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Identities as Assets or Risk Factors?

Updated: Jan 17

Why are aspects of my identity risk factors against me, my well-being and the quality of my life?

Why are Black women the least protected group?


We often hear and talk about the school-to-prison pipeline and the effects on Black boys and men, but no mention of the impact on Black girls. Why do you think that is?

  • Black girls and Black women are severely impacted by numerous racial disparities.

  • Not only do they share these experiences with Black men and boys, they have additional struggles that only a black woman knows, much less understands. (cue-- the lived experience)

The Million Dollar Question:

Why am I only seen or celebrated if I conform to white middle-class femininity? Why are black Women often seen as less than?

Understanding black female experiences aid in increased consciousness where our femininity is seen as inferior. This is what underlies the exploitation & criminalization of Black girls.

Black women are subject to public scrutiny constantly affecting:

  • our ability to thrive

  • the development of our identity,

  • opportunities available to us,

  • self-efficacy & self-esteem

  • Belongingness

  • Freedom of self-expression

  • our survival! (And so much more!)


Furthermore, Why are Black girls often prey for sexual predators?

Sit with this one for a bit.


Many Black women like myself have viewed defiance as a necessity sometimes:

Maybe to some Black women being....

- “Ghetto” represents resilience to racial & gender oppression.

- “Loud” is a demand to be heard.

- Having an “Attitude” is to reject a doctrine of invisibility & mistreatment.

- Being “Fabulous” to revise the idea that SES/ social class isolation is equated with not having access to materially desirable things.

To be a ghetto black girl means to reinvent what it means to be black, poor, and female. What does it mean to you?

Our survival skills are degraded and punished rather than recognized as tools of resilience.

These circumstances are a result of judgmental perceptions about how we respond to injustice.

  • What can we do?

  • How do we change the narrative?

  • How do we protect our Black girls?

What role will you play in the decriminalization of Black girls in schools?
What role will you play in the protection of Black women? What does Alyship look like for you?

My Action Plan

  • Challenging the narrative and embracing my true self without conformity to white femininity.

  • Conducting & dessiminating research to promote social justice.

  • Developing projects that bring awareness and teach the skills necessary.

  • Allyship and mentorship of Black youngsters

  • Using my platforms to inform, inspire and educate.

  • Amplifying Black Voices

Read. Reflect. Read Again.

Looking forward to your thoughts, conversations & feedback; Keep the conversation going.

I hope this post inspires you to challenge the narrative, dismantle these systems of "isms".

This blog is inspired by:

Resource: Discipline Data for Girls in US Public Schools, Department of Education office for Civil Rights, 2018

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