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Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls

Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls

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April 2021 | 584 pages | Corwin

Be a part of the radical transformation to honor and respect Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls!

This book is a collective call to action for educational justice and fairness for all Black Girls – Beautiful, Brilliant. This edited volume focuses on transforming how Black Girls are understood, respected, and taught. Editors and authors intentionally present the harrowing experiences Black Girls endure and provide readers with an understanding of Black Girls’ beauty, talents, and brilliance. 

This book calls willing and knowledgeable educators to disrupt and transform their learning spaces by presenting:

  • Detailed chapters rooted in scholarship, lived experiences, and practice
  • Activities, recommendations, shorter personal narratives, and poetry honoring Black Girls
  • Resources centering Black female protagonists
  • Companion videos illustrating first-hand experiences of Black Girls and women
  • Tools in authentically connecting with Black Girls so they can do more than survive – they can thrive.

About the Editors
About the Contributors
Introduction. Black Girls are Beautiful and Brilliant
I. “Black people I love you, I love us, Our Lives Matter” - Alicia Garza #BlackLivesMatter
CH1. Black “Girls” are Different not Deficient
Vignette: Black Girl Got Magic

Vignette: It Takes A Village: Black Girl Physician, Black Girl Scientist

CH2. Black, Beautiful, and Brilliant: It Takes A Village, Counter Safe Spaces for Black Super Girls
Vignette: Ode to the Black Woman High School Student

CH3. A Systemic Response to Creating a School Where Black Girls Can Thrive
Book Review: Hey, Black Child

II. “Nah” - Harriet Tubman: Stereotypes and Tropes
Vignette: Where Does the Sapphire Caricature Come From?

CH4. My Eloquent, Angry, Black Rage
CH5. The Right Kind of Black Girl
CH6. Colorism in the Classroom
Vignette: The Token Tax

III. “Spirit Murdering” - Bettina Love
CH7. Visible Black Girls... Powerful Beyond Measure
Vignette: You Murdered my Rhythm and Blues: Black Girls Still Got Magic

CH8. Why Does My Darkness Blind You? Abandoning Racist Teaching Practices
Book Review: Genesis Begins Again

CH9. Finding My Armor of Self-Love
Vignette: Black Student, White Teacher

IV. “Reclaiming My Time” - Maxine Waters
CH10. Girls in the School to Prison Pipeline: Implications of History, Policy, and Race
CH11. How Dare you Be Brilliant: Precarious Situation for Black Girls
CH12. Girl Trafficking Misunderstood: Understanding The Commercially Sexually Exploited African American Girl
Vignette: Black Girls Trapped in Our Foster Care System

Vignette: My Transracial Adoption Experience: Being Seen and Not Seen At All

Vignette: Know Your Body, Sis

CH13. Little Black Girls with Curves
Vignette: Fat, Black, and Female

V. “Your Silence is a Knee on My Neck” - Natasha Cloud
CH14. Whiteness Competency: How Not to Be BBQ Becky
Vignette: Keisha Resists Karen

CH15. Can I do this if I’m White?: How White Educators can be the Teachers their Black Girl Students Deserve
CH16. Not Knowing and Not Controlling: Learning Alongside Black Girl Students
Vignette: Confessions of a White Teacher: Seven Ways I Failed Beautiful and Brilliant Black Girls

Vignette: Humbling Feedback

Vignette: Is This the Solidarity I Seek?

CH17. Not in Our Name: Fierce Allyship for White Women
Vignette: The Culture Walk

CH18. White Teachers, Black Girls, and White Fragility
VI. “Give light and people will find the way.” – Ella Baker
Vignette: Dear, Dear, Dear!

CH19. A Reimagined Pedagogy of Affirmation and Artistic Practices
Vignette: Infinitely Crowned

I. “I’ll be Bossy and Damn Proud” - Rosa Clemente
CH20. Who are Black Girls: An Intersectional Herstory of Feminism
Book Review: Crossing Ebenezer Creek

Vignette: This Is What a (Pan)African Feminist Looks Like

CH21. Navigating Multiple Identities: The Black Immigrant Girl Experience
Vignette: It should have been all of us, together, against the system: Latinidad, Blackness, and Queer Identity

CH22. Yes! Black girls are genderqueerand transgender, too!
CH23. Prismatic Black Girls Reflecting African Spiritualities in Learning Environments
Book Review: Pet

II. “I am desperate for change - now - not in 8 years or 12 years, but right now” - Michelle Obama
CH24. Black Girl in the Playground
Vignette: Who’s Going to Sing A Black Girl’s Song

Vignette: My Black, My Beautiful, My Brilliant

CH25. Black Girls Voices Matter: Empowering the Voices of Black Girls against Co-opting and Colonization
III. “Don’t Touch My Hair” - Solange
CH26. She Wears a Crown: Centering Black Girlhood in Schools
CH27. I am Not My Hair
Vignette: Covered Girls

Book Review: I’m Enough

IV. “We want to turn victims into survivors - and survivors into thrivers” - Tarana Burke
Vignette: Mirror, Mirror

CH28. Voice Activation and Volume Control in the Workplace
Vignette: Black Girls Say #MeToo

