Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Considering the recent popularity and success of magical, heroic stories for young readers – especially ones that feature girls as the main protagonists – there still remains a dearth of young adult fantasy and science fiction titles in the mainstream where girls of color are the heroes. This thesis highlights Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor, The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson, and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin -- Afrocentric young adult novels with young Black female protagonists that intervene in the tradition of Eurocentric fantasy. The characters' encounters with the fantastic represent their struggles with how they have been Othered in their societies. Okorafor, Jemisin, and Hopkinson portray aspects of Black womanhood, though mysterious and fearful at first, as powers to be celebrated. By affirming the importance of a constructed cultural identity within the self-identity, these authors expand the mediums through which Black girls can confront their subconscious insecurities and begin to understand the intersectionality of their identity.
Yohannes, Bezawit, "Black Girl Magic: Intersectional Self-Definition in Young Adult Afrocentric Fantasy" (2018). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1202.
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