In this innovative dialogue, Gabrielle Civil and Zetta Elliott consider how their work inside and outside of the academy “opens up space” for Black girls in the United States and throughout the African diaspora. In her performance art and curation, Civil activates the presence and absence of diasporic Black girls and celebrates their creative potential. In her books for young readers, Elliott disrupts literary conventions by centering Black girl protagonists and using the fantasy genre not for escape but empowerment. Linking the critical and creative, this dialogue showcases reflection and embodied knowledge of Black girls and women.

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