orgia named an earlier settlement Aurar ia, after their own home town, and the name on the Periodic Table for go ld. Nearby, the Saint Charles Settlement, and Denver City were also established in 1858 A long the west side of the Platte River, Highland was established in 18 59 The boundaries for the Jefferson Territory defined the area in the western Kansas Territor y as a separately governed entity Arapahoe County, K. T 126 The House of Representatives and Colorado Territory were established in 1861, with intended plans for state hood in 1864. The area continued to expand northeaster along the grid originally estab lished in Auraria and Denver City 127 Henry Brown platted Capitol Hill on a compass grid north, south, east, west starting at Broadway Street and moving east. 128 As the streets running northeast converged with 125 Carl Abbott, et al. Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, 44 5. 126 Carl Abbott, et al Colorado: A History of the Centennial State 56 7. 127 Jerome Smiley, History of Denver 504. 128 Jerome Smiley, History of Denver 504.
38 the new grid, and eventually when the neighbo rhoods intersected it created several corners with five points 129 As the area continued to grow, the common denominators were houses of faith. The 1866 Denver City Directory listed nine churches, including an African Methodist Episcopal Church and an Afr ican Baptist Church. 130 The directory lists both the A M E Church on Holladay Street between H & I (between 17th and 18th Streets), and the African Baptist Church at Holladay Street between H & I and William Norr i d as p astor. Zion Ba ptist Church, organi zed in 1865 131 St. John African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) later changed the name to Sho rter AME Church organized in 1868. 132 In Eugene H commented that the Black churches were slow to be established and indicate that the black clergy did not play a prominent role in the civil rights although members and the clergy o f both Zion 129 Laure n Mauck, Images of America 17. 130 J. E Wharton. History of the City of Denver, from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time ; and D. O. Wilhelm, To Which is Added a Full and Complete Business Directory of the City. Denver, CO, Byers and Dailey Printers News Office, 1866 http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/dcd/dcdhome.htm 131 Clementine Washington Pigford. Their Backs: Book 1, Biog raphical Information 1863 1999. DPL R02301 12512. REF 286.178883P623th. Draft v 1. 1999, 3. 132 Shorter A. M. E. Church. Centennial Celebration 1868 1968: 100 Years of Progress 1 2.
39 and St. John signed the petition in 1864 to grant Black men voting rights 133 He also the Civil War, its aftermath, and emphasis was placed o n supporting churches in the south. 134 It is a possible explanation of why the delay in church activity. However, Clementine Pigford stated in her article that William Norrid was formerly enslaved and led a rebellion against slavery. 135 He was one of the fo unding members of the Colored Masons, a member of the Republican party, a party delegate, and statehood to gain voting and equal rights Reverend Norrid actively pursued civil rights issue s and wo olored colony. 136 Population may have also been a determining factor starting the churches. According to the 1860 U. S. Federal Census, fourteen mulatto or Black men and seven mulatto or Black w omen lived in Denv er. 137 The population increased to 146 133 Eugene H Berwanger he The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 64, No. 2 (Spring, 1979), pp. 101 115 Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. http://www.jstor. org/stable/2717202. Accessed May 13 2013, 110. 134 110. 135 Clementine Pigford. Denver Public Library, Western Genealogy Department. Beautiful, Beautiful Zion: the Majesty of Gods Power and Grace, First Chronicl es, Chapter 29, verse 11; 138+ Years of Faith, Works and Historical Significance 3 http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p1533 0coll23/id/8132/ rec/33 136 Clementine Pigford. Beautiful, Beautiful Zion 3. 137 Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census, Denver, Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory. http://inter active.ancestry.com/7667/4230560_00077?backurl = http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fsearch%2fdb.aspx%3fdbid%3d7667%26 path%3d&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnBrowsing#?imageId=4230560_00077
40 mulatto or Black men, and ninety one mulatto or Black women in Denver by 1870. 138 A slow, but steady incr ease in the number of residents began to fill the memberships in the churches. Zion Baptist Church 139 140 Zio n Baptist Church was organized November 15, 1865, with a membership of 9 persons The founding members were Minister William Norri d his wife Rachel Norrid, William and Jane Bosier (Bozier), Emma Green, Thomas J Riley, Jane Jackson, Carrie Armstrong, and L ucy Boyd. 141 After renting space for more than two years, the congregation built a church on the corner of 20th (L street in 1873) and Arapahoe Streets in 1868. Another building 138 Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census, Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado Territory. http://interactive.ancestry.com/7163/4259440_00005?backurl = http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fsearch%2fdb.aspx%3fdbid%3d7163%26path %3d&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnBrow sing#?imageId=4259440_00129 139 Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration: State Archives, Denver City Directory, 1866. http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/dcp/bd5.html 140 Denver Public Library, Western Genealogy Department, Zion Baptist Church Burnis McCloud 1908 1990. http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/ collection/p15330coll22/id/32608/rec/30 141 Clementine Washington Pigford, They Came to Colorado Draft 3 v 3, 1089.
