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Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  3,094 ratings  ·  455 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Diamond stopped going to school the day she was expelled for lashing out at peers who constantly harassed and teased her for something everyone on the staff had missed: she was being trafficked for sex. After months on the run, she was arrested and sent to a detention center for violating a court order to attend school.

Just 16 percent of female students in
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Hardcover, 277 pages
Published March 29th 2016 by The New Press
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Bianca
Whatever you're doing.... Whatever you're reading... Stop and go get this book.

I suppose I may be biased. I went to public schools that seemed to value adhering to a dress code more than educating children and so the bite of this book feels especially real. Monique Morris doesn't just paint a picture of the plight of black girls in public schools across the country—she points out all of the ways the good guys are culpable. The ways teachers, counselors, teachers, parents, and fellow students are
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Trevor
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education, race
I saw an image on Facebook today, a Soviet propaganda cartoon from 1964. It was of a Black boy trying to get into a school where two white children already sat in the school yard. The Black child was blocked by hooded Klansmen forming a wall circling the school. The cartoon was called something like ‘first lesson’. I’ve watched in horror at how quickly the US has descended back to the late 1950s and early 1960s. The murder, often without consequence, of people of colour by police has sparked dem ...more
Ashleigh Rose
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for all educators and policy makers. Review to come.
Tanesha
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Blown away at what i've learned, and had (sadly) confirmed reading this book. Everyone with children particularly girls, no matter their race, should read this book. Yes it's about black girls however I know many parents with young white girls who are labeled early on as "aggressive" or "hard-to-handle" and are treated pretty similarly to how their black sisters are in school when labeled. Anyways, it is a succinct and well-written book about something too familiar in the black community, s ...more
Christina
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Monique W. Morris has done it again.

A while back I had the pleasure of reviewing her first book, Black Stats. And as much as Black Stats was extensively researched and illuminating, Pushout has gone above and beyond. This book is a call to action, and now I need to get the work. To read the rest of this review and to see a mini documentary about this book from Health Happens Here Click Here
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Christine
An important book and a rather useful as well. Morris details the reason why young Black women do not graduate school and why they are expelled at high rates. She also highlights ways to deal with the problem - part of it is shift in culture. The book includes a question and answer secton which is most useful.
Charlene
I am not sure how to review this book. There were a few things that bothered me, but drawing attention to them would draw attention away from the main message. And the main message is essential for any educator, policy maker, tax payer, or human being to understand.

The truth of the matter is that in America, black people were forced to be slaves. When they were finally freed, Americans (mostly Southern but those in the north also played a huge part) made laws that restricted the freedoms of bla
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Rose Peterson
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It was a surreal experience to look up from this book to see the black girls in my classroom demonstrating exactly what Morris describes. I appreciated her incorporation of critical race theory--double consciousness, internalized racism--as well as feminist theory in addressing the often-overlooked issue of how the criminalization of education uniquely affects black girls. In a world where the answers to what it means to be black almost always refer to what it means to be a black man, this book ...more
Edward Sullivan
Disturbing, enlightening and important. Essential reading for educators.
Brittany
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education-reads
Where to begin. Aside from the fact that I want to quote every page of this book for starters - this is one of the best academic kind of books I've read in awhile (coming off a Masters of Ed Program, which I wish this text could have been a part of). Incredibly researched, the footnotes and research do not detract from the book, as will often happen, but makes you actually want to read the footnotes (a experience I don't get all too often!). The mix of narratives from her interviews with girls, ...more
K
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
More later
Maija
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I think this book is relevant to libraries as a place with adults who are authority figures in the lives of young black women. I found the appendices helpful and I think as adults in a young black woman's life in school, or public libraries we have a responsibility to learn as much as we can about the triggers and issues they face in their lives that can affect how we interact with them in our spaces.
Esther | lifebyesther
RECOMMEND THIS FOR ANYONE WHO IS LOOKING TO GET INTO EDUCATION
K.
"The 'attitude' often attributed to Black girls casts as undesirable the skills of being astute at reading their location - where they sit along the social hierarchy - and overcoming the attendant obstacles. These were lessons learned through generations of struggle, and these lessons sit at the apex of what provides Black women and girls the audacity to demand being treated with dignity. However, when the way of the world includes a general lack of cultural competence and an aversion to valuing ...more
Yolanda Singleton
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Did you see the Judge sentence the young 15 year old to "jail time" for not doing her homework? If you did...you've already had glimpsed into what I just read - Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris.

