Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Linda Perkins

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Darrell Moore

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Dionne Bensonsmith

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Tiffani J Smith


Blackgirl, capital, collectives, Hip Hop, literacies

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To what extent, do Blackgirl collectives imbue its participants with values that inspire them to pursue a college education? Blackgirl collectives have the potential to promote intellectual diversity, justice, and equality that can deter violence and exclusionary policies in the pursuit of a higher education. The objective of this dissertation research project is to: (1) explore the ways in which these collectives increase their community cultural wealth, (2) understand the ways in which these collectives mission of empowerment, intellectual development, community, and social justice impact their higher education persistence, and (3) discover the intrinsic and extrinsic attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors utilized for degree attainment and economic freedom. Exemplary Blackgirl collectives instill the values of free speech and development of intellectual ideas for the betterment of themselves and their communities. In communities such as Jackson, Mississippi and Baltimore, Maryland, where the violence and human rights violations of Blackgirls and minorities are at a significant high, Blackgirl collectives provide the space for the promotion of valuing individual freedom and the right to exercise their own agency when political force are ineffective and dehumanizing. Furthermore, exceptional Blackgirl collectives enable African-American girls and young women to develop their community cultural wealth by the focus on the desire of “uplift politics” or the struggle for community and individual liberation and equality, as well as the disruption of: heteronormativity, politics of respectability, and the super-girl phenomenon.



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