41 with a brick faade replaced it in 1881. They purchased the Calvary Baptist Chu rch on Twenty F ourth Avenue and Ogden Street in 1913, where it is still located today 142 Efforts to include N egro s uffrage in the Constitution when the Colorado f iled for Statehood in 1864 were futile. 143 William J Hardin, a local barber and Black commun ity leader was the spokesman on behalf of the Black community when he engaged politicians. Hardin, along with Henry O. Wagoner, and Edward Sanderlin organized community members to interfere with Colorado becoming a state until they gained voting rights. Ch urch members were also actively involved in civil rights issues and believed that Negro Suffrage should be included in the Colorado Constitution ... In 186 4 137 men signed a petition to the U. S. Congress including members of Zion and Shorter, such as Rev erend Norrid, Lewis H. Douglass, and Frederick Douglass, Jr. sons of Frederick Douglass Denver entrepreneurs and civil rights activists and Barney (B. L.) Ford : 144 To The Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the United Stated, in Congress ass embled Your petitioners, Colored Citizens of the Territory of Colorado, would respectfully represent, That, since the passage of the law of Congress, enfranchising our people in the territories, we have fully and freely, and without molestation, exercise d the Elective franchise in this Territory. 142 Clementine Washington Pigford. They Came to Colorado, Draft 1, v. 1. 4. 143 The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Apr., 1928), 126 149 Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. 138. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2713959 Accessed May 11, 2013. 144 Eugene H Berwanger on: Western Black Spokesmen of the The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 64, No. 2 (Spring, 1979), 101 115 Association for the Study of African American Li fe and History, Inc, 104. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2717202. Accessed May 13 2013.
42 And we have full confidence that if the State of Colorado be admitted, into the 145 President Andrew Johnson vetoed the bill to grant Colorado statehood, and Congress did not address the petition. Howeve r, in Washington, U. S. Senator Charles Sumner learned of their agenda, and a dvocat ed for their right to vote 146 Barney Ford was born in 1822, enslaved in Virginia, and walked away from slavery when he was sent on an errand in a free state. He arrived in Denver in 1860. He was an entrepreneur, and worked as a barber, and later opened the Inter Ocean Hotel in downtown Denver. He was also voted into the state legislature in the 1870s. A local newspaper, the Denver Dailey News wrote an article Mar 16, 1874 (no author listed) entitled Sumner that the African Baptist Church had a memorial service for U. S Senator Charles Sumner, an antislavery and human right activist. 147 The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified in 1870, which affirmed for Black men the right to v ote. 148 Clara Brown, who traveled to Denver in 1859 on a wago n train, forged her way to a de cent living in Central City. Black women in Denver, had almost no 145 Clementine Washington Pigford. They Came to Colorado, Draft 3, v. 3. 1086 146 The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Apr., 1928), 126 149 Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. 138/40. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2713959 Accessed May 11, 2013. 147 Colorado Historic Newspapers. Denver Daily Times (no author list ed) Monday, March 16, 1874, 4. http://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org/ Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp? From=Search&Key=DTM/1874/03/16/4 148 U. S. National Archives and Records Administration. The Constitution of the United States, Amendments 11 27. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11 27.html.
43 political clout, nor did they have much power or influence in other areas such as their working l ives. A very small percentage of many of the working Black women were employed as cooks, maids, laundress, and in ot her service rolls. 149 Some were able to push the boundaries and become entrepreneurs or work in hotels and restaurants. 150 Working women also supported th eir families and their communities. At home they cooked, cleaned and cared for their family. Through their church affiliations m any women set up missionary societies or other faith based organizations to educate their fam ilies, to take care of the needs of neighbors and to provide mutual support among the members. 151 African Americans began migrating to Denver at a much increased rate, the population increased from fewer than 500 in 1870 to over 11,500 in 1910, dem 152 During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, as Jim Crow laws became more and more restrictive, Black people pushed back through self help and national organizations. 153 As for the Afro Americans, the y were not strangers in the city either. They were among its first citizens in 1858 and by the late 1880s approached 4,000 in number, out of a population of slightly over 100,000 per sons. They had a well 149 Montana: The Magazine of Western History Vol. 38, No. 2 (Spring, 1988), 14 27 Montana Historical Society: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4519131 .Accessed: 12/02/2012, 21. 150 151 African American Women Confront the West 1600 2000 Quintard Taylor and Shir ley Anne Wilson Moore, Eds. Norman OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003, 146/7 152 Carl Abbott, et al., Colorado, 215. 153
44 defined, albeit segregated, community replete with a number of social institutions, the strongest of which was the black church. And although as a group they were clustered in the lower socio economic strata, there were a few exceptional in dividuals of rather handsome means. 154 The duties and responsibiliti es of church members followed along gender lines. T he men of Zion and Shorter were in charge of the Pastorate, Board of Trustees and the Deacons while the women were responsible in large part, the choirs, and various missionary and benevolent groups. 155 In 1885 Reverend William Gray ministered to Andrew Green, who was tried and convicted of robbing and killing Joseph A. Whitnah, a trolley driver 156 Several women in the church choir joined Reverend Gray, to make sure that Green had a proper service. Andre w Green was visited by two other ministers, Reverend Dr. I. W. Tripplett of Shorter A.M.E. Church, and Reverend Dr. Lewing of a Pueblo, Colorado, A.M.E. Church, and other church members 157 Women in their church ministries supported the endeavors of the min work, through outreach, prayer services, the choir, and collection of food and clothing for community members needs. 158 During celebrations or special events, the women provided the feasts The ministries expand ed outside of the churches and created 154 18 The Journal of Negro History V ol. 68, No. 1 (Winter, 1983), 37 53 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2717458?origin=JSTOR pdf 41 Accessed: May 6, 2013. 155 Shorter A. M. E. Church. Centenni al Celebration 1868 1968: 100 Years of Progress 22 25. Robert Pratt III Collection. 156 William King. The End of an Era, 41. 157 158 Clementine Washington Pigford, They Came to Colorado Book 2, v2, 963.
