Fifty years ago yesterday, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom inspired and unified millions. That it rose above the hatred and vitriol that was gripping the nation made it all the more powerful. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, iconic “I Have a Dream” speech made it clear that the civil rights movement was a struggle for more than the repeal of hateful laws and the reversal of backwards thinking. The movement was about creating economic opportunity and democratic engagement for all Americans, regardless of skin color.
Black adolescent girls and young women face special barriers related to both race and gender, which have immense effects on their health, achievement, and life outcomes. This is especially the case for low-income black girls, who have added challenges associated with poverty.