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Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 2)

Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy for black girls in Pittsburgh are at a higher rate than any other race. This is mostly due to the lack of resources preventing them from gaining the knowledge on the topic.

Poverty plays the largest role as to why teenage pregnancy is so prevalent for them. The chances of receiving quality healthcare and decent contraceptive services are slim. This allows these girls to become vulnerable against their own knowledge.

Being properly educated on sex and their body is a barrier that allows for the high rate of teen pregnancy.

How can we help? We can start by helping to fund clinics with better ways of educating girls on how important it is to practice abstinence or use protection. We can have workshops at schools and talk to the girls about engaging in sexual activity. We can have groups with them.

There are many ways to help prevent teenage pregnancy. Please feel free to share ways to fix this issue!


R. Kelly an R&B singer, has recently become the trending topic. Lifetime aired a documentary, Surviving R.Kelly. To summarize, women shared traumatizing stories of statutory rape, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and being held hostage by the singer. R. Kelly married Aaliyah, also an R&B singer. Aaliyah was 15 years of age when she married the singer.

This topic has caused controversy with many people and their shared opinions. So many people have posted about this subject on their social media sites. In my opinion, the support for those black women, once black girls, from a large majority is not present. You could tell by the comments that were posted. Many people questioned, blamed, judged, made memes, and felt that those then black girls knew what they were getting themselves into. While I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinions, when it comes to black girls fighting sexual harassment and/or rape, people always question their stories. Sometimes, their own mothers refuse to believe them when they confide.

History has shown itself over again in the way black girls are treated when it comes to sexualization. What makes it difficult to make this stop? Most of the time young black girls do not know that they are being sexualized. Those who are keeping sexualization alive for black girls, are manipulative and sick.

Mothers! When your black daughter starts to reach puberty, have a special talk with her.  Teach her about herself. Let her know right from wrong. Allow yourself to be a constant listener for her.

In what other ways can we help? Please feel free to share your thoughts!


Most people say that a daughter’s first love is his her father. I can honestly say that my father is my first love. Well, I am one of the fortunate black girls that was given the gift of having both of my parents in my life. My father is the proven definition of what a father is supposed to be. While I am thankful for my father, I feel for the black girl who does not have a father in her life. A father of which she’s yearned for all her life.

Most people advocate more for black boys without fathers in their lives. Although this is an issue, black girls are also affected and they must be acknowledged too. Not having a father in her life creates barriers, hardships, and a greater chance of exposing her to heartache.

Exposure to teenage pregnancy, teen dating violence, and promiscuity are some examples of what a black girl may be faced with. When black girls grow up to be black women, the results of these actions often mentally affect them. For example, this could cause a negative affect in their relationships with significant others, with trust being the number one factor.

The hardest obstacle is questioning how one spreads awareness of how much black girls need their fathers and how serious the longterm effects are.

These are conversations that start at home with fathers, mothers, and sons. Have that talk with your black son. Teach him that part of being a man is taking care of his responsibilities no matter how difficult life gets.

Other than having conversation about absentee black fathers, in what other ways can we push to solve this issue?



Imagine being a young teenage girl. Now imagine being told that you are NOT innocent. Imagine being told you are not a child. Black girls are often treated more like an adult than a child. This is referred to as a form of age compression. Due to this happening, adult characteristics are being forced upon them. Some people feel as though they are old enough to handle different responsibilities, when in actuality they are growing up faster than they should.

An adult-like behavior from an age compressed black girl is that they may seem mature socially, but not so much when it comes to their education. Also, a black girl may display behaviors of being aggressive or controlling, which are the typical stereotypes of an adult black woman.

Black girls maturing physically and reaching puberty at a fast rate is another reason they are treated older than their age.

The most difficult example to discuss is that, for a long time, a large quantity of black girls have been hyper-sexualized. To hyper-sexualize a black girl means that this person is looking at her in a sexual way because her body is developed to them and they think their reasoning is somehow justifiable. This is something that I do not agree with.

Not helping to treat these girls their age, opens the can for them to be exposed to dangerous situations.

They will continue to be treated this way if this problem is not talked about. This issue needs to be made aware of to every school, placement, and organization for children. Awareness will allow those who are in charge to be given a chance to self-reflect, as well as help to create better ideas, so that they are treated their age.

Please provide feedback on how we can stop adultification!


White girls who attend a suburban school are 2-3 times more likely to be given a chance for an athletic opportunity than black girls who attend Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS). All races of girls continue to have a lesser opportunity than males to play school sports. Thus, the opportunity for black girls is fewer than any other race.

