Kansas City Professor & Author

Say Hello

Image of Black man wearing a navy blue blazer and purple shirt; image of sky and museum in the distance background

Hi I'm Antonio.

I grew up in Florida and Alabama in a household that supported my creative writing. I wrote my first book about a secret agent fighting bioterrorism (inspired from a video game called Syphon Filter) in the 5th grade, and then I went on to write four books in high school and college. They’re tucked away in my parents’ attic or are on super old floppy disks, but one day I’ll rewrite them and publish those books! Until then, I’m an assistant professor in the English Department at the University of Missouri Kansas City! Before moving to Kansas City in 2019, I lived in Madison, Wisconsin where I finished my doctoral degree in composition and rhetoric. During those 4 and half years I learned a lot about how we use writing for justice, love, and peace in a world of pain and inequality and use those lessons in my teaching, research, and writing! To learn more, please check out my work below and remember to say say hello! :)

Teaching

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Black/African American literacy, professional and technical communication, multimodal composition, and digital rhetoric. My approach to teaching can be summed up in one sentence I often tell students in my syllabi: This class isn’t a bootcamp; it’s a playground. So I give students a variety of current theories in composition and rhetoric and issues and controversies in writing of all kinds. Students use assignments to explore, find solutions, and pose serious questions about what writing does for us. I make classes open so students find meaningful writing projects that draw on their personal, professional, and academic pursuits. Each class explores how writing and our beliefs about writing can support liberating or oppressive policies, practices, laws, and behaviors that separate us. In this way, students not only understand writing as one tool that leads to a good job but it also helps commitment to community action in our neighborhoods! Check out a sample of courses I teach to learn how I carry out this teaching philosophy!

Image of an apple sitting on a stack of books.
Image of an apple sitting on a stack of books.

Research

As a researcher, I study how the legacies of literacy for liberation and humanity carry forward into new technologies and media features. To this end, I learn how racially marginalized people create their own means for transformative access using computer technologies. My approach is qualitative: interviewing community members, participating in community members’ events, collecting artifacts meaningful to their lives, and honoring their voices through writing and presentations. I’m writing a book manuscript called The Literacy Pivot: How Black Adults Learn Computer Programming in a Racist World. The book is based on a year-long ethnographic study on Black adults attending Clearwater Academy to learn computer programming for a potential career in tech. It highlights their triumphs and desires with and about coding and how they use their experiences to address racial inequality in their lives. Two articles below give a preview into the book! Watch for more news on the manuscript! :)

Community

I believe that if public dollars supports my research then my research should be used to benefit community organizers and community learners. I volunteer in Kansas City to achieve this goal, from teaching workshops on race and racism to offering my own skills in writing and research to benefit charity partners. In addition, I link students with nonprofits for capacity-building projects! Listening to the needs of community partners, students create prototypes that community partners may or may not improve and use for later use. This approach maintains sustainable relationships between the university and the Metro Area and doesn't overburden already busy nonprofits! In the past, I've worked with Code for KC, Global FC, MARC, and Center for Neighborhoods! I would love to connect with others and learn how I and my students can serve you!

Image of hands from different races laid out next to each other.