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“Kathleen got so frustrated with Kelly playing with me, so intensely angry, that she grabbed my arm and ran her nails down my arm with both hands and drew blood,” Abraham recalled. “I screamed at her and was like, ‘What are you doing?’ She was like, ‘I can’t play with you because you’re Black; I’m trying to get the dirt off you.” Instead of rushing over to console her, Abraham said, her teachers didn’t react at all. “Just ushered in the class, ‘Stop crying, move on with your day,’ type of thing. It wasn’t until I got home that I got the lesson from my parents on being Black.”

Abraham’s eye-opening experience echoes the findings of a new report on adultification bias—in which adults presume Black girls as being more “adult-like” and less innocent than white peers—released on Wednesday from the Georgetown University Law Center on Poverty and Inequality.

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