How girls of color from eight global communities strategize on questions of identity, social issues, and political policy through spoken word poetry.
Around the world, girls know how to perform. Grounded in her experience of “putting a mic in the margins” by facilitating workshops for girls in Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States, scholar/advocate/artist Crystal Leigh Endsley highlights how girls use spoken word poetry to narrate their experiences, dreams, and strategies for surviving and thriving. By centering the process of creating and performing spoken word poetry, this book examines how girls forecast what is possible for their collective lives.
In this book, Endsley combines poetry, discourse analysis, photovoice, and more to forge the feminist theory of “quantum justice,” which forefronts girls’ relationships with their global counterparts. Using quantum justice theory, Endsley examines how these collaborative efforts produce powerful networks and ultimately map trajectories of social change at the micro level. By inviting transnational dialogue through spoken word poetry, Quantum Justice emphasizes how the imaginative energy in hip-hop culture can mobilize girls to connect and motivate each other through spoken word performance and thereby disrupt the status quo.
Crystal Leigh Endsley is an associate professor in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. She is the author of The Fifth Element: Social Justice Pedagogy through Spoken Word Poetry and a coauthor of Open Mic Night: Campus Programs That Champion College Student Voice and Engagement.
Crystal Leigh Endsley teaches us how to do multi-sited, multiethnic, and feminist ethnographic work through the self-created poetic narratives of girls across the world, while staying attentive to her own positionality, questions, assumptions, and fears. Robust and well-researched, Quantum Justice is a necessary read for any girlhood studies or hip-hop studies scholar.
— Aria S. Halliday, University of Kentucky, author of Buy Black: How Black Women Transformed US Pop Culture
Departing from entrenched discourses on girlhood, Quantum Justice elegantly presents literature that is representative of the various contexts in which the featured girls reside while taking into consideration the historical, social, and normative contexts in which they live and learn. Endsley’s analysis simultaneously honors the girls’ voices and locates their productions within a framework of existing theory and literature.
— Relebohile Moletsane, University of Kwazulu-Natal, coeditor of Ethical Practice in Participatory Visual Research with Girls and Young Women in Rural Communities
Introduction: Putting a Mic in the Margins
Chapter 1. Quantum Justice Leaps and Poetic Echoes
Chapter 2. “Understand This, and Be Happy in Life”: Contradicting Conditions, Complicating Community
Chapter 3. “Always Giving Something Up”: Decision Making and Subjectivity
Chapter 4. What Girls Want: Dreams and Desires
Chapter 5. “My Shining Makes You Glow”: Motherhood and Girls from the Future
Chapter 6. Too Close for Comfort: Motherhood and Girls Revising the Past
Chapter 7. Girls Making a Way
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