A new report finds that struggles with racism can begin at a very early age, and can be even tougher for girls than it is for boys.

The study, from Columbia Law School and the African American Policy Forum, is titled Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected.


Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law Professor at UCLA and the lead author of the report, elaborated on the findings, which focused on the experiences of black female students in New York and Boston.

“What we found was absolutely astonishing,” she said. “We found that in New York, for example, black girls were disciplined 10 times more often than white girls. And in Boston, they were disciplined 11 times more often than white girls.

We know that African-American students tend to be disciplined far more than their white counterparts, but what many don’t know is that black girls’ disparity, relative to that of white girls, is far greater than the disparity between black boys and white boys.

Crenshaw says more research is needed to determine why that is.

“We have some suggested analysis that comes from other research and what some of the girls told us,” she added. “The girls told us that first of all, they felt that there were particular stereotypes that their teachers had on them – that they were loud, that they were rowdy, they were defiant.”

Crenshaw noted that the girls tend to be suspended for “subjective offenses, things that the teachers think warrant some kind of punitive intervention, but aren’t formal rule violations.

What are your thoughts? Do you think young black women have it worse that black men and if so, in what ways?

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