Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Mimi Rosenberg


This paper explains and analyzes how ordinary racism, superimposition of white values, and the hypervisible-invisible dichotomy operate in K-12 schools to stymie the academic and socio emotional development of Black girls, criminalize them, and push them out of schools. A scholarly review of the literature featuring Black feminist scholars is presented. Embedded throughout are the thoughts of the author, a first generation Latinx woman of color and elementary school teacher. Highlighted as well are the powerful voices of Black girls describing their damaging experiences with racism, both micro and macro aggressions, in schools. Two prominent themes emerge in identifying the ways in which schools render Black girls invisible, hypervisible and crush their academic spirits and freedom to be themselves: 1) false beliefs about Black girls’ academic potential, stereotypes and perceptions about Black girls’ behaviors, 2) emphasis on Black girls conforming to White values. Recommendations that are rooted in highly successful historical and current models for building on individual and community strengths among African American girls and women are offered for supporting teachers and schools in addressing and changing racist beliefs and practices. This urgent call for action includes building teachers’ understanding of the racialized gendered contexts through which Black girls experience the world. Black Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are offered as critical areas of study for educators. Literacy circles, mirror books, and family engagement are also posed as avenues for addressing the academic and social emotional needs of Black girls.


Dual Language / Bilingual Childhood Special and General Education