"They Wanted Me To Be This Way Instead Of Who I Am Already." A Case Study Exploring the Perspectives and Experiences of Black Girls Attending a Public Charter Middle School in Washington, D.C.
During the 2019-2020 school year, Black girls at Charter X, a public school in Washington, D.C., had more "negative" reported incidents than any racial or gender group. This capstone study aimed to understand better why this occurred and provide information to Charter X to prevent this phenomenon from happening in the future. This capstone used a mixed methods approach to gather data to answer this capstone's inquiry. Three conceptual frameworks: Respectability (Higginbotham, 1995), Black Girl Cartography (Butler, 2018), and Interior Homeplace (Quashie, 2018 and hooks, 1990), were also used to interpret what teachers at Charter X said about Black girls and understand what Black girls shared about themselves and their experiences. This capstone found that Black girls presented in the literature and Charter X have always experienced tension between what others expect and what they want. The choices they make within this tension, historically and presently, have consequences—either meet the expectations of others and possibly erase themselves or be true to themselves and risk severe consequences. This study shared Black girls' experiences to help readers see their humanity, the complexities of their identity development, and their resistance in schools.