See Us, Here Us: On girlhood and growing up Black in Lambeth is a pilot study examining the experiences of Black girls aged 12-18.
The study conducted and written by Ebinehita Iyere and Sofia Akel, digs deep to uncover the experiences of young Black girls who are coming of age in the capital.
The study looked closely at the impact of structural and social issues that uniquely impact Black girls at the intersection of race, gender identity and age such as adultification and carceral treatment in London’s schooling system, policing, lack of appropriate spaces for young people, self-care and more.
The aim is always to empower Black girls to be the protagonists of their own stories – this research was shaped and led by the girls themselves, who are the experts of their own lives. Research for the betterment of society must always aim to empower, uplift and hold the communities in which it seeks to support.
This pilot study looked at several key research areas: community, schooling and mental health and was carried out through the framework of Black girlhood, which is essentially a lens that aims to not only understand but to also uplift the experiences of girls in their childhood. Throughout the findings, the Black girls who took part revealed the key ways that their interactions with both individuals and institutions are underscored by prevailing racist stereotypes that have significant consequences on their safety, sense of belonging and freedom, mental health, and education. The research study shows that there is an urgent need for the formation of a deep understanding of the intersectional experiences of Black girls and the issues that uniquely impact them.
The research was funded by London’s Violence Reduction and with the help of potential funders, we hope to secure funding to take this from a pilot (initial, small sample group) study to one that includes the voices of hundreds of Black girls across multiple London boroughs.