Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 45, No. 1, August 2010
If you can, please read this paper that I had the pleasure of co-researching/writing.(link above)
This article examines how Black girlhood is constructed through fiction. The following research question guided this study: How do writers represent the heterogeneity of urban teenage girls in school-sanctioned African American young adult literature? Five popular narratives that exemplify the contemporary lives of urban African American female pre/teenage protagonists represent the data. Utilizing a Black feminist epistemological framework coupled with a complementary theory of adolescent identity development, we analyze the symbolic textual representations along with the protagonists’ decision making and situational depictions. We argue that the protagonists’ textual heterogeneity manifests across the texts through four enactments of identity: intellectual, physical, kinship, and sexual. These findings have both theoretical and practical implications for educators and researchers alike.