45 separate clubs and organizations to challenge racism, sexism and sexual harassment, and to improve oth er social and civic issues 159 In 1892, Elizabeth P. Ensley and her husband moved to Denver and helped orga nize the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association. 160 She was the treasurer of this non Colorado Legislature in 1893. She was a journalist for the National Association of Colored Women letter 161 Their m otto Climb Ensley and Ida DePriest a member of Zion, later started the Colored Colorado legislator, Joseph Stewart in 1 897. 162 DePriest, who was the first Black woman to work at the Denver U S Mint as a weigher, was also a member of the 163 In 1891 minister W. P. T Jones and thirty members left Zion and with permission from Reverend John Ford and s tarted Central Baptist Church In 1912 Central built a new sanctuary at 2400 California Street, where it is currently located 164 159 Jacqueline Jones Royster, Ed. Southern Horrors and Other Writings 160 Autry National Center of the American West, Women of the West Museum: Elizabeth Piper Ensley (1848 1919) Colorado Suffragist. http://theautry.org/explore/exhibits/suffrage/ensley_full.html Accessed June 8 2013. 160 Autry National Center of the American West, Women of the West Museum. 162 Autry National Center of the American West, Women of the W est Museum. 163 164 Clementine Washington Pigford, They Came to Colorado Book 1, v1, 4.
46 Attorney Edwin Hackley and his wife Emma Azalia Hackley, the first Black graduate of the University of Denver, were church mem bers. 165 Hackley was the owner and editor of the Statesman, and sold half of his interest to J oseph D. D. Rivers, who renamed the paper to the Colorado Statesman 166 Azalia Hackley was an accomplished singer and lead the choir as Zion Baptist Church. 167 July 18 98 she 168 A new minister to Denver, Reverend John Ford joined Zion in 1899 and served until 190 7 169 He was credited with increasing the membership from 200 to 525, and 170 He was married to first Black woman physician, Dr. Justina Ford, who ushered in a n ew perspective on women and their role in their community and in the 165 Clementine Washington Pigford, They Came to Colorado, Book 2, v2, 499. 166 Montana: The Magazine of Western History Vol. 38, No. 2 (Spring, 1988), pp. 14 27 Montana Historical Society: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4519131 .Accessed: December 2, 2012 167 Clementine Washington Pigford. Beautiful, Beautiful Zion: The Ma Power and Grace 138+ Years of Faith, Works and Historical Significance Blair Caldwell African American Research Library Collection (no publisher) 1993, 2/3. 168 Clementine Washington Pigford. Beautiful, Beautiful Zion, 2/3 169 Clementine Was hington Pigford, They Came to Colorado, Book 1, v1, 4. 170 Clementine Washington Pigford, They Came to Colorado, Book 1, v1, 4.
47 church. 171 She, like most of the women at Zion, believed in service to her community. 172 Reverend John Ford resigned in April 1907, and left Denver for a several month tour of Europe. Wh en he returned to the United States, he accepted a position with a Baptist church in Florida. Their marriage ended, and Dr. Ford remained in Denver I n 1911 she married Albert Allen, also a member of Zion Baptist church. During her fifty year career in De nver, she delivered more than 7,000 babies, from more than thirty seven nationalities, and could speak many languages and dialects. 173 African American women in the Denver area started more than twenty two clubs and organizations between 1900 and 1925. 174 Lynda Dickson extensively research ed their work in the community. What she discovered was that these clubs need ed to be examined through an unfamiliar point of reference. 175 Previous research suggested negative, dehumanizing ideology to express the behavior of people of African descent, or 171 Wallace Yvonne Tollette. Woman Doctor. Denver: Western Images Publishing, 2 005, 77/8. 172 Wallace Yvonne Tollette. Justina Lorena Ford, M. D. 79. 173 Wallace Yvonne Tollette, Justina Lorena Ford, M. D ., 82. 174 372/3. 175 Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies Vol. 9, No. 2 (1987), 62 68. University of Nebraska Press, 67. http://www.jstor.org/ stable/3346191?origin =JSTOR pdf Accessed November 26, 2013.
48 reflected the racist attitudes and biased anti Black opinions of the time. Other scholarship looked strictly through the lens of how oppression affected the clubs. Much of the commentary continued down a path of categorizing Black women as socially deviant, highly sexua lized and a low moral compass. As part of the reaction to these ideas, and the increased experiences with discriminatory rules and laws, Black women sought ways to change some of these perceptions, or to create a circle of support. 176 In some cases, women d id not reference the experienced discrimination, but sought only to enjoy the company of other women in various activities. 177 Still in other cases, they actively engaged issues of homelessness, education, employment opportunities, politics, and access to re sources, but they also focused on uplifting their community, especially the children. 178 Some projects were perceived as small or insignificant, while others appeared to have higher expectations or results. They worked at improving the lives of their familie s, and acquiring or enhancing their skills I n some cases it was in the face of oppression, but in other cases oppression was not included as an issue. It was important to combat racial and sexual stereotypes of Black 176 History 67/8. 177 History 67/8. 178 392. Writing the Range: Race, Class, and Culture in the Women's West Elizabeth Jameson, Susan Armitage, Eds. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997. 372/3. Accessed June 8, 2013.
