Summer 2017 Reading List: Black Girlhood, A Selected List of Recent Books

Compiled by Kathleen E. Bethel, African American Studies Librarian & Liaison for Gender & Sexuality Studies – Northwestern University Libraries*


Abraham, Nana. For Black Girls: The Shaping of a Young Woman. Bloomington, IN: WestBow Press, 2016.

Adewole, Candice A. The Black Girl’s Guide to Being Blissfully Feminine. [s.l.]: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016.

Boylorn, Robin M. Sweetwater: Black Women and Narratives of Resilience. New York: Peter Lang, [2017].

Chatelain, Marcia. South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

Collins, Catherine Fisher. Black Girls and Adolescents: Facing the Challenges. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2015.

Conner, Jerusha O, and Sonia M. Rosen. Contemporary Youth Activism: Advancing Social Justice in the United States. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2016.

Cooper, Brittney C, Susana M. Morris, and Robin M. Boylorn. The Crunk Feminist Collection. New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2017.

Cox, Aimee Meredith. Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship. Durham, NC: Duke Unversity Press, 2015.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé, Priscilla Ocen, and Jyoti Nanda. Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected. New York: Columbia University Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies; African American Policy Forum, 2015. <>

Davis, Mo’Ne. Remember My Name: My Story, from First Pitch to Game Changer. New York: Harper, 2016.

Evans-Winters, Venus E. Black Feminism in Education: Black Women Speak Back, Up, and Out. New York: Peter Lang, 2015.

Fordham, Signithia. Downed by Friendly Fire: Black Girls, White Girls, and Suburban Schooling. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, 2016.

Habila, Helon. The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamic Militancy in Nigeria. New York: Columbia Global Reports, 2016.

Jefferson, Margo. Negroland: A Memoir. New York: Pantheon, 2015.

Kunjufu, Jawanza. Educating Black Girls. Chicago, IL: African American Images, 2015.

Kunjufu, Jawanza. Raising Black Girls. Chicago, IL: African American Images, 2015.

Lamb, Sharon, Tangela Roberts, and Aleksandra Plocha. Girls of Color, Sexuality, and Sex Education. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2016.

Maddox, Lucy. The Parker Sisters: A Border Kidnapping. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2016.

Mason, C. Nicole. Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2016.

Morris, Monique W. Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. New York: New Press, 2016.

Rae, Issa. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. New York: 37 Ink/Atria, 2015.

Richardson, Sylvia, and Gwen Richardson. You Are Wonderfully Made: 12 Life-Changing Principles for Teen Girls to Embrace. Houston, TX: Cushcity Communications, 2015.

Simmons, LaKisha M. Crescent City Girls: The Lives of Young Black Women in Segregated New Orleans. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, 2015.

Smith, Tracy K. Ordinary Light: A Memoir. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.

Williams, Bethany H. The Color of Grace: How One Woman’s Brokenness Brought Healing and Hope to Child Survivors of War. New York: Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2015.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. New York: Puffin Books, 2016.

Wright, Nazera Sadiq. Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2016.


*Compiled in honor of Dr. Darlene Clark Hine, the dean of African American women’s history, on the occasion of her retirement from Northwestern University; and, in praise of the Global History of Black Girlhood Conference, University of Virginia, March 17-18, 2017.  – KEBethel


Currently serving on the Council, the governing body of the American Library Association, Ms. Kathleen E. Bethel is active with the African American Studies Librarianship Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Black Caucus of ALA, and involved in library leadership, diversity, recruitment, and research activities. Ms. Bethel also serves on the Board for the Project on the History of Black Writing.