Voting rights, fear of the police: These are but a few of the issues people of color in this country have to grapple with.
A new report finds that struggles with racism can begin at a very early age, and can be even tougher for girls than it is for boys.
The study, from Columbia Law School and the African American Policy Forum, is titled Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected.
Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at UCLA and the lead author of the report, elaborated on the findings, which focused on the experiences of black female students in New York and Boston.
"What we found was absolutely astonishing," she said. "We found that in New York, for example, girls were disciplined 10 times more often than white girls. And in Boston, they were disciplined 11 times more often than white girls.
We generally know that African-American students tend to be disciplined far more than their white counterparts, but what we don’t know, and this is what was surprising, is that black girls’ disparity, relative to white girls, is far greater than the disparity between black boys and white boys."
Crenshaw says more research is needed to determine why black girls are faring so much worse than black boys.
"We have some suggested analysis that comes from other research and what some of the girls told us," she said. "The girls told us that first of all, they felt that there were particular stereotypes that their teachers had on them – that they were loud, that they were rowdy, they were defiant."
Crenshaw added that the girls tended to be suspended for "subjective offenses, , things that the teachers think warrant some kind of punitive intervention, but aren’t actually formal rule violations."