Back to top

Defending Black Girlhood

Longtime Madisonian Lilada Gee's newest initiative, Defending Black Girlhood, focuses on the work that Black women and other adults need to do in order for Black girls to be safe in their homes, schools and communities. Madison Public Library is proud to partner with Defending Black Girlhood to recommend the following resources for parents, educators and would-be allies.

Cover of Beyond Beautiful vol 2: A
by Dr. Jasmine Zapata

This book includes 16 inspiring stories from 16 incredible young women who share their personal advice and wisdom on what it means to them to be Beyond Beautiful. Each chapter is additionally jam packed with fun and practical tips and tricks for studying, self care and staying focused during difficult times.

Cover of Beyond Beautiful: a girl's
Beyond Beautiful
by Dr. Jasmine Zapata

Geared toward middle and high school girls, this book by local pediatrician, preventative medicine/public health physician and motivational speaker Dr. Jasmine Zapata can also be read by parents/caregivers to elementary students as well. This book is filled with.....empowerment, inspiration, motivation and more!

Black Girl Magic Educational Services Inc Logo
founded by Rosa Thompson

Founded in 2017 by Rosa Thompson, an Advanced Learning teacher in Madison, the first annual Black Girl Magic Conference took place in 2018 for 4th through 7th grade Black, African-American and multiracial girls in the Madison Metropolitan School District. As of October 31, 2021, the organization is now an independent community organization, Black Girl Magic Educational Services Inc (BGMES Inc).

Cover of Black Women Who Dared
written and illustrated by Naomi M. Moyer

Short biographies of ten Black women from Canada and the United States, ranging from 1793 to the present. Anti-slavery activists, business women, community organizers, and educators; they were, and are, leaders committed to uplifting their communities.

Cover of Brave, Black, First: 50+ A
by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by Erin Robinson, with the National Museum of African American History and Culture & Smithsonian Institution

An illustrated biographical compilation of over fifty African American women from the 1700s through to the present day.

Defending Black Girlhood podcast logo
by Lilada Gee

A dynamic voice on behalf of Black girls and women throughout the African Diaspora who carry the heavy burden of generations of sexual trauma, as well as their own—Madison native Lilada Gee has committed her life to the defense of Black girlhood and the healing of Black women. The first season of her powerful podcast explores the complex family, school, and community relationships that can either support or fail Black Girls. (for mature audiences)

Freedom Youth Squad
provided by Freedom, Inc.

Advocacy and resources directly for Black, Southeast Asian, and LGBTQI Youth in Dane County, WI.

Phone/Text: 608-716-3842  Facebook: Freedom Youth Squad

Cover of A Girl Like Me
by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Nina Crews

Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. This inspiring picture book brings together a poem by acclaimed author Angela Johnson and Nina Crews's distinctive photocollage illustrations to celebrate girls of color.

Cover of I Am Enough
by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo. (picture book)

Cover of Lily Brown's Paintings
by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Earl B. Lewis

When Lily Brown paints, she imagines all sorts of fantastic things in the scenes that she sees every day. (picture book)

Cover of Ordinary Hazards: a memoir
by Nikki Grimes

For many years, Nikki's notebooks were her most enduing companions. In this accessible and inspiring memoir that will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards - ordinary and extraordinary - of her life.

Cover of Pushout: The Criminalizati
by Monique W. Morris

For four years Monique W. Morris, author of Black Stats , chronicled the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged--by teachers, administrators, and the justice system--and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Morris shows how, despite obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes, and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities, and beyond. 

Cover of Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blu
by Monique W. Morris

A radiant manifesto that re-imagines what education might look like if schools placed the thriving of Black and Brown girls at their center, and a guide to moving away from punishment, trauma, and discrimination and toward safety, justice, and genuine community in our schools.

Cover of Well-Read Black Girl
edited by Glory Edim

Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives--but not everyone regularly sees themselves on the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best Black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature.

founded by Glory Edim

Our goal is to introduce a cohort of diverse writers to future generations – contemporary authors who are non-binary, queer, trans, and disabled. To address inequalities and improve communities through reading and reflecting on the works of Black women.