*Based on a new study released on Tuesday by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality, the societal perception is Black girls are so strong and independent, they don’t need the same nurturing, support and comforting as little white girls. At as early as age 5-year-old, they are believed to be — as Black folk would say — grown.
There’s even a term associated with this belief: Adultification.”
Who out there in the world of sistahood is surprised by this perception? Right. I didn’t think so. After all, is it not how the elders of these little girls — Black women –have been perceived all along? The only news here is the age group associated with this warped perspective.
Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’Childhood developed after researchers surveyed 325 adults from racial and ethnic backgrounds in a ratio that mirrors the country’s population.
Many of the adults surveyed had a high school diploma or higher. Researchers found the biggest differences in the ways adults view children in the age brackets 5-9 and 10-14. These differences continued to a lesser degree in the 15-19 age bracket.
“One reason this might be occurring is because black girls are being held to the same stereotypes we have of black women,” Blake said. “Black women have historically and currently been seen as being aggressive, loud, defiant and oversexualized. And I believe, along with many other researchers, that the stereotypes of black women are being mapped on to black girls.”
According to the report, adults believe Black girls seem older than white girls their same age; more independent, therefore they need less protection, nurturing, comfort and support.
Gimme a minute will you? While I work to wrap my entire brain around WHY any grown person aka adult would seriously believe that a child of five wouldn’t need to be held and consoled when she’s hurting? Why is this little white girl’s pain taken more seriously?
And if the perception is Black girls are more independent and less needy; what exactly is this saying about white parentage? Are they raising weak and fearful children? And are these children incapable of being “independent?”
The study gets a lot more indepth, and the Huffington Post article we sourced it from deserves to be read.