Black Girl, Be! Creating Transformative Spaces for Black Girls in Public Education Schools
Throughout history, Black children have been dehumanized, criminalized, and sexualized. Additionally, though education can be a transformative and liberative tool, Black children have been deprived of quality and equitable education or pushed out of schools and into confinement through harsh punitive punishments that have oftentimes been found to be rooted in racism, sexism, classism, etc. Unfortunately, most of the advocacy and research that is has been done up until recently has been focused on the treatment of Black boys in society. While many advocacy and activist groups are working to change systems for Black boys, our Black girls are receiving harsher juvenile justice sentences and more punitive punishments than any other group of girls and are the fastest growing population in departments of juvenile justice. This paper discusses the keys—outlined by Dr. Monique Morris— that are needed to incorporate transformative practices for Black girls in schools. These keys are: a race conscious gender analysis; an erasure of respectability politics in Schools; a centered response to victimization; high expectations for all Students; practices that facilitate healing opportunities for Black girls; and a centering of voices of color and experiential knowledge.