Incidents in the life of a cyber girl: Exploring Instagram as a potential counterspace for Black girls' literacy practices

Doctoral Candidate Name: 
Jimmeka Lashonda Anderson
Curriculum and Instruction

Although research has been done to explore social media as a safe space for Black girls (Womack, 2013), there is limited research that assesses social media as a counter space for Black girls’ literacies. According to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (2017), Black teens are the largest users of Instagram and SnapChat. While broader research has looked at Black girls' literacies and digital literacies among this population (Price-Dennis, 2016), there is limited research that has explored the literacy practices of Black girls specifically in the digital space they predominantly use, Instagram. Most importantly, the need to explore the elements of literacy that engage Black girls in non-formal academic spaces in which they utilize excessively may provide context for application in academic curriculum. This research study explores whether Instagram may provide a potential counterspace for Black girls' literacies and the ways in which they practice literacy through the examination of digital posts, online observations, and interviews with two adolescent Black girls.
Keywords: Instagram, Counterspace, Black Girls, Literacy, Social Media

Defense Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 12:00pm
Defense Location: 
Committee Chair's Name: 
Dr. Chance Lewis
Committee Members: 
Dr. Brittany Anderson (Co-Chair), Dr. Meghan Barnes, Dr. Spencer Salas, Dr. Bonnie Noble