49 tional spotlight, but to also have a social outlet, and fellowship with other women. 179 The members of Zion and Shorter were also active in social clubs and organizations. They endeavored to thrive within their community, operate and support local busines ses, educate their children, and support philanthropic events. Dr. Joseph Henry Peter Westbrook later to become a member of Shorter A.M.E. C hurch arrived in Denver in 1906 and started his medical practice. A few months later his best friend from college, Dr. Thomas Ernest McClain, later to become a member of Zion Baptist Church arrived and started his dental practice in February 1907. 180 B o t h w e r e a c t i v i s t s i n t h e B l a c k c o m m u n i t y The Glenarm Branch of the the Phyllis Wheatley Branch of the s Christian Association (YWCA) were started to support social engagement of the young people in their communities during the 1920s 181 Members from Zion, Shorter and other Denver churches supported the programs and annual memberships 182 M embers of both church es and 179 Darle ne Clark Hine. Hine Sight, 14. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies Vol. 9, No. 2 (1987), 62 68. ( University of Nebraska Press ) http://www.jstor.org /stable/ 3346191?origin=JSTOR pdf 67. Accessed November 26, 2013. 180 Denver Public Library, Western Genealogy Department, Central Library, Level 5 Microfiche. Colorado Statesmen Ne wspaper, February 9, 1907. Billie Arlene Grant, et al. Growing Up Black in Denver. 94. 181 Ronald J. Stephens, et al, Images of America 71 /72. 182 Denver Public Library Western Genealogy Department, Digital Images. YMCA Glenarm Branch Members List
50 other churches in Denver area were interconnected through clubs, organizations, special church events, and opportunities to support and/or uplift their communities. The church still holds a strong membership and active ministries. Shorter A frican M ethodist E piscopal Church Mrs. Mary Smith, and Mrs. Mary Randolph, who became friends when they met in Denver, worked together to form the first Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Denver Ms. Smith visited gambling establishments to raise funds to star t a church, and accumulated enough to build a church on land donated by Civil War Union army o fficer, Major Fillmore, n ear the Platte River. 183 According to Shorter Community AME Church website the ir first building was a log cabin and members of St John we re meeting as early as 1864 but did not formally organize their charter until 1868. 184 With Mrs. Randolph they built the church in 1866. Bishop Thomas M. D. Ward and Reverend John Wilkerson formally organized St. John African Methodist Episco pal (A M E ) Church in July 1868, as the first A M E Church in Colorado on Stout Street and K ( N ineteenth ) Street 185 http://d igital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15330coll1/id/1146/r ec/4 183 Mrs. Justina Grizzard. Shorter Community A. M. E. Church 125th Anniversary, April 1993, 1868 1993 Robert B. Pratt III collection, 7. 184 Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church. http://www.shorterame.org/pc/about.html 185 Mrs. Justina Grizzard. Shorter A. M. E. Church, 125th Anniversary 7.
51 186 The July 14, 1873 edition of the Denver Daily Times published a brief article about Shorter A.M. E. Church. Reverend James Madison was solicit ing donations to complete the new ch urch structure. He had so far raised $1000 and needed $1200 overall to complete the project. 187 In 1878 at the cost of $2000, the church built a new structure at Stout Street and Nineteenth Street, and change d their name in 1880 to Shorter Chapel in honor of the Right Reverend James A. Shorter, ninth Bishop of the A. M. E. church. In 1886 they sold the building for $15,000. 188 Over the next year, Shorter purchased land in several locations to build their church, o nly to meet with resistance from the local residents. For almost a full year and at three different locations, Shorter Chapel experienced considerable opposition from neighbors against having a Black Church in their community 189 They bought land at Calif ornia Street, 186 Denver Public Library, Western Genealogy Department, Shorters [sic] Chapel A.M.E 23rd & Cheyenne Sts X 25622 F11152 DPLW 10025622.tif http://digital.denverlibrary.org/ cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/39291/rec/22 187 Colorado Historic Newspapers. Denver Daily Times July 14, 1873. 188 About Shorter Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church. http://www.shorterame.org/pc/about.html 189 Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church. http://www.shorterame.org/pc/about.html
52 and Twenty forth Street for $10,000, then sold it soon after for $12,000. 190 They bought land at Glenarm Place and Seventeenth Street for $10,000 and started construction, when neighbors opposed, so they sold it for $14,000. They bought and sol d property at the corner of Lincoln Street, and Nineteenth Avenue. 191 The church purchased land at Cleveland Place and Twenty Third Street (Twentieth Avenue and Park Avenue West) with two home s, for $9000 and later one became the parsonage I n 1887 they e rected their new church at a cost of $24,000, but because of all their land sales in the previous year, only had an outstanding debt of $7000. 192 193 194 190 Shorter Afric an Methodist Episcopal Church. 117th Anniversary, Rejoicing Remembering Recommitting. February 9, 1986, Rev. J Langston Boyd, Pastor. Robert B. Pratt III collection 8. 191 Shorter African Methodi st Episcopal Church. 117th Anniversary 8. 192 Church Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church http://www.shorterame.org/pc/about.html 193 Denver Public Library, Western Genealogy Department, Digital Images. Shorters (sic) A M E Church (colored) 20th Ave and Washington X 2563, F3763 DPLW 10025623.tif ,Photograph, http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/ collection/ p15330coll22/id/39292/rec/55. 194 Cl eo Parker Robinson Dance. cleoparker dance.org
53 The church was burned down April 9, 1925 allegedly by the Ku Klux Klan. 195 earch included a copy of an article, t he May 16, 1925 edition of The Denver Star, which noted that Shorter A.M.E. church was the conference headquarters for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP) sixteenth annual national c onference but because of the fire, t he conference had to be moved to Zion Baptist church. Nationally recognized attorney Clarence Darrow of Chicago, and Judge Ben Lindsey of Denver were guest speakers at the e lection was contested by the Ku Klux 196 Shorter A.M.E. shared space in another Black church, Peoples Presbyterian Church while building a new sanctuary at the same site and moved back in April 4, 1926 where they remained through 1994 197 They moved into a new church in 1994 at 3100 Richard Allen Court, near Colorado Blvd and Martin Luther King Blvd, where they are today. 198 former Shorter Church building. 199 195 Church Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church http://www.shorterame.org/pc/about.html. 196 Clementine Pigford, They Came to Colorado Book 2, v2, 853. 197 Mrs. Justina Grizzard. Shorter Co mmunity A. M. E. Church 125th Anniversary, April 1993, 1868 1993 Robert B. Pratt III collection, 10. 198 Mrs. Justina Grizzard. Shorter Community A.M.E. Church 125th Anniversary 10. 199 Lauren Mauck, Images of America 121.