V. “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” - Angela Davis
CH29. When She is the Only One: High Achieving Black Girls in Suburban Schools
CH30. Liminal and Limitless: Black Girls in Independent Schools
Vignette: A Black Woman Who Attended a Predominantly White School Returns to Teach Black Girls in Predominantly White Schools

Book Review: A Good Kind of Trouble

VI. “Dreamkeepers” - Gloria Ladson Billings
CH31. Mrs. Ruby Middleton Forsythe (Miss Ruby): The Power of Sankofa
Vignette: • A Black Woman's Reflections on the Road I Made While Walking:Remarks from My Retirement Ceremony

Book Review: Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

I. “Such As I Am, A Precious Gift” - Zora Neale Hurston
CH32. Black Girls Got it Goin’ On
Vignette: Black Girls Are Precious Gifts: Educators Don't Be Kryptonite

Vignette: Dear Mr. Guillen

Vignette: So you Wanted to See the Wizard

CH33. Learning to Listen to Her: Psychological Verve with Black Girls
Vignette: Creating Safe Spaces for Black Queer Girls

Vignette: Being a Trans Black Girl

II. #1000BlackGirlBooks - Marley Dias
CH34. Selecting and Using BACE (Blackcentric, Authentic, and Culturally Engaging) Books: She Looks Like Me
CH35. Hair Representation Matters: Selecting Children’s Books for Black Girls
Book Review: The Night Is Yours

CH36. Teaching Reading to Beautiful and Brilliant and Black Girls: Building a Strong Culture of Engagement
Book Review: Children of Blood and Bones

III. “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing” - Audre Lorde
CH37. Black Girl Sisterhood as Resilience And Resistance
CH38. Respect Black Girls: Prioritize, Embrace and Value
CH39. Understanding the Intersecting Identities of Black Girls
Vignette: Just Educational Ecosystems for Black Girls: Educators, here are 8 ways you can support Black Muslim Girls during the School year

Vignette: The Skin I’m in

CH40. #StudentAsSignMaker: Curating Classrooms For Identity Development
Vignette: Beautiful, Brilliant, Black and Deaf

CH41. Black Men Teaching Beautiful and Brilliant Black Girls: Resisting Patriarchal and Sexist Socializations
Vignette: Paragon Project: The Transformative Power of HipHop Education To Save Lives

Vignette: I Wish You Believed in Magic

CH42. Black Girl Magic: Beauty, Brilliance, and Coming to Voice in the Classroom
IV. “Perseverance is my motto” -Madam C. J. Walker
CH43. Listen to Her!: Black Girls Constructing Activist Identities in a School-Based Leadership Program
Vignette: Black Girls as Leaders

CH44. When You Imagine a Scientist, Technologist, Engineer, Artist or Mathematician, Imagine A Black Girl
Book Review: Slay

Vignette: Did I Even Matter?

CH45. Developing an Ethics of Engaging Black Girls in Digital Spaces
CH46. A Matter of Media: Cultural Appropriation and Expectations of Black Girls
CH47. "Catch This Magic”: How Schools Get in the Way of Gifted Black Girls
V. “Be thankful that you've been given that gift because [Black] girls are amazing” - Kobe Bryant
Vignette: Black Girls Own Their Future

Book Review: Juneteenth - For Mazie

Vignette:Love Letter to My Dazzling, Darling Daughters

Vignette: Love letter

Vignette: Lioness to Bee: A Love Letter to the Pride!

Vignette: Anyia

VI. “We Will Fight Till the Last of Us Falls in the Battlefield” - Nana Yaa Asanatewaa, Queenmother of Ejisu in the Ashanti Empire, Ghana
Vignette: A Mother of the Movement Speaks Out

CH48. Motherwork as Pedagogy
Vignette: Jenga: The Game Single Mothers Play in the World of Academia

Vignette: Black Girl Fears Motherhood

Vignette: Dear Bayje

Vignette: A Love Letter to My Daughter Alyse

Vignette: Diamonds: Black, Beautiful, Brilliant



"Grounded in both research and practice and brought to life by personal narratives of students, teachers, and parents, Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls is an important pedagogical resource for all educators who want to empower rather than impede the holistic development of the Black girls in their classrooms.  If you’re asking yourself, 'Do I need this book?' the answer is, 'Yes, you do.'"

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita
Spelman College, author of "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race"

"Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls is a timely and insightful volume that addresses the amazing diversity and complexity of Black girls and their triumphs and challenges. The editorial team led by Dr. Bola has assembled a stellar group of authors that bring us the essence of Black Girl Joy. This is a must-read and should be in the library of anybody who cares about doing right by Black girls."

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Professor of Urban Education
University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Our Black girls deserve better! This wide-ranging anthology fills a big hole in the literature and joins those volumes emphasizing Black boys.  Should be required reading for all teachers and administrators. Kudos to the distinguished editors." 

Adrien K. Wing, Associate Dean, Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law
University of Iowa College of Law

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