Girl Power has become the rallying cry for a new generation of girls as they navigate-on their own terms-the perilous yet exhilarating journey from girlhood to adulthood. Though this transformation is often difficult for middle-class white girls growing up in the United States, it is unimaginably more difficult for girls, often in developing countries, who contend with such life-threatening issues as poverty, abuse, and civil war. Indeed, girl power is a luxury these girls can't afford. Consider the young Thai teenage girl who must work in a button factory in order to save some money for her daughter. Think about the poverty-stricken young girl who is raped in rural Pakistan, and whose rapist is never brought to trial.Consider the journey of the African girl who is adopted and brought to the United States, yet discovers that she is not accepted because of her race. These stories and other equally painful sagas will resonate with readers of this collection, whose chapters will give these and other disenfranchised girls a place to speak, a place to express some of the pain, emotional and physical, of their journey through girlhood.
Sherrie A. Inness is associate professor of English at Miami University. She lives in Fairfield, Ohio. She is the editor of, most recently, Millennium Girls: TodayOs Girls Around the World (Rowman and Littlefield, 1998) and Delinquents and Debutantes: Twentieth Century American GirlsO Cultures (NYU Press, 1998)
Chapter 1 Chapter Acknowledgments Chapter 2 Chapter Introduction: Girl Problems Sherrie A. Inness Chapter 3 Acknowledgments Chapter 4 Introduction: Girl Problems Part 5 I: Dancing the Bashenga: Girls Confront Racism Chapter 6 1 Coming to America: Not the Movie by Eddie Murphy Chapter 7 2 From Foutou to French Fries: Life on the Edge of African and American Cultures Chapter 8 3 "Mommy I just want to fit in!": An African Girl's Story Chapter 9 4 Childhood Misconceptions: Reflections of a Biracial American (Colored) Girl Chapter 10 5 Mah-Rukh Ali: Profile of a Norwegian Chapter 11 6 Fighting Shame: A Somali Single Teen Mother in Canada Part 12 II: Don't Look Down: Girls Living on the Edge Chapter 13 7 A Tightrope Made of Sari Silk: The Delicate, Perilous World of Girlhood in India Chapter 14 8 Afia's Story: A Guide to Survival Chapter 15 9 A Tryst Missed: Girlhood in Pakistan Chapter 16 10 Horizontal Rain: Road from Sarajevo Chapter 17 11 Charley Lauren's Story: Growing-up in the Shadow of Mental Illness Chapter 18 About the Contributors