Pushout was an incredible book that is spot on. Our girls are being victimized in the schools, by teachers, by systems. Our girls are prejudged based on hair texture, body composition and the clothes that they wear. Our girls are forgotten about when they are kid
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Hope Martin
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Audio. I constantly strive to make my school environment better, and this book definitely lead to some insightful information that I needed to know. A great resource for all teachers wanting to reflect on discipline, student-teacher relationships, and specifically educating black girls within their school. Each child is different. It's our responsibility as educators to know the wide span of challenges and hardships all of our students face. Paired with my reading of "The New Jim Crow" this was ...more
Grace W
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
(c/p from my review on TheStoryGraph) There isn't much in this book that is overall shocking when you know a certain amount about Black feminism, but the focus on schools and the way those schools have failed Black girls is really eye opening. It has a lot to say and it says it very well. The use of real girls experiences and stories makes you feel as if you are in the room with these girls. I'm not sure how anyone can read this book and not want to take action. Luckily, the book appendix has so ...more
Melissa
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
As we become MORE aware of huge systemic issues of mass incarceration, this book reminds us to look at young women, and not just focus our whole attention on young black men. Girls face racial issues, but also gendered issues, stemming from slavery through today where they are considered more mouthy, more sexualized, and more nonconforming just be being themselves. All of which puts them at a greater danger of being punished as “willful” which can all to easily redirect them out of the school sy ...more
B Sarv
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris
Monique W. Morris, Race, Gender, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Expanding Our Discussion to Include Black Girls (New York: African American Policy Forum, 2012).

In the past several years I have been able to read a number of books about the Criminal Legal System (as some of you may know, I cannot associate the word justice with this system). I am also an educator. Students of mine have presented projects on the “school
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Rick Wilson
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic look at how schools fail non-typical students and more specifically Black girls. This book convincingly shows how intersectional oppression actually impacts real people. It’s amazing just how wrong many of our policymakers get it.

This book also supplies a handful of solutions that seem to realistically address many of the issues presented.
cat
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
I have had the opportunity to hear Dr. Monique Morris speak several times this year at conferences and meetings and have soaked up the spot-on race and gender analysis of sexual violence that she has put forward.

In this book, which expands the school-to-prison pipeline discussion to the lives of black girls, she lets the voices of the girls affected by disproportionate racial and gender policing in schools speak for themselves, making this a book that is both incredibly powerful and heartbreaki
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Tiera San
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The education of children is important, especially in communities of color. I am involved in a wonderful organization called CDF Freedom Schools. They recognize that it is important to train teachers to teach children from all backgrounds, to make sure that all children have access to an education and that their learning materials reflect their own culture and experiences. In talking about the cradle to prison pipeline or the school to prison pipeline, it is often referring to black males, but b ...more
Cindy Vincent
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The book shares the data and interviews she accumulated in her study of criminalization of black girls in schools. Appendix A provided a Q & A for girls, parents, community members and educators. It also provides a list of resources and programs for African American girls. Appendix B highlighted 2 alternatives to punishment. The one alternative is currently being implemented in our school district. The other alternative I heard about at a continuing educational seminar I attended recently. The p ...more
Avatara Smith carrington
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was honestly the most validating literary experience I've had in a minute. Dr. Morris' ability to weave the narratives of the young girls sharing their truth with the hard facts is not only captivating but also strategically important in her push for intentional and intersectional work to be done with/for black girls in stopping Pushout. This is honestly a must read for anyone who works with black girls...
danielle
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
this is a good book to introduce yourself to the injustices of the juvenile justice system. it can be a bit condescending at times, as the author goes back on points she’s trying to make, but if you get past those it really does provide good information. i recommend not stopping with this book, because it is a pretty surface level explanation of just some of the problems young black girls face.
Jamie Huston
Apr 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
A review in 30 points:

1. In 2005, I read David Shipler’s then-new book The Working Poor, where he used people’s narratives to build a case that the American economy was rigged against those who were poor. The beam in his eye, though, is that nearly all of his dozens of stories read like this: “So-and-so dropped out of high school, got pregnant a few times, and keeps getting arrested for drugs and shoplifting and now she can’t even get a dignified job that pays a living wage, people, it’s a night
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Amy Gonzalez
I appreciated this book on two levels. The first and fundamental level is the overall message of Morris' work which is that there are systems in place that "push out" Black girls from schools. Professionals in education need to look at school practices not only through a racial lens, but also consider how gender biases play a role. The other way I got impacted was on a research level. Morris is meticulous with citing her resources and does some in depth explaining of her research process. It ser ...more
Ellen Heiman
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once you start this book, you will tear through it with fervor. It will enrage you, it will shock you, and it will compel you to act. Monique Morris is an incredible researcher, listener, and story teller. You will meet many girls, by full name, throughout the book, and you will read their experiences being validated and their stories being told. This is a must read for anyone who considers themselves an aspiring ally, a feminist, or an educator.
Jessica
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A hard read in the sense that these kids are treated brutally by people and systems that are supposed to care for them, but super accessible in tone and ends with helpful tips for students, parents, and educators.
Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
super interesting and upsetting, particularly the Bay Area specific stuff about sex trafficking.
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Are you a bad girl or a good girl? Why? 1 8 Jan 24, 2017 04:02PM  

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“For Black girls, to be "ghetto" represents a certain resilience to how poverty has shaped racial and gender oppression. To be "loud" it to demand to be heard. To have an "attitude" is to reject a doctrine of invisibility and maltreatment. To be flamboyant--or "fabulous"--is to revise the idea that socioeconomic isolation is equated with not having access to materially desirable things. To be a ghetto Black girl, then, is to reinvent what it means to be Black, poor, and female.” 5 likes
“Without intentional efforts to combat old ways and norms, ... institutions ... reproduce dominant social ideas, hierarchies, and systems of oppression.” 5 likes
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