African American Girls and the Construction of Identity Class, Race, and GenderIn African American Girls and the Construction of Identity: Class, Race, and Gender, Sheila Walker closely examines socioeconomic class and explores the way it shapes how African American girls experience race and gender in the process of their identity formation. While all the girls who participated in the two-year study are African American, their lives are racialized and gendered in significantly different ways in both public and private spaces. Affluence is not a guaranteed protection against the identity-damaging effects of racism, and poverty is not necessarily a risk factor for an irresolute identity. By examining identity through the lens of class, Walker provides researchers, educators, and parents with an in-depth appreciation of a complex, multilayered phenomenon.

Read the complete interview by Josie Winslow ’21