Words of Empowerment for Black Women and Girls
Words of empowerment, submitted by a 21 year old male.
Words of empowerment, submitted by a 21 year old male.
Prosecutors can play a powerful role in ending the effects of Adultification Bias.
Prosecutors can play a powerful role in ending the effects of Adultification Bias. Watch here to see Florida’s state attorney general publicly establish, as a matter of policy, that she would refuse to approve moving forward with any case of young children arrested for misbehavior in school, specifically to end contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline.
A coalition of organizations in Austin, Texas is combating adultification bias
A coalition of organizations in Austin, Texas is combating adultification bias against Black girls in response to the call to action in Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood. Their community has decided on six courses of action:
1. A community empowerment and Girl Scouts recruitment event focusing on Girls of Color
2. The development of an online tool to connect parents and guardians to lawyers when faced with potential criminalizing outcomes
3. Training 50 defense attorneys in Central Texas
4. Pushing for a public health approach to potentially criminalizing behavior in schools
5. Launching a public education campaign
6. Issuing a report with the support of Georgetown University on the impact of the adultification of Black girls in Central Texas.
Adultification bias, hyper-sexualization and disproportianate suspensions were some of the critical concerns at tonight’s community conversation, “The Status of Black Girls in the Wake County Public School System.”
We’ll listen in at 11 #abc11 pic.twitter.com/h1rgp7Rh6q
— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) August 14, 2020
Adultification bias as a form of racial prejudice, treating girls as more mature than they actually are, affects how Black girls experience education & criminal justice. We must take this seriously & not let this become another buzz word@Ebinehita_ #YoungWomensJusticeProject
— Jess Southgate (@Jess_Southgate) July 30, 2020
Let’s talk about mysogynoir pic.twitter.com/8xyI6pSo01
— All Things Black Women (@ATBWomen) June 18, 2020
🌿Deep Dive of the Day: We're loving @deborah191's art combining collage & mixed media that explores race, identity & gender politics.
— Race & Health (@raceandhealth) June 26, 2020
some info-graphics i made on the adultification bias topic i tweeted about yesterday pic.twitter.com/1DIbfU9mSF
— jo hates cops (@eggyjo) June 16, 2020
Adultification refers to the bias whereby black girls are perceived as older and more mature compared to white girls of the same age. A study by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality also found that black girls routinely experience adultification bias.
— ✨ (@ssaltedcaramel) June 10, 2020
Adultification bias is real and unfairly deprives Black girls of childhood and innocence. This little girl is everything!! Trying to teach my own daughter to recognize it and call it out when she sees it! https://t.co/Ux0ys1BC0M
— Heather #BLM Haq, MD, MHS, FAAP (@heather_haq) May 6, 2020
Just to be clear: this 6-year-old Black girl arrested in school for a tantrum is not the 6-year-old Black girl arrested in school last week for a tantrum and detained and drugged for 48 hours in a mental health facility. This is systematic state violence against children. https://t.co/0Ljzlt7w0V
— Dorothy Roberts (@DorothyERoberts) February 27, 2020
This is outrageous. Adultification bias is real. Discrimination against black girls in school is a urgent threat to all women. This is unacceptable. #Pushout @MoniqueWMorris @gtowngenderjust @GtownLawPovCntr https://t.co/XfAzs7Ignu
— Naomi Wadler (@NaomiWadler) February 26, 2020
Adultification bias toward Black girls is real. Black girls deserve to be passionate without being called angry. Stop calling Black girls loud and actually listen to what they have to say. https://t.co/qJO7u2kned
— Taylor Wilson (@Taylor_Wilson28) November 19, 2019
Horrified and confused
When I was 13 years old, I started having tremendous stomach pains. My mom took me to the emergency room, where I was barraged with questions about my sexual history (I was a virgin). They gave me an ultrasound, and they pulled my mom outside of the room to tell her that I had something “similar” to pregnancy. Huh? I think they meant they thought I was having an ectopic pregnancy or something like that. Of course, I was horrified and confused. It turned out, I had appendicitis. My appendix ended up rupturing and I was in the hospital for a week.
My daughter felt unsafe
My nine year old daughter is African American. She is enrolled in the public school system gifted program. During school lunch one day, she and a white female student were assaulted by a white boy. A school official called me after school to inform me that my daughter was punched in the stomach, kneed in the stomach and hit on her head. My daughter reported that her head was violently pushed against the face of the white female student. Sadly, the white girl had a swollen eye as a result of the incident. The white student was sent to the school nurse for medical evaluation; however, my daughter was sent back to class alongside her attacker. When I asked why I was not contacted at the time of the incident and why my daughter was not also evaluated by the school nurse, I was told that she was not crying that much and seemed to be ok. The boy was also allowed to return to school the following day. Even more discomforting, my daughter did not receive the emotional support necessary to process this type of assault. She felt unsafe for days, nervous and afraid of what could happen to her if she returned to school. Upon my request to have a meeting with school officials, the incident was minimized and I was told that it was a simple case of kids pushing and shoving in the line. Imagine the dissatisfaction and disbelief that I felt to learn that the school system would allow this type of treatment of any child, regardless of her race.
My child has feelings
Since pre-k, my biracial daughter has been adultified with adult skill sets applied to her normal childhood behaviors and differences and nefarious intentionality ascribed to her behaviors. She is not afforded the presumption of childhood innocence or the right to the childhood developmental expectations. She has repeatedly been removed from her classroom, received lunchroom and recess punishment, pathologized (recommended for counseling 1x/week for crying in kindergarten, and suspended several times for merely crying in class). She was accused and investigated in 1st grade for bullying and vandalism because parents in our school view her as “a bit of a mean girl,” “a ring leader, “aggressive,” “hostile” and having “something wrong” with her. Parents have described her as smart and calculating … at 6! When incidents have happened to her, they are underreported or misreported, minimized as not being all that hurtful or problematic. My child has feelings, does feel pain, and deserves to be valued and cared for as do all children.
When A Bad Call Brought Courtside Humiliation
It was the day of the championship game. If we won, we’d move on to the next division, with a shot at the state championship title.
We were all pumped up and ready to go as we saw how full the gym had become with family members, friends, and townspeople. I gave my parents the usual smile and wave and got on the court. The game was about to start when I realized the referees were all huddled around the scorer’s table looking and pointing at me. Confused, I looked at my parents who shared the same expression. In front of the large crowd of people, the referee pulled me off the court and started asking me questions about my age. “How old are you?” The referee stared at me long and hard not accepting my constant answer of “Eleven.” Continuing to say “You shouldn’t be playing right now. You’re not eleven.” and “You shouldn’t be lying about your age.”
The world seemed to stop as everyone stared at me in what felt like, disappointment. Tears stung my face as I stared at my sneakers wishing I could’ve disappeared, wishing that this was all just a bad dream. I never liked being called a liar and here I was being called one by an adult in front of all my peers. My parents had to go back home to retrieve my birth certificate before I was able to play; Costing me half the game. When the referees realized that I was eleven and developed for my age, I didn’t get an apology. Instead, they just let me back into the game, conveniently glossing over their blatant humiliation of me. I will never forget that moment. The shame that came with it or how I then became more conscious of my appearance.
Looking back, I remember the conscious efforts of my mother putting barrettes and beads in my hair, how she made sure that I “dressed my age.” Now, I see that those decisions weren’t just for the purpose of fashion, but a form of protection.