A critical poetic inquiry into the sociocultural experiences of high-achieving Black women in K-12 out-of-school time (OST) academic enrichment programs

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paris Kee Andrew (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Leila Villaverde

Abstract: This critical arts-based qualitative study explores the sociocultural contexts and the impact of race and gender that influence the engagement of high-achieving Black women in K-12 out-of-school time (OST) academic enrichment programs. Twelve high-achieving, 18–24-year-old Black women from New York, Georgia, Honduras, and North Carolina are represented in this study. Using online platforms, the participants engaged in individual interviews, one of two offered focus groups, and two artistic reflection activities in the form of letter and original poetry writing in response to prompts. Critical Poetic Inquiry (CPI) informed the methodological approach for data collection and the presentation of findings, while Critical Race Theory (CRT) served as the theoretical lens by which the data and findings were analyzed. Together, CPI and CRT anchor this study in a justice-oriented effort to deconstruct notions of academic excellence associated with Black women, and to interrogate the influence of OST programs. The stories disclosed in this study suggest (1) there is a need for increased racial representation and decreased exploitation at the expense of acknowledging humanity; (2) personal development and coping with racial and gender-based dissonance is facilitated through engaging peers with contrasting yet complementary disposition; (3) two - and tri - generational support from parents and grandparents with prior education and higher socioeconomic status lessens hurdles in engagement; (4) high-achieving Black women contend with adultification at a young age as they experience the intersectionality of their race, gender, and socioeconomic status; (5) and racial insensitivity and significant life events give way for activism, self-expression, and trauma bonding. Together, the findings of this critical arts-based qualitative study reveal the imperative for educators, practitioners, and researchers to deepen understanding of the contexts impacting high-achieving Black women, and to work to disrupt systems related to race and gender as they navigate academic enrichment opportunities.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Arts-based, Black, High-Achieving Gifted, Outside of School Programs, Poetry, Women
Women, Black $x Social conditions
Women, Black $x Education
Discrimination in education
Academic achievement

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