CHILDHOOD LOST: THE ADULTIFICATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN GIRLS
A New Documentary and Community Initiative
Adultification: it’s a disturbing phenomenon that’s happening across the country – and with notable impact right here in the Pittsburgh region. Adultification is the perception that African American girls are more adult, more aggressive, more sexually aware and less in need of support and care than girls of the same age, but of different race. But it’s more than simply a problem of perception. Experts have linked adultification to disproportionate rates of classroom discipline, school suspension, and referrals to the juvenile justice system for Black girls which has a direct connection to the school-to-prison pipeline. What’s more, the racial disparity in juvenile justice referrals of Black girls is much higher in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County than school districts in 95 percent of similar cities.
Childhood Lost: The Adultification of African American Girls, is a thirty-minute documentary, that seeks to raise public awareness around this important issue. WQED explores the consequences of adultification, and introduces some of the people who are challenging systems, defying perceptions and working to give Black girls the support, compassion and equity they deserve.
In addition to the documentary, WQED is partnering with local community leaders to educate and further increase awareness, while celebrating the lives of African American girls living in the Pittsburgh region.