Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Languages, Literatures and Cultures


College of Education

First Advisor

Susi Long


This critical qualitative study documented intersectionalities of race, gender, body image, and literacies as interpreted by five eighth grade Black female students during an eight-week after school literacy group. Ethnopoetic methodologies were used to represent findings and provide insights about how critical literacy engagements can be used to create discursive spaces where young Black girls describe and define these intersectionalities, how they are socialized into current beliefs, make meaning of beauty ideals portrayed in media, and interpret gender, obesity, and race. Through content analysis of field notes, audio recorded sessions, research partner interviews, researcher journals, and genre artifacts, this study documented the complexities of this literacy study group as a contested space for research partners and researcher to exchange affirming as well as conflicting perspectives; creating transformative and liberatory spaces where they critiqued and responded to body shaming, gender discrimination, colorism, and racism.