Date of Award

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Education

First Advisor

Raquel Farmer-hinton

Committee Members

Marie Sandy, Rajeswari Swaminathan, Erin Winkler


African-American, english language arts, girls, identity, intersectionality, literacy


The academic needs of African-American girls too often are not linked to their intersecting identities. These interlocked identities often go unseen, thus are rarely addressed in K-12 schools. Specifically, their identities are neglected in some of their English Language Arts classrooms through the sole use of hegemonic literary practices. Literacy 4 Brown Girls was implemented at Midwest School for twelve weeks. The overall purpose of this case study was to explore the ways in which a literacy collaborative, designed with the identities of African-American girls in mind, could impact the identity construction and literacy skill growth of twelve, African-American girls at a local school. Through careful analysis of interviews, documents, and observations, findings from this study suggest that African-American girls require school personnel to develop and maintain an intersectional lens, develop and maintain relational trust, and utilize culturally relevant curricular materials. Not doing so posits that the identities of African-American girls are unimportant and perpetuates their academic neglect and disengagement.