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Salamisha Tillet on Wallis & ‘Black Girl Genius’ at The Feminist Wire

Salamisha Tillet writes:

“…..But, for those of us who want so desperately to shield her from racial taunts and sexist tweets, we are not simply thinking of Wallis alone. According to American Psychological Association, the self–esteem of American girls actually peaks at nine-years-old, the same age as Wallis. And then, in large part due to their sexualization in the media, their self-image takes a dramatic nosedive.

We also understand Wallis’s symbolism to the millions of African Americans girls – our most fragile citizens – who are vulnerable to extraordinary acts of violence, everyday.

Girls like the gone-to-soon slain teenager, Haidiya Pendleton, for whom the activist Aisha Truss-Miller & Family and the Black Youth Project launched a successful petition calling on President Obama to make a speech on gun-violence in Chicago.

And the vast majority of girls with whom I work through A Long Walk Home that experience sexual and dating violence at a crisis rate. Unlike Pendleton or Wallis, their lives continue to be unrecognized, their voices continue to be ignored, and whether they are prodigies or not, far too many have already had their confidence stifled by the intersection of racism, sexism, and poverty into which they were born…”

Read the entire piece: Taunts, Tweets, and Black Girl Genius | The Feminist Wire.