Find the strength and confidence needed to speak up, be heard, and assert yourself in a world filled with microaggressions and discrimination.
Have you experienced stress, frustration, anger, or sadness as a Black girl in a predominantly White space? Have there been times when you were the only Black voice to speak up in class or in a social situation? Maybe you have felt lonely as the only Black person in a group.
Unfortunately, you are far from alone. However, there are steps you can take to build self-empowerment, develop skills to address microaggressions, and explore your feelings and experiences in a meaningful way. This workbook can help you get started. Written by three powerful women who are lifelong advocates for racial justice, Finding Her Voice provides activities and exercises to help you challenge dominant culture, cultivate self-compassion and self-confidence, and build resilience in a world still filled with microaggressions and discrimination. You’ll learn how to navigate awkward or difficult situations at school, with friends, and on social media.
You’ll also find real stories from other teens who share your experiences. By reading about situations faced by other Black girls in White spaces and responding to the critical questions and exercises in the workbook, you’ll learn to recognize and address some of the challenges unique to the Black girl experience.
Finally, you’ll learn to strengthen your wonderful sense of self and own your power, and discover ways to share your amazing gifts with the world.
“A thoughtful and actionable guide for Black girls and women navigating a wide range of feelings and experiences with support, affirmation, and resilience.”
—Jamia Wilson, author of Young, Gifted and Black; Step Into Your Power; and This Book Is Feminist
“This has been my experience! An excellent workbook for black girls and young women! I certainly could have used this growing up! Will be using the workbook as I mentor young, Black girls. Loved the format—could relate to all of the stories. Understanding potential meanings behind the experiences and having a plan for what to do about them—invaluable! A boy’s version for my two younger brothers?”
—Sydney Leigh Payne, honor student and STEM scholar at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA; mathematics major on a premed track; scholar; social and political activist; community volunteer; mentor; tutor; and musician
“Finding Her Voice engages Black girls in an intimate conversation about the multilayered realities of racism. It blends evidence-based research with African-centered wisdom, cultural heritage, and practical strategies. The real-life experiences and reflection exercises acknowledge difficult emotions while strengthening inner resources and support networks, including ancestors, family, and community organizations. This book can help Black girls stand strong in their identity while facing a world that often disaffirms their relevance.”
—Sandra Y. Lewis, PsyD, professor of psychology and director of African American Studies at Montclair State University, and author of Life in 4-Part Harmony
“Finding Her Voice is a much-needed piece of work for Black girls everywhere! As a mom of two daughters who were educated in predominantly White schools, each section of this workbook resonated profoundly. The scenarios are accurate and the activities intentional. Having access to this resource years ago would have been beneficial throughout my parenting journey with my own daughters—especially during those adolescent years.”
—Michelle C. Blair, MSW, assistant director of TRIO programs at Virginia Commonwealth University
“As someone who has worked closely with groups of Black girls in school settings, this book was a breath of fresh air! A comprehensive guide to being a young, Black girl in today’s society. I wish there was something like this when I was younger. It speaks directly to subjects that my girls struggle with every day. I definitely plan on using it with my group once it’s released!”
—Jennifer Hall, coordinator for Color of Brilliance girls group
“This book will save lives. It’s the long-overdue guide that Black girls deserve in White spaces. This book makes structural what many Black girls may wrongly interpret as personal failings. White mothers, like me, can learn so much from reading this book and understanding how our blinders can lead us to bump up against Black girls and do real harm. Once we know, we can do better; this book makes that chance possible.”
—Courtney E. Martin, author of Learning in Public
“Finding Her Voice is an incredibly thoughtful and comprehensive collection of powerful resources and tools for Black girls living and learning in predominantly White spaces. Authors Patton, Belgrave, and Belgrave get at the heart of girlhood and adolescence—to belong and be loved for one’s true self. Foundational, contextual, and historical information and concrete action steps create a guide for positive identity development and self-advocacy.”
—Laura Haskins, head of school at Orchard House School
“Truly an amazing work that sensitively broaches the unique problems of Black girls through interactive activities, heartfelt stories, and educational takeaways. If you need a book that will bring a new light on your inner self and outer world, then I suggest this experience.”
—Genisus Holland, student at George Mason University, and advocate for rights of Black girls