Pushout Review by Kirsten Daye


Pushout by Monique W. Morris focuses on the undiscussed tragic reality for many black girls in the American public school system. As Morris tells stories of injustices put against black girls in school she asks questions many are too afraid to ask and brings up issues that challenge traditional connotations of how the system works, even within her own community. ¨I argue that the ´pipeline’ framework has been largely developed from the conditions and experiences of males. It limits our ability to see the ways in which Black girls are affected by surveillance (zero-tolerance policies, law enforcement in schools, and other stakeholders may have wrongfully masculinized Black girls in ´the system´.” Morris looks at the lives of black girls who are faced with school-related arrest to discover the deeper stories beneath the surface. There are girls who are abused; trafficked for sex; harassed because of race, gender, sexual orientation or a combination of all three; and/or otherwise violated. Morris’s goal for the book was to bring awareness to the struggles black girls face on the daily. Morris gives a voice to the girls who are constantly dehumanized and told they don’t matter. In the end Pushout hit close to home for some of us and for others taught us how to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.

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Kirsten Daye is a senior in a New York City public school and a participant in Columbia University's Freedom & Citizenship program.