The lack of resources and the lack of schools striving to create programs for them to engage in a physical sport are reasons as to why there is not much participation from black girls. Resources such as funding, enough participation from staff, and lack of equipment are examples of the resources that the schools struggle to obtain.

If the schools found a way to make more partnerships, apply for grants, gain more staff, then they may have what they need to get started to be able to offer sports to these girls. It may take an abundance of convincing, but the number will increase.

By offering athletic opportunities to black girls, we are preventing them from getting into trouble so easily. We are teaching them life skills such as, leadership, teamwork, and what it means to be responsible. We are helping them to remain healthy. Most importantly, it allows morals and values to be instilled into them, so that they may use it as a guidance tool for their lives.

What other examples can you give as to why more athletic opportunities should be given?


Black girls often struggle with the identity of embracing who they are. Often times being a black girl, we are told what we are supposed to be, how we are supposed to act, what we should look like, and the list continues on. Along the way some black girls buy into those stigmas and they begin to question their identity.

This particular grooming for a black girl in Pittsburgh starts at a young age, especially for a black girl that goes to a predominately white school. There may not be someone there that is comfortable with his or herself, for her to identify with. If she is not getting taught at home how to embrace or empower herself, the ability of her identifying with herself could become lost in the shuffle of everything she has to take on in her life with trying to fit in with the other kids at school.

Why is this a concern? Because for decades, other race’s perceptions of black girls have been conversed in a negative light. These perceptions have urged some black girls to buy into the stereotypes, become superficial, and ultimately believe that being unapologetically black is WRONG.

Many times black girls go unsupported and for that black girls have been put in hurt situations for a long time. Today, black girls need that extra assurance to remind them that they are beautiful the way they are.

Sometimes it is difficult to empower black girls when they have no one that is teaching them to be empowered.

We can start by teaching them that it is ok to be yourself. It is ok to not look like this other girl. Teach them that we are uniquely made different.

What would you teach them? I’m excited to hear your feedback!


Parent-child conflict is the most common reason for black girls to get placed outside of their homes into places such as  a group-home or institutionalized facilities. Black girls who are between the ages of 12 and 17, who are involved in the child welfare system, are often times sent to a placement facility due to behavior.

Previously, I worked as a Youth Care Worker for a placement facility located in Mckeesport, PA. For two years, I worked with teenage girls. Most of the girls that were placed at the group-home were black girls ranging anywhere between the ages of 12 and 18. Being defiant towards their parents resulted in why most of them were sent there. For instance, committing truancy and not coming home on multiple occasions resulting in their parents thinking they ran away from home, were the two most concerns on why black girls were sent there.

The problem that black girls face is that most of the time while they are in placement they make their situation worst. Sometimes, they commit negative acts during their stay, causing the court to extend their time. After learning they are not getting released they become discouraged and most of the time they run away. Most black girls run away from placement within the first two weeks of their admission. This makes the problem even worst because eventually they are caught and sent back to another placement and are made to be there even longer.

As an authoritative figure, I have learned that most problems that happen with black girls start at home. The barrier that stands in between preventing her to be placed in a placement is the bridge that is built between that girl and those who are parenting her.

The solution starts at home with the way her parents are raising her. Educators and authoritative figures can also try to be positively influential in showing her the right direction. Parental engagement with her school can help for her to be successful as well.

Please share your opinions and offer feedback on how you think we can lower the percentage of black girls being placed.

Unjust Juvenile Discipline

Eleven times is a large quantity when talking about the ratio of how black girls in Allegheny County of Pittsburgh, PA are eleven times more likely than white girls to get referred to Juvenile court, according to Dr. Kathi Elliot, the CEO of Gwen’s Girls. As reported by Sara Goodkind, black girls have a forty percent chance to be dismissed from being formally processed than a white girl who has a forty-seven percent chance.

Overall, in recent years, girls of all races involved with making contact with juvenile justice system has significantly increased.

Research from the Fisa Foundation shows that most black girls who come into contact with being referred to Juvenile court in Allegheny County is because they committed some level of assault whether it is simple assault or aggravated assault.

The complication in fixing this particular issue is that different schools and placement facilities have adopted a zero tolerance policy when it comes to violence. While, I do NOT fully disagree with these places adopting this policy because I do understand that violence should not be permitted; thus, I believe that there are other ways to handle these behaviors.

We have to look at the underlying factors of what is causing black girls to develop delinquent behaviors such as violence being an example, causing them to come into contact with police officers and juvenile system officials in a negative light.