54 200 as established in December 1862. The first school rented space at 16th and Market, and operated about a year and a half, then ran out of money. In 1866 two schools opened, one a German school and the other rented space from J. H. Kehler at the Windsor Hot el 201 By 1868, the schools were re organized to accommodate as many as 500 students. Denver residents required separate schools for the 42 black children, so they attended school in rented space at Zion Baptist Church (African Baptist Church). 202 In 1873 th e school was moved to Shorter AME Church The Arapahoe school was built in 1874 on Arapahoe Street between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets and all students a ttend ed 203 200 Church Sho rter African Methodist Episcopal Church http://www.shorterame.org/pc/about.html 201 Denver Public School History http://www.dpsk12.org/aboutdps/history/dps_history_no1.shtml 202 Denv er Public School History http://www.dpsk12.org/aboutdps/history/dps_history_no1.shtml 203 Denver Public School History http://www.dpsk12.org/aboutdps/history/dps_history_no1.shtml
55 The school closed in 1881 and the building was demolished in 1955 to m ake way for the new Federal Reserve Bank 204 George and Gertie Ross were members of Shorter A.M.E. Church. He was a local attorney, and she was music teacher and the church organist. Both were active in civil rights and member s of various organizations. 205 They led a protest in 1915 against the film Birth of a Nation 206 He was the first president of the Denver Chapter N.A.A.C.P. 207 D r. Joseph Henry Peter Westbrook was a beloved physician and activist. He and his wife, Mildred, were members of Shorter A.M.E. C hurch. He was credited with 208 He infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, and kept the Black community abreast of their plans. 209 204 Old Arapahoe School. Denver Public Library, Western History/Genealogy, Digital Collections http://digitaldenverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/ p15330coll22/id/59932/rec/28 205 Denver Public Library Western Genealogy Department, The Denver Star Newspaper 1913. 1/3 http://cdm16079.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/colle ction/p15330coll1/id/ 868/rec/10 206 207 Ronald Stephens, et al, Images of America 42. 208 Ronald Stephens, et al. Images of America, 53. 209 Ronald Stephens, et al. Images of America 53.
56 George Morriso n, Sr. his wife W i l l a M a e and children were members of Shorter. 210 He was a bandleader and professor. He owned two night clubs, one in Golden, and one in the Five Points Neighborhood. The Ku Klux Klan had threatened to burn down his club in Golden but burned down th e foundation of his new home on Gilpin S treet. 211 Joseph D. D. and his wife, Richie J. Rivers were members of Shorter. He bought the Colorado Statesmen from Edwin Hackley in the 1890s. 212 During the next twenty years, his paper merged with the Denver Star and continued publications until 1961. He kept his audience updated on daily events in politics, race relations, church programs, and human interest stories in the Denver community and surrounding areas, but also published national and international arti cles. After he died, his wife married William Greenwood. Their son William Greenwood Jr. married Marie Anderson Greenwood, the first black tenured teacher in Denver Public Schools. 213 Addye Hall Lightner, president of the Denver Federation o f Colored Wom Club was also a member of Shorter. She worked in the real estate industry and later worked for American Woodman in their real estate department. She was a civil rights 210 T h i s F a r b y F a i t h S a n c t u a r y D e d i c a t i o n D a y S u n d a y J u n e 2 4 1 9 9 0 S h o r t e r C o m m u n i t y A M E C h u r c h D e n v e r C o l o r a d o R e v e r e n d J L a n g s t o n B o y d J r P a s t o r 4 1 211 Billie Arlene Grant, et al. Growing Up Black in Denver 73. Ronald Stephens, et al, Images of America 59/60. 212 Clementine Pigford, They Came to Colorado, Draft 1, v 1, 113/4. 213 Clementine Pigford, They Came to Colorado, Draft 1, v 1, 113/4.
