Black Girl Magic, White Boarder Paradox: How Predominantly White All Girl's Boarding Schools inform the Racial Identity of Black Girls

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Abstract Summary

Informed by conflict theory, Kimberlé Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality, Peggy McIntosh’s theory of White Privilege, W.E.B. DuBois' notion of double-conciousness and William Cross’ model of racial identity development, this qualitative and quantitative research project seeks to investigate how boarding schools in the American South influence the racial identities of Black girls. Largely centered around white privilege, ‘elite’ traditions and affluence, boarding schools are centers for socialization that were originally established to educate and ‘groom’ a particular type of student. However, after racial integration the student bodies of these schools began to diversify. Moreover, the institutional structure has been consistent, influencing non-White and non- upper middle class students to assimilate into the inherently classist and racist boarding school culture. Boarding schools are total institutions, so they have a significant impact on the identity development of its students, both Black and White alike. Thus, this project seeks to understand how Black girls’ identity development is influenced by their socialization within the highly classed and highly racialized practices of these institutions.

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