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Title:What does it mean to be a Black girl? An exploration of Black girls’ meaning-making of self, community and society in Melt Magazine
Author(s):Lewis, Sheri K.
Director of Research:Brown, Ruth N
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Flynn, Karen; Brown, Ruth N
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hood , Denice; Dyson , Anne
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Black girls, meaning-making, Melt Magazine, pedagogy
Abstract:Melt Magazine is a Chicago-based teen magazine designed by Black women and 30 teen girls. Named by one of the girls in the after-school program, Melt Magazine is a popular culture text co-developed by myself, Sheri K. Lewis, and other Black women and girls. The magazine was developed on the premise that Black girls’ identities are diverse and fluid, and when they engage in collective work and share stories, they melt together. The goal of this study is to underscore Melt’s pedagogical possibilities to explore Black girls’ subjectivities and identity politics. In this study, I identify aspects of society, culture and community that Black girls draw upon by specifically looking at what girls choose to write about and why. I consider implicit and explicit ways in which they responded to their topics while writing and/or in discussion. Moreover, curating a photo shoot dedicated to Black girls’ aesthetic is another way to interrogate and illuminate their troubling relationship with media, which results in a complicated body politic. Drawing on the magazine and the photo shoot, I identify outcomes from the process of interpreting, analyzing and creating a body of knowledge. Findings indicate that, through Melt, girls were able to develop a generationally specific identity politic that illuminates various structural intersectionalities and brings attention to discourses of realness and acts of resistance.
Issue Date:2019-05-09
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/105573
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Sheri Lewis
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08


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