For urban middle school Black girls to fit in educational settings and society they must be seen and understood in their unique ways. They must be able to utilize certain literacies that assist with navigating what they say and how they speak, their confidence, expressions, and identities, as Black girls in these settings. In The Influence of Dramatic Arts on Literacies for Black Girls in Middle School, York demonstrates the impact that practicing drama strategies has on foundational, digital, and identity literacies for middle school Black girls. Personal stories of Black girls are shared on how drama strategies help them navigate discrimination, racist and misogynistic slurs, and even support their self confidence and public speaking. The basis of these stories are told through a Black feminist thought lens, which York uses to take readers through surprising drama strategies that Black girls adopt to help them become resilient and confident while embracing themselves fully. Readers will see the benefits of Black girls practicing drama in a safe space guided by a drama teacher that is a Black women who chooses culturally relevant pedagogy for her students.
Portia M. York, PhD, is C.E.O. and creative educator of York Creative Education Group.
Introduction: Where Do Black Girls Fit in Society
Sensational – Dr. York offers the essence of Black Girl Magic in this book. This book is the perfect combination quality research, extant literature, and lived experiences that seek to affirm and sustain Black girls and women. This book not only improved my capability as a research and author to investigate the positive approaches to uplift Black girls in K-12 schools, but it has improved how I, as a father and husband, protect and empower the Black girls and woman that I live with in my household. For those new to Black feminist thought, this book provides an entry way into this conceptual framework that has existed for decades and it illuminates why the framework matters when discussing Black girls and women in education.
The Influence of Dramatic Arts on Literacies for Black Girls in Middle School is a fascinating read offering strategies for integrating drama education in building confidence and supporting racial identity development for Black girls. Dr. York validates how culturally responsive drama classes in schools can change everything for Black girls and offers several recommendations for educators and administrators to use drama education to support racial identity development and the well-being of Black girls.
The voices of Black girls have been historically marginalized, unrepresented and overlooked. This book elevates the voices of Black girls by providing a perspective that needs to be heard. I highly recommend this book not only as a scholar but as a black woman who has the privilege of being a mom to a black girl.