Black Girl Magic (Mis)Understood: Representations and Perceptions of Black Women and Girls in the Education System

Terza Silva Lima-Neves, Political Science, Johnson C. Smith University

This seminar addresses the complexities of race, class and gender in the education system by providing in-depth analyses of popular perceptions and representations of Black women and girls in literature, academic scholarship and popular culture. Through readings, films and podcasts, as well as critical (and oftentimes uncomfortable) group discussions particularly about personal biases and micro-aggressions, the goal is to lead us to better understanding of the realities and experiences of Black women and girls, debunking myths, and learning how we, as educators, can better serve this historically marginalized population that has been stereotyped and misunderstood, and has led to existing consequences in the way they have been perceived and treated in our school systems.  Additionally, the objective is for each educator to gain the knowledge and skill set that will allow her/him to go back to the classroom with specific ways to incorporate the experiences and stories of Black women and girls in academic curriculum. These stories and experiences are an important and critical part of US history and society, and therefore should be part of everyone’s learning experience through general curriculum development.