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Community-based literacy learning spaces are crucial to the enduring African American pursuit of literacy. This article reports findings from a study exploring the impact of a community-based literacy tutoring program for African American readers in grades 3-5. Findings also report on ways the community literacy site was similar to historic African American figured communities. Mixed methods analysis revealed significant improvements in decoding, and counternarratives that existed with the figured community cultivated by community volunteers. Taken together, both highlight the powerful role communities’ can play in promoting African American student success. Recommendations for community organizations, teacher educators, and literacy researchers are included.