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.”
Clarke has just released a support journal for Black girls to accompany the book and has plans to publish an ally journal in October.
Navigating predominantly white institutions (PWIs) as a young Black girl provides amazing opportunities as well as challenging experiences. The poems, anecdotes, and stories found in Black Girl, White School: Thriving, Surviving, and No You Can’t Touch My Hair, seek 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.
Fans of Black Lives Matter books The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo will love this non-fiction look at life as Black girls in white schools as told by girls who have lived it.
This non-fiction book is edited by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion activist and teen author Olivia V.G. Clarke. The accompanying journal Black Girl, White School: The Journal is also available.
“…strong, powerful, and honest. It’s thought-provoking and insightful.” — Amazon Customer Review
“a look into a scholastic world where diversity is often defined as putting the few students of color on the academic promotion material but offering little in systemic support for these students.” — Amazon Customer Review
“…I love the THRIVE tips throughout. I also love that there is a recommended playlist while reading..” — Amazon Customer ReviewAbout the author
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.
Additionally, she is a multi-year, full scholarship attendee of the Humanities and Cognitive Sciences Summer Institute at Ohio State University. In 2018, she was selected to be a part of the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, a multicultural conference for high school student leaders in diversity.
This summer, she studied Korean as a 2020 Finalist of the NSLI-Y Summer Intensive Program through the U.S. State Department and is making college decisions as a QuestBridge Scholar.