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Journal Article

Clean Corners and Algebra: A Critical Examination of the Constructed Invisibility of Black Girls and Women in Mathematics

Maisie L. Gholson
The Journal of Negro Education
Vol. 85, No. 3, Why We Can’t Wait: (Re)Examining the Opportunities and Challenges for Black Women and Girls in Education (Summer 2016), pp. 290-301
DOI: 10.7709/jnegroeducation.85.3.0290
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7709/jnegroeducation.85.3.0290
Page Count: 12
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Clean Corners and Algebra: A Critical Examination of the Constructed Invisibility of Black Girls and Women in Mathematics
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Abstract

This article takes a critical approach to unsettling the apathy around Black girls’ and women’s mathematics achievement and participation. I discuss how prevailing narratives about White girls and women, as well as Black boys and men, make the existence of coherent narratives of Black girls and women in mathematics essentially impossible. I argue that Black girls and women serve as a referent group providing a quiet, invisible, and menial labor of sanitizing theoretical and empirical spaces for other demographic groups. Using an example, I describe the process through which Black girls and women are rendered invisible in mathematics. To conclude, I call for the creation, occupation, and sharing of positive, socio-epistemic spaces that allow for the visibility of Black girls and women in mathematics.

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