57 activist focused on fair housing, and worked with the Urban League. 214 Her brother in law was the Supreme Clerk at the American Woodman. 215 In 1979, they purchased land and a building from the Denver School Board north of Barrett Elementary School, in the 2 900 block of Jackson Street in northeast Denver. 216 The building currently houses their day care facility. In 1980 Shorter member Iris Slack canvassed the neighbors across the street from the land to change the name from Jackson Street, to Richard Allen Co urt. 217 She worked with community members, including Macedonia church members and city agencies to change the name of East Thirty Second Avenue to Martin Luther King Boulevard. 218 Over the next ten years, they built a senior housing apartment building, and th eir new sanctuary. 219 220 Shorter remains financially sound, and are 214 Billie Arlene Grant, et al. Growing Up Black in Denver 68. 215 Shorter Community A.M.E Church. Shorter Community A.M.E Church 125th Anniversary, April 1993, 1868 1993. (no publisher listed) Robert B. Pratt, III Collection, 9/10. 216 Shorter Community A.M.E Church. Shorter Community A .M.E Church 125th Anniversary 9/10. 217 Shorter Community A.M.E Church. Shorter Community A.M.E Church 125th Anniversary, 9/10. 218 Shorter Community A.M.E Church. Shorter Community A.M.E Church 125th Anniversary. 9/10. 219 Shorter Community A.M.E Church. Sh orter Community A.M.E Church 125th Anniversary, 9/10. 220 Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church, 117th Year Anniversary 11.
58 working on expanding their reach, by building a Justice Center on their property in the near future. 221 221 Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church. http://ww w.shorterame.org/pc/about.html
59 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION African American Christianity for many has been the foundation of their survival through slavery, reconstruction, and beyond. A closer look at the evolution of this ideology revealed that African religious ideals were not lost du ring the Middle Passage, but in fact most people enslaved found a way to merge new religious doctrine into their belief systems The double consciousness of Africans was a requirement to survive a brutal system with virtually no option to change. Christia nity in its truest form became distorted and mutilated when preached to enslaved people as a matter of maintaining false beliefs in their humanity, and in order to reinforce slavery. The unexpected outcome was that people enslaved recognized through script ure, the words of God did not enslave them. The word of God and scriptures paralleled many of their own beliefs before their enslavement, and supported their ideas about their freedom, their spirits, their humanness, and their right to dictate their own l ives. As they created opportunities to escape slavery, their Christian beliefs supported and encouraged their transitions. When slavery ended, their transition to a new way of living was still supported in their Christian beliefs. Some settled in Denve r before, during and after slavery, and continued fighting for their right to self determination, sometimes with the support of others, sometimes as a concession by others, and sometime s with intense opposition by others. The fight, nonetheless, never dim inished. The two oldest Black churches in Denver, revealed that wherever the journey, the members brought with them a strong faith, and a determination to move forward in
60 their lives, with spiritual support. Their Christian faith, as it has evolved, carri ed them through many challenges and turmoil as they built churc hes, and increased membership. The challenge has been to learn more about the individual contributions and memberships between 1865 and 1900 as continue d research reveals many gaps in the data. The research provided greater detail s es during the twentieth century than in the nineteenth century. The Colorado Statesman recorded church members and church events in every published issue, whether it was a concert, a s pecial gue st minister, a church picnic, political meetings, or community based events. This was especially helpful aligning the church records with the newspaper articles. Zion Baptist Church archives had been thoroughly researched by Clementine Washing ton Pigford, who assembled nine volumes (almost 3000 pages) of historical records and interviews. Shorter was much more difficult to research. Unfortunately, many of the Shorter archives are in a private collection and the sta ff at Blair Caldwell Librar y have continued their efforts to acquire these documents. Some documents and records have been donated to the library by other church members, but it has created a long term project of organizing the data in a chronological and efficient form at This pa per has barely scratched the surface of these histories. This is only the beginning of a multitude of long and fulfilling research project s still ahead. In the Twentieth Century both Zion Baptist Church and Shorter A. M. E. Community Church have ha d dyna mic and spirited members who were poised to take on the challenges of racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression. Within that effort, they were also about making their lives meaningful, embracing their communities
61 socially, and supporting or uplifting their neighbors. Tuskegee Airmen, former Buffalo Soldiers, politicians, Black fraternities and soro rities, and other organizations were founded, organized or supported by church members Men and women worked to sustain the churches and support their commun ity. They started various clubs and or enrolled in improving their own lives, improving the percep tion of Black women beyond their communities, educating or teaching skills to their members, and uplifting their communities Men managed the church money and deacon boards, while the w omen led most of the outreach ministries i n the ir communit y prepared f ood for the picnics and special events, and managed many of the church administrative functions. The members supported the churches and the churches supported their members The church helped to support and sustain their sense of community, their financi al struggles and other challenges, as well as their emotional and spiritual needs. Both churches have continued to be anchors in the Black Community, with large memberships, in to the twenty first century. Ministries are currently led and supported by bot h men and women, whether it is the deacon board, the trustees, the music and the choir, the children and family, or outreach ministries. The history of the two churches illuminated the beginning s of the African American commu nity in Denver, but this story also reached back into African t heology as it transformed into African American Christianity. It is an encouraging story about their spiritually invigorating their pursuit of living full and productive lives, and the legacy for their descendants to honor.
