Because We're Unique


black girls
The Hate U Give
black adolescent girls

How to Cite

Strong, K. W. (2022) “Because We’re Unique: The Literate Lives of Black Adolescent Girls”, Journal of African American Women and Girls in Education, 2(1), pp. 47–61. doi: 10.21423/jaawge-v2i1a38.


This qualitative study explores the literacy and language practices of Black adolescent girls as they read and make meaning of a critical text, Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give (2017). The focus of this inquiry was to broadly examine how societal and situational factors influence the ways in which Black adolescent girls made sense of the novel, which functions as a culturally responsive critical text. This study embraces the Black Girls’ Literacy Framework first created by Muhammad and Haddix (2016) and two interconnected research questions from that framework drove this study: (a) How do Black adolescent girls enact critical literacy practices? and (b) How do Black adolescent girls respond to a culturally responsive critical text? Data were gathered from three Black adolescent girl participants in the form of two semi-structured interviews, a focus group, and written journal entries in response to the novel. Critical discourse analysis was utilized to analyze data across a societal domain, as well as across institution and situation. This study contributes to the current body of literature by positioning Black girls at the center of their literate lives and bringing visibility to the ways in which their intersectional identities (race, class, and gender) influence the ways in which they enact their literacy practice.