“My Greatness Made a Difference There”: Exploring the High School Experiences of High Achieving Black Girls

Renae D. Mayes, Kendra P. Lowery, Lauren C. Mims, Jennifer Rodman, Deneen Dixon-Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent studies have provided insight into the schooling experiences and lives of Black girls. These studies highlight the challenges that Black girls face in the school environment including underachievement, disproportionality in school discipline, deficit ideologies, and educator and counselor bias. The current study centers the voices on high achieving Black girls in an effort to center their unique and nuanced experiences in high school. Data was collected using in-depth individual interviews and analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. We found that high achieving Black girls must navigate deficit thinking and negative stereotypes similar to their peers while they also pull strength and resilience from their intersecting identities. Further, high achieving Black girls were tenacious in their pursuits and found familial and teacher relationships to be paramount in their success. These findings support the importance of developing intentional and systemic supports to counter intersectional oppression to meet the needs of high achieving Black girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-755
JournalEducation and Urban Society
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Black feminism
  • Black girls
  • high achieving
  • high school
  • intersectionality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies

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