Counternarratives of Youth Participation Among Black Girls

Garcia, Patricia; Fernández, Cecilia Henríquez; Jackson, Ashley
Youth & society

In this article, we examine diverse forms of youth participation among Black girls through an analysis of 390 application responses for a leadership and empowerment conference. Using a counternarrative methodological approach and intersectional analytical lens, we illustrate how Black girls (a) view participation as an empowering avenue for countering harmful stereotypes that have individual and collective impacts, (b) utilize participation as an intervention for effecting change in their communities, and (c) draw upon their present participation experiences to imagine future selves and life trajectories. We contribute an expanded understanding of “youth participation” grounded in the lives of Black girls that draws from how they describe their daily lives across a diverse range of learning, religious, familial, and geographic contexts. Ultimately, we argue for studies of youth participation that are grounded in lived realities and extend beyond the limited forms of youth participation legible to society.