An Intergenerational Conversation of Black Women and Girls' Experiences in Predominantly White Independent Private Schools

Speaker: Devean R. Owens

Through the lens of Black Feminism, this project highlights the experiences of Black women and girls in predominantly white independent private schools. This workshop details how participants engage in notions of Black Feminism and also investigates how they navigate, resist and flourish in this setting. The study examines how Black women and girls cope with gendered racial discrimination. Observations at an infant - 8th grade school as well as in-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted and analyzed through the lenses of Black Feminism and Critical Race Theory. Black Feminism situates Black women at the forefront and seeks to assess how they take control of their experiences. CRT allows for analytical dissection into the gendered racial experiences of participants. This work critically analyzes the structures of race and power that are enacted, offering a counter narrative that debunks mainstream assumptions. Their stories present essential information needed to understand their experiences as valid and distinct. Findings show that Black women and girls’ relationships are paramount to their success within this school and work environment.