Women’s Press
Canada’s leading academic feminist publisher
Canada’s leading academic feminist publisher

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314 pages
6 x 9 inches
December 2019
Print ISBN: 9780889616127


This groundbreaking text is one of the first collections to exclusively explore, develop, and evaluate theories of Black girls and Black girlhoods. This contributed volume brings together emerging and established scholars from North America to discuss what Black girlhood means historically and in the 21st century, and how concepts of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and nationality inform or affect identities of Black girls beyond school or urban settings. Divided into two sections, special topics covered include Black feminism, intersectionality, pleasure and erotic agency, media and fan activism, construction of self, leadership, social change, toxic masculinity, and self-care. The Black Girlhood Studies Collection is a vital resource that will evoke meaningful discussion and change for students in African studies, Black studies, child and youth studies, gender and women studies, media studies, and sociology courses globally.


  • engages in contributions from emerging and established scholars from a breadth of diverse disciplines and backgrounds
  • includes pedagogical features such as a chapter introductions and conclusions, keywords, discussion questions, and glossaries

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Foreword: Making Fire with Light
Ruth Nicole Brown

Aria S. Halliday

Chapter 1: Theorizing Black Girlhood
Ashley L. Smith

Chapter 2: Contesting Black Girlhoods beyond Northern Borders: Exploring a Black African Girl Approach
Jen Katshunga

Chapter 3: The Politics of Black Girlhood and a Ratchet Imaginary
Amoni Thompson-Jones

Chapter 4: Ah Suh Yuh Bad?: How Bad Gyals Are Revolutionizing How Black Girls Resist and Transcend Toxicity during Girlhood
Kimberley Moore

Chapter 5: Role Models Matter: Black Girls and Political Leadership Possibilities
Wendy Smooth and Elaine Richardson

Chapter 6: Pushing the Limits in Black Girl Centered Research: Exploring the Methodological Possibilities of Melt Magazine
Sheri K. Lewis

Chapter 7: Self-Care and Community: Black Girls Saving Themselves
Caroline Kaltefleiter and Karmelisha Alexander

Chapter 8: “Take the Kinks out Your Mind, Not Your Hair”: The Politics of Black Canadian Girl’s Hair and Self-Love
Shaunasea Brown

Chapter 9: “We Need a Seat at the Table”: Black Girls Using New Media to Construct Black Identity
Kisha McPherson

Chapter 10: “Canon: Brown Eyes, Frizzy Hair and Very Clever”: Fan Art, Fan Activism and Black Hermione Granger
Megan Connor

Afterword: A Meditation on (Re)imagining a World with Black Girls
Claudine “Candy” Taaffe

Contributor Biographies


Aria S. Halliday

Aria S. Halliday is Assistant Professor of Africana Feminisms in Women's Studies at the University of New Hampshire. Her research spans the fields of American studies; African American studies; women's, gender, and sexuality studies; and cultural studies.


“The field of Black Girlhood Studies deserves a book this beautiful, this powerful, and this affirming. Halliday has put together a collection of works that truly loves Black girls. Each chapter is unique and interdisciplinary. It asks us to explore how we understand Black girlhood today. Don’t just read this book: deeply study it. The collective knowledge within these pages will push the field and our communities for years to come.”

“This collection, expertly edited by the emerging and ambitious scholar Aria Halliday, is both an inoculation and an antidote, as well as a testament to the exponential power of Black girlhood studies. Her curation of ten thoughtful essays embraces the international bounds of Black girls’ racialized and sexualized childhoods and makes it mentally as well as intellectually recognizable for avid readers, educators, activists, and social scientists. The text is a savvy reframing of the too-often denied legibility of Black girls’ worthiness—their need for protection, play, security, imagination, and prevention from harm. It also authorizes the leaders who grant voice and agency to girls (rather than women) in scholarly pursuits. The Black Girlhood Studies Collection is its own world-making of the past, present, and future, reshaping the context in which Black girls can finally shine.”

“This groundbreaking collection brings together some of the most brilliant emerging and leading scholars in Black Girlhood Studies. Offering both intellectually rigorous and deeply affective insights, this collection shows us why we need Black Girlhood Studies and how to do it well. This is the collection Black girls deserve.”

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