Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Payal Shah


This study uses womanist methodology and youth participatory action research (YPAR), centering the ways of knowing of Black girls, with a focus on epistemic agency, to engage Black girls in the production of educational media. Such a study is necessary because Black girls are underrepresented in educational media, overrepresented in cases of school discipline, and overrepresented in reports of physical violence in schools. As public media is recognized as a transformative intervention in improving learning outcomes for children, addressing the underrepresentation of Black girlhood therein creates opportunities to address these intersecting issues and create humanizing educational media for all students. To achieve these ends, I, a scholar practitioner and local leader in public media, engage a group of Black girl high school students participating in Upward Bound, in creating standard-aligned learning media that is appealing to and effective among youth audiences. Collectively, we worked together through the preproduction, production, postproduction phases to create and build a world around Crescent, an animated Black girl character representing Black girlhood in South Carolina.

This study is significant in its methodology and results. It offers critical insight into the use of digital platforms, creative tools, and equipment in creating a harmonious and productive multi-modal environment for problem solving and creativity. It also offers insight into the educative experiences of the Black girl co-creators and the ways in which these experiences inform their perspectives and worldviews. Study outcomes show that when operationalized in service of teaching others and personal growth, the experiences and perspectives of Black girls produce vibrant, rich, multi-layered educational content.