race, gender, education, schooling, Black girlhood

Document Type

Main Theme / Tema Central


Through a lack of Black-centered, Black-empowering policies and strategies (Dumas, 2016), Black people are overlooked in the US public education system. Though this general disregard (and disdain) for Blackness in the education system is found to keep communities segregated and result in higher rates of expulsion and punishment for Black students (Dumas, 2014; Wun, 2016), we know relatively little about how experiences shape identities for Black girls in their schools. For Black girls, and specifically Black mixed race girls, we do know that physical attributes like hair texture and skin color shift the girls’ sense of racial identity (Hunter, 2016) while attending school. However, intersections of mixed racial identity and femininity are left out when in conversation with the (male-centric) topic of students’ Blackness and identity development. This research complicates current acknowledgements of racism and aggravations of intergenerational trauma by highlighting the experiences of Black mixed race girls in a Black affinity program at a San Francisco Bay Area middle school. The preliminary study included semi-structured interviews with 2 students via Zoom. Interviews inspected how Black mixed race girls’ identities are formed and understood through their schooling and the Black affinity program. By analyzing interview data, findings suggest that Black education empowers the girls’ sense of self and pushes them to connect past to present to future. Thus, further research and an emphasis on Black femininity through space-times may explain how (anti-)Blackness manifests in these girls and their schools.



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