Freedom Dreaming in a Broken World: The Black Radical Imagination in Black Girls’ Science Fiction Stories

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All activism is science fiction, for envisioning a world without oppression requires the active creation of socially just societies formed from innovative ideas and visionary possibilities. Black girls have historically engaged in science fiction by using their voices and written words to construct socially just worlds in hopes that their dreams of the future can become realities. Still, there is scant research centering how Black girls use fiction writing, generally, and science fiction writing, specifically, as a social justice practice. Drawing from a larger narrative inquiry project with the objective of determining how Black girls might use written and oral storytelling to discuss, critique, and subvert experiences with social in/justice, this article connects the Black Radical Imagination and Critical Race English Education to consider the science fiction short stories of three Black girls. In focusing on these stories, I explore how Black girls’ science fiction writing is grounded in their ways of being and knowing, but also how this writing foregrounds their freedom dreams. Further, I provide insight into how English teachers and literacy researchers can alter pedagogical practices to make space for Black girls’ dreams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-106
Number of pages22
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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