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Engendering #BlackGirlJoy

How to Cultivate Empowered Identities and Educational Persistence in Struggling Schools


Monique Lane

We are living in historic times and negotiating multiple national crises. The confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic and unrelenting state-sanctioned murders of Black people has disproportionately impacted our women and girls at the intersections of employment, citizenship, housing, healthcare, and motherhood statuses. As many individuals rally for liberation on the frontlines, how might educational institutions intervene as sources of respite and reparation?

Historically, racialized sexism in U.S. schools has manifested uniquely for Black girl-identified adolescents (including cisgender, queer, and transgender youth). These learners face heightened exposure to malicious discourses and exclusionary disciplinary policies. Engendering #BlackGirlJoy identifies the teaching practices that equip young Black women to locate, analyze, heal from, and ultimately thrive through the suffering they face inside and outside of schools.

The book is rooted in the author’s experience as a South Los Angeles high school teacher working at her alma mater, trying to cultivate the life-affirming education that she desired as a child. Centering her students’ perspectives, Monique Lane outlines a Black feminist pedagogical framework that inspired bountiful #BlackGirlJoy in one embattled public school. This text is a heartfelt offering to educators committed to taking courageous and innovative action—in solidarity with Black girl learners—toward the betterment of their lives!

“Dr. Monique Lane opens new dialogue on the place of Black girls in curriculum and instruction from a Black teacher’s standpoint. With so much attention across the nation on the state of Black girls, including on the minds of celebrities and laypersons alike, Dr. Lane’s text provides us much direction for classroom discourse and pedagogy. Black girls’ ‘place’ is everywhere!”—Venus Evans-Winters, editor of the Urban Girls book series

"Simply stated, Black girls matter! Black girls’ voices, minds, and experiences matter. Thank you, Monique Lane, for elevating the brilliance, genius, and intellect of Black girls. Engendering #BlackGirlJoy is a beautifully crafted book that is powerful, poignant, and hopeful. For educators who are looking to see theory-to-practice driven work that is situated in culture, gender, care, and agency, this is the book!" --Tyrone Howard Pritzker Family Endowed Chair Director of Center for Transformation of Schools Director of UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children & Families UCLA School of Education & Information Studies