Can I Get a Witness? Speculative Fiction as Testimony and Counterstory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on Black feminist/womanist storytelling and the three-dimensional narrative inquiry space, this article showcases how one Black girl uses speculative fiction as testimony and counterstory, calling for readers to bear witness to her experiences and inviting witnesses to respond to the negative experiences she faces as a Black girl in the United States. I argue that situating speculative fiction as counterstory creates space for Black girls to challenge dominant narratives and create new realities. Furthermore, I argue that considering speculative fiction as testimony provides another way for readers to engage in a dialogic process with Black girls, affirming their words as legitimate sources of knowledge. Witnessing Black girls’ stories is an essential component to literacy and social justice contexts that tout a humanizing approach to research. They are also vital for dismantling a system bent on the castigation and obliteration of Black girls’ pasts, presents, and futures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-529
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Literacy Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • African American children and/or youth
  • critical race theory
  • feminist studies/research
  • narrative inquiry/research
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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