Welcome to the Black Girl Friendship Column!

Greetings #CiteASista family,

I am Raven K. Cokley and I will be your #CiteASista columnist for Black Girl/Woman friendships! I am very excited about sharing this space with you all and I look forward to the connections (i.e., friendships, kinships and sisterships) that we will make over time. Currently, I am a first-year doctoral student in the Counselor Education program at UGA. As a scholar-activist-practitioner, I desire to endarken the ivory tower with #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackGirlBrilliance! As a researcher, my interests include brilliant Black girls, Black womanhood and Black liberation movements.

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As a #BrilliantBlackGirl, I have been educated in historically White, academically gifted spaces. This often meant being one of (if not the only) Black girl/woman in the classroom. Furthermore, as an #IntrovertedBlackGirl, when I was not the only Black face in any space, my social anxiety gravely prevented me from making connections with other Black girls and women. Now, as a Black woman in academia, I am learning that building sisterships with other Black women is essential to my survival in this racially and gender-hostile space. Therefore, I will be using much of my own experience to illustrate how relationship and kinship building may look differently and be uniquely challenging for Black girls and women at the intersections of brilliance and introversion.

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It is my sincerest hope that you all find solace, peace, affirmation and healing in my words and stories as I continue my own journey with Black girl/woman friendships!

In #CiteASista love,

Raven

P.S. Feel free to add me on social media! Twitter: @brilliantblkgrl, IG: brilliantblackgirl, FB: Raven Kymmetria, WordPress: brilliantblackgirl.wordpress.com; ravenkcokley.com.

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