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African-American Girls & Exposure To Violence


Some girls learn early that they must be prepared to fight for their survival. Social scientists often overlook the fact that today’s inner-city girl comes of age in the same distressed neighborhoods as her male counterparts. Inner-city girls are not isolated from racial segregation, concentrated property, and inner-city violence. In contract to the relatively sheltered lives of middle-class, suburban girls, African-American inner-city girls’ lives are shaped by the salience of the drug trade, a widespread distrust of social institutions and social relationships, and regular exposure to chaotic and too often violent conditions, whether at school on in the neighborhood. - excerpt from “Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence" by Nikki Jones


As cited in an article written by our founder Kelly Fair for Jet Magazine, girls have adopted a “street code”, as a means for survival, to protect their reputation and retaliate when they believe their reputation is threatened. Sadly, we’ve all witnessed how many young women are only equipped to use fighting and aggression as the primary means to protect their personal respect and security, as well as to gain status.


Some research has even referred this exposure to violence and trauma at such a young age as a form of childhood post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and unfortunately, much of this trauma goes unaddressed. womanhood. Unfortunately, many girls are also unable to find refuge at home as the media presents negative behavior and imagery of African-American women.