The Warning. In 2014, Kimberlé Crenshaw warned the world that Black girls were being pushed out, overploliced and underprotected in the U.S. school systems, which led to them becoming the fastest rising population in the juvenile justice sytem. At the time, Black girls were 6 times more likely to be suspended from school than their white counter parts. She warned the world of what Moya Bailey called misogynoir: misogyny towards Black women.
While all of the statistics were there as proof, the nation continued to ignore Black girls.
The Boiling Point. In 2029, a 17 year effort by grassroots activists in Seattle, WA received global attention when they reported that 100% of Black girls across the nation had entered the juvenile justice sytem by the time they reached the 8th grade. Youth jails throughout the U.S. were at capacity, filled only of Black girls.
The Solution. In 2030 the U. S. governement divested in youth jails, and for the first time, invested in Black girls. Every Black girl in the U.S. was mandated to move to Gavelston the summer before they start the 6th grade, and could move back home after graduating from the 8th grade. Throughout their time in Gavelston, they work on culminating projects to be shown during the Juneteenth celebration.
Upon graduation, Black girls re-enter society.
Honoring the Past. On June 19th, 1865 enslaved people in Gavelson, Texas received the news that they were emancipated. Before 2030, this was a little known fact in U.S. history. In 2030, this history became mandatory to teach in schools. This also became the site for innovation for and by Black girls, in an effort to honor the past.
Play. In Gavelston, Texas 2065, play is a central part of the day for Black girls. When the girls arrive to Gavelston before entering the 6th grade, they recevie a programmable rope. This rope is used for both leisure and education. The ropes dispaly important and essential information such as time, wheather, and news. The ropes can also display social information such as messages, video calls, and music videos. The possibilities for the rope are endless, and each girl is responsible for deciding what their rope will be used for.
Celebrate. Each year all girls participate in the nation’s biggest Juneteenth celebration. While the celebration includes music and dancing, the main attraction is the innovative rope design winners for the year. People come from all over the world to see what the girls developed. This celebration also serves as graduation for 8th grade girls. Juneteenth is the most watched televised event on the planet.
Education. The girls receive holographic lessons from the most innovative Black women in history. These lessons include writing, math, physics, computer science, liberation, physical education, and music. Girls are allowed to choose the courses that interest them, the most popular courses are taught by Missy Elliott, Johnetta Elzie, Moya Bailey, Chanda Prescod-Weinstien, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Allyson Felix, Serena Williams, Mae Jemison, Shirley Ann Jackson, and Octavia Butler. Classes are from 1PM - 4PM each day, and mornings are free for innovation and discovery.
Living. Each girl lives in a dorm that has a view of the beach. In each dormnitory building, there is an indoor playground and private library on each level.
Expression. At their first Juneteenth celebration (the summer before 6th grade), each girl receives a pair of gold bamboo earrings with their preferred name on them. On weekends they have access to expression classes that include hair braiding and nail art.
Science Fiction Inspirations
Octavia Butler’s Kindred (book).
Stefon Bristol’s See You Yesterday (movie).
Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring (book).
Marvel’s Black Panther (movie).
Movement for Black Lives
#BlackAndSTEM (twitter hashtag and community)