Strong Black Girls
Reclaiming Schools in Their Own Image
Danielle Apugo Lynnette Mawhinney Gachoki Afiya Mbilishaka Adrienne Dixson
Teachers College Press
Strong Black Girls lays bare the harm Black women and girls are expected to overcome in order to receive an education in America. This edited volume amplifies the routinely muffled voices and experiences of Black women and girls in schools through storytelling, essays, letters, and poetry. The authors make clear that the strength of Black women and girls should not merely be defined as the ability to survive racism, abuse, and violence. Readers will also see resistance and resilience emerge through the central themes that shape these reflective, coming-of-age narratives. Each chapter is punctuated by discussion questions that extend the conversation around the everyday realities of navigating K–12 schools, such as sexuality, intergenerational influence, self-love, anger, leadership, aesthetic trauma (hair and body image), erasure, rejection, and unfiltered Black girlhood.
- A spotlight on the invisible barriers impacting Black girls’ educational trajectories.
- A survey of the intersectional notions of strength and Black femininity within the context of K–12 schooling.
- Narrative therapy through unpacking system stories of oppression and triumph.
- Insights for building skills and tools to make substantial and lasting change in schools.
Danielle Apugo is assistant professor of education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Lynnette Mawhinney is associate professor and chair of the Department of Urban Education at Rutgers University-Newark. Afiya Mbilishaka is an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of the District of Columbia.