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69 African American Christianity: Essays in History Paul E. Johnson, Ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. Katz, William Loren. Black Women of the Old West New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1995. Kemper, Clarence W. 1938. First Baptist Church of Denver. First Baptist Church, Diamond Anniversary 1939 yearbook and roster. (NP). Kemedj from the Slave Trade to the Slavery of Comfort in the Work of Edouard Special Issue: Caribbean Literature (Summer, 1994), 51 79 Indiana University Press http://www.jstor.org/stable/4618264 Accessed: March 13, 2013. The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 68, N o. 1 (Winter, 1983), 37 53 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2717458?origin=JSTOR pdf. Accessed: 5/6/ 2013 the South Carolina Low Country, 1700 Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Summer2002), pp. 197 228 University of California Press on behalf of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture. URL: http: //www.jstor.org/stable/ 10.1525/rac.2002.12.2.197. Accessed 3/16/ 2013 Library of Congress Researchers Virtual Programs and Services Web Guides. Primary Documents in American History : Louisiana Purchase http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Louisiana.html Library of Congress Researchers Virtual Programs and Services Web Guides. Primary Documents in American History: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848 http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Guadalupe.html Mbiti, John S. Introduction to African Religion Second Ed. Oxford: Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1991. McMillan, Beverly, C. Ed. Captive Pas sage: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Americas. Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002.
70 piscopal Church, 1862 Liberty: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Age of Imperialism, 1884 Journal of the American Academy of Religion, V ol. 71, No. 1 (Mar., 2003), 18 7 191 Oxford University Press: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1466312 Mauck, Laura M. Images of America: Five Points Neighborhood of Denver Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2001. Mazama, Ama, ed. The Afrocentric Paradigm Trenton NJ: Africa World Press, 2008. ________ Journal of Black Studies Vol. 31, No. 4 (Mar., 2001), pp. 387 405. Sage Publications, Inc. http://www.jstor.org/stable/ 2668022. Inc.: Jou rnal of Black Studies Vol. 33, No. 2, 13th Cheikh Anta Diop Conference Selected Proceedings. Sage Publicati ons, (Nov., 2002), 218 34. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3180935 The Journal of Negro History V ol. 78, No. 3 (Summer, 1993), 166 187: Association for the Stud y of African American Life and History, Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2717643. Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Archives of R ichard Allen Museum at the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Philadelphia PA, Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1993 http ://www.motherbethel.org/arc_finder.php New Hope Baptist Church / 23r d Street Presbyterian Church, 5. http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/compoundobject/ collection/ p15330coll1/id/400/rec/27) Ngaujah, An Eco Cultural and Social Paradigm for Understanding Human Development: Biola University Human Development and Learning (DE803) Dr. Dennis H. Dirks Fall 2003. Accessed 4/9 / 2013. Negro Spirituals. Com. http://www.negrospirituals.com/history.htm Accessed 10/6/2013
7 1 Ntloedibe, France. A Question of Origins: The Social and Cultural Roots of African American Cultures. The Journal of African American History Vol. 91, No. 4, P. Sterling Stuckey : In Praise of an Intellectual Legacy (Autumn, 2006), 401 412. Association for the Study of African American Li fe and History, Inc. Old Arapahoe School. Denver Public Library, Western History/Genealogy, Digital Collections http://digital.denverlibrary.org/c dm/singleitem/ collection/p15330coll22/id/59932/rec/28 Painter, Nell Irvin. Black Migration to Kansas after Reconstruction: The First Major Migration to the North of Ex slaves New York: W. W. Norton Co., 1992. _______________. Creating Black American s: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present. New York. Oxford University Press, 2007 Parker, Ryan. Denver Council Approves Five Points Redevelopment Plan. The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_21512229/five points urban redevelopment plan invokes emotional testimony#ixzz2FSXzJeng The American Historical Review Vol. 12, No. 1 (Oct., 1906), pp. 53 65 Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/ stable/1832884 Accessed 3/12/2013 Pigford Clementine Denver Public Library, Western Genealogy Department, Digital Images. Beautiful, Beautiful Zion: the Majesty of Gods Power and Grace, First Chronicles, Chapter 29, verse 11; 138+ Years of Faith, Works and Historical Significance 3 http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15330coll23/i d/8132/rec/33 Pigford, Clementine Washington. They Came to Colora Their Backs: Book 1, Biographical Information 1863 1999. DPL R02301 12512. REF 286.178883P623th. Draft v 1. 1999 ____________________________ on Their Backs: Book 2, Biographical I nformation 1863 1999. DPL R02301 12512. REF 286.178883P623th. Draft v 2. 1999 ____________________________ on Their Backs: Book 3, Biographical Information 1863 1999. DPL R02301 12512. REF 286.178883P623th. Draft v 3. 1999 Richard Allen: Apostle of Freedom. by Charles The Journal of Southern History Vol. 2, No. 1 (Feb., 1936), 111 112
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73 Smiley, Jerome C. History of Denver : With Outlines of the Earlier History of the Rocky Mountain Country .the Denver Times, Times Sun Pu blishing Company. 1901. Denver Public Library Western History/Genealogy, Digital Collections. http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/ p15330coll2/id/1150/rec/1 Accessed 9/10/2012 American Music V ol. 8, No. 3 Autumn, 1990 274 293. University of Illinois Press: http://www.jstor.org/stable/ 3052097 Stephens, Ronald J. PhD., LaWanna M. Larson, and the Black American West Museum. Images o f America: African Americans of Denver. Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2008. The Journal of African America n History Volume 92, No. 1, Winter 2007. Special Issue: V. P. Franklin, Ed. Accessed 8/6/2013. History of Colorado Volume I, Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1918. http://www.coloradogenealogy.com/history1/methodist_episcopal_church_col or ado htm Taylor, Quintard. In Search of the Racial Frontier: African American in the American West 1528 1990 New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998. Taylor, Quintard and Shirley Ann Wilson Moore, Eds. African American Women Confront the West 1600 2000 Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003 The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database Voyages. http//www.slavevoyages.org Accessed 9/24/2013 Theology Network. http://www. theologynetwork.org/world religions/christian uniqueness pluralism and the theology of religions.htm Accessed 10/6/2013 http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/26/us/daisy anderson 97 widow of former slave and union soldier.html Accessed 5/30/2013.
