In a summer filled with calls for racial justice, a high school senior is amplifying voices of Black girls in predominantly white schools, leaving her mark and sparking important conversations. At just 16-years old, Olivia Clarke created and edited the Amazon Bestseller anthology – Black Girl, White School: Thriving, Surviving, and No, You Can’t Touch My Hair.
“I want to raise up Black voices, especially Black female voices that aren’t necessarily heard because we’re young. I wanted Black girls and women to know they are not alone and that others have similar experiences. I also wanted them to be inspired and empowered by both the book and the accompanying journal,” creator, editor, and diversity and inclusion activist Olivia V.G. Clarke said. “This book is also an opportunity for parents, school administrators, and educators to understand experiences of Black girls in white schools and use that knowledge to make anti-racism a focus, not just in words but action.”
Navigating predominantly white institutions (PWIs) as a young Black girl provides amazing opportunities as well as challenging experiences. She seeks to provide support and guidance for Black girls in PWI’s and are written by Black girls and women who are current or past attendees of PWI’s. Hair, friendship, dating, motivation, information, racism, self-esteem – nothing is off-limits.
Olivia V. G. Clarke is a high school senior, leader, and activist in diversity work. She serves as a leader on my school’s Diversity Executive Board, plans diversity conferences, and lead student-run faculty development activities. She is a proud member of the 2019 & 2020 Black Girls Lead class created by Black Girls Rock founder Beverly Bond.