"This book makes an important contribution by focusing on girls of color and an organization devoted to girls of color, exposing the complexities and contradictions that mark the way power, race, and gender become operationalized in practice. Well written and with rich quotes, it's a wonderful read." --Mary P. Sheridan, author of Girls, Feminism, and Grassroots Literacies: Activism in the GirlZone
From the Back Cover
Imagining Black Womanhood
illuminates the experiences of the women and girls of the Girls Empowerment Project, an Africentric, womanist, single-sex, after-school program located in one of the Bay Area's largest and most impoverished housing developments. Stephanie D. Sears carefully examines the stakes of the complex negotiations of Black womanhood for both the girls served by the project and for the women who staffed it. Rather than a multigenerational alliance committed to women's and girls' empowerment, the women and girls often appeared to struggle against each other, with the girls' "politics of respect" often in conflict with the staff's "politics of respectability," a conflict especially highlighted in the public contexts of dance performances. This groundbreaking case study offers significant insights into practices of resistance, identity work, youth empowerment, cultural politics, and organizational power.