74 Tollette, Wallace Yvonne. Justina Lorena Ford, M.D.: Col orado's First Black Woman Doctor Denver: Western Images Publications, 2005 the Black Exodus: The Great Migration from the American South. Alferdteen Harr ison (Ed.) Jackson: University Mississippi Press, 1991. The Great Migration in Historical Per spective: New Dimensions of Race, Class and Gender Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1991. Music Educators Journal V ol. 95, No. 2 (Dec., 2008), 62 68: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of MENC: The National Association for Music Education: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30219666 Accessed 3/13/2013 ushistory o rg. Mother Bethel AME Church www.ushistory.org/tour/mother bethel.htm Accessed 4/2 0/2013 Wharton, J. E. History of the City of Denver, from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time ; and D. O. Wilhelm, To Which is Adde d a Full and Complete Business Directory of the City. Denver, CO, Byers and Dailey Printers, News Office, 1866 http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/dcd/dcdhome.htm Accessed 4/2/2013. Williams, Jr. Robert A. The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest Ne w York: Ox ford University Press, 1990. Winston, Michael R., P. Henry, Claiborne X. Evans, John Taylor, Charlotte A.Waities The Jou rnal of Negro History, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Jan., 1976), pp. 88 97. Association for the Study of African American Life and History http://www.jstor.org/stable/3031535?origin=JSTOR pdf Accessed 8/6/2013. Zion Baptist Church. The One Hundred Fifteenth Annivers ary of Zion Baptist Church, November 16, 1980 http://digital.denverlibrary.org/ cdm/ compoundobject/ collection/p15330coll23/id/7936/rec/3 Accessed 10/2/2012
1 APPENDIX 1. Appendix 1: Official Website of the African Methodist Episcopal Church http://www.ame church.com/our church/our history THE MISSION The Mission of the A ME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people. THE VISION At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, o ut of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and to serve the needy. It is also the duty of Church to continue to encourage all members to become involved in all aspects of church training. THE PURPOSES The ultimate purposes are: 1. 2. 3. provide continuing programs which will enhance the entire social development of all people. THE OBJECTIVE In order to meet the needs of every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall implement strategies to train all members in: (1) Christian discipleship, (2) Christian leadership, (3) current teaching methods and materials, (4) al principles, and (6) social development to which all should be applied to daily living.
2 2. Appendix 2 First African Baptist Church, Savannah, GA http://firstafricanbc.com/history.asp 3. Appendix 3 Denver Daily Times, Friday, December 5, 1873 4. Appendix 4 Gettysburg Times, Wednesday, July 2, 1997, by Robert Holt Civil War Widows, Confederate Soldier Widow Alberta Martin, 90, of Elba, Alabama Union Soldier widow Daisy Anderson, 96, of Denv er Colorado
3 5 Appendix 5 Denver Public Library Western Genealogy Department: Cosmopolitan Club WH1270 Title Cosmopolitan Club Group Photo Creator(s) McCloud, Burnis, 1908 1990. Summary Group photograph of members of the Cosmopolitan Club of Denver Caption on back says Cosmopolitan Club Event Unidentified Row 1 L R : 1 Holmes Clarence (Dentist) 2 Unidentified Person 3 Fresquez James 4 Lightner Lawrence (American Woodman) 5 Unidentified Person 6 Draine Elliott 7 Brown Harold Sr Row 2 L R : 1 Hawkins Clayton (Physician) 2 Mann Earl (Ret Lt U.S Army) 3 Barbour Miller (Urban League) 4 Unidentified Person 5 Unidentified Person 6 Abernathy 7 Minori Yosui 8 Unidentified Person 9 Unidentified Person 10 Roberts Paul (Dean St John Episcopal Church) 11 Unidentified Person Date undated Notes Item Located in Photo Box 1 Folder 78 Physical Description 1 photographic print: b&w Is Part Of Clarence and Fairfax Holmes papers, 1911 1974, 1890 1978. Subject (topic) African Americans -Colorado -Denver. Clubs -Denver -Colorado. Subject (name) Holmes, Clarence F., 1892 1978. Cosmopolitan Club (Denver, Colo.) Subject (geographic) Five Points (Denver, Col o. : Neighborhood) Rights Contact Western History/Genealogy Dept Denver Public Library Denver Colorado Reproduction Available for Purchase Yes Digital Origin reformatted digital Format Medium Photograph http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll1/id/1598/rec/146