For most black girls, who are being referred to the juvenile court, examples such as growing up in a low-income neighborhood, racism, lack of parental guidance in some cases, are all important factors that we need take into account before we as authoritative figures are so quick to give them up as a referral. By taking heed to these factors, we can better yet equip ourselves to help make a change when delinquent behaviors are surfacing. A good way to start is by completing psychosocial assessments on these girls. A psychosocial assessment allows us to know exactly what is going on with her, what she may have been through, and any triggers she may have causing her to act out. This allows us to better prepare ourselves when it comes to handling a particular situation with that girl.

What are some other way we can lower percentage of black girls being referred to juvenile court in Allegheny County of Pittsburgh, PA. Please feel free to share your insight!



“Pittsburgh’s Black Girls Face Lots of Inequity Barriers. Advocates Want Tangible Change.” I Am a Black Girl and…, 28 Apr. 2017,

“New Report: Inequities Affecting Black Girls in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.” FISA Foundation,

Save Us

In Pittsburgh, Pa, more than 50% of black girls that go to the Pittsburgh Public schools live in poverty. Out of this percentage, according to the Fisa Foundation, most black girls experience some sort of victimization or become traumatized for something they have seen or something that has been done to them.

Some of these experiences include: violent threats, harassment, dating violence, abuse from parents or guardians, verbal abuse, or sexual abuse. They are also nine times more likely to have someone close to them lose their life to violence.

These issues often lead to PTSD, other mental health disorders such as depression, or behavior problems.

Fixing these issues are often hard because of generations of how the black community handles mental health conditions and/or behavioral problems. According to Dr. Monnica Williams, a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Connecticut, many black people do not seek help for themselves or their children because in the social circle of the black community, one may be described as “crazy.” Also, a high percentage of black people who live in poverty are less likely to be able to financially afford getting treated for a mental health disorder.

Getting help for black girls who struggle with mental health disorders starts with the black community recognizing that mental health disorders do exist. We need to realize that getting help for mental health disorders helps in leading a healthy life. We also need to learn that it is ok to not be ok. Positive coping skills, channeling negative energy into positive energy, and knowing that this black girl is getting the help she needs professionally, is a first step towards helping black girls in Pittsburgh who struggle with these issues, embark on a positive path.

Please share thoughts and opinions on how we can tackle the problem with getting black girls help with their mental health.



Why African Americans Avoid Psychotherapy.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,

“New Report: Inequities Affecting Black Girls in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.” FISA Foundation,


Black girls in the Pittsburgh Public School system are struggling everyday to avoid being internally discriminated against by their schools. Black girls, who are in middle school through high school are sinking and becoming the typical black girl stereotype. A study was conducted by Sara Goodkind, an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She developed extensive research on this topic due to the rising concerns of the barriers that black girls in Pittsburgh are up against.

One barrier that black girl’s face according to Ms. Goodkind’s research is that black girls are three times as likely as white girls to get suspended from school. Most of the time this disciplinary action happens due to stereotypical biases from the educators or authoritative figures. Black girls are often labeled as insubordinate or disrespectful. They are usually disciplined for not following the rules or being disrespectful to an authoritative figure.

When a black girl gets into a fight or uses disruptive behavior, it is mostly due to them defending themselves from harassment or assault.

The significant problem that some schools are having is that they are failing to create an unbiased, safer learning space.

How can we solve this problem?

Black girls often relate to someone who is or tries to be culturally aware of their situation. They identify with someone who is willing to try to understand them.

I took the time to interview Dr. Tamara Woods who is a principal at one of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Dr. Woods said, “Someone once quoted, ‘the black woman is the most unprotected of all human beings.’ From my experience, when black girls are in environments in which they feel safe to be themselves culturally, are supported, and have a sense of trust with educators, academic and personal growth are consistency demonstrated.”

Myself being a black girl growing up in Pittsburgh can relate to this because being in a classroom with an educator that tries to understand who you are, and what you may go through on a daily basis, helps tremendously. It may not be a person that can sympathize with you or has walked in your shoes before; however, it may be a person that can empathize with you and envision themselves in your shoes, which is an action that says a lot about an educator in a positive light.

This is a difficult topic that some may not feel comfortable discussing. However, for those educators and authoritative figures who would like to discuss this issue, how can we fix this problem to ensure that all children of all colors and of all genders are not being treated stereotypically biased by us? Please feel free to share your insight, so that we may discuss and solve this issue.

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