This article explores the tenets of Black girls' digital kinship by detailing an ethnographic study in which I developed and taught an elective course for a group of Black high school girls. I use my participant-observation from a five-month period teaching these students in order to argue that there is mutual mediation between kinship and digital production. I define digital kinship as a relational practice through which familial ties—with both origin family and chosen family—are established and/or maintained through digital technologies. Contextualizing my definition of digital kinship within the literatures of Black American family structures and digital community-building, I show how Black girls' offline familial ties appear in and/or influence their content on digital platforms such as Face-book and Snapchat along with what kinds of factors lead to the establishment of kin relationships within digital spaces specifically. Ultimately, I analyze the digital kinships formed by the girls in my class to conclude that digital spaces create more possibilities for Black girls to form support networks and exercise an agency to control space often denied them in their everyday school and home environments.


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pp. 80-97
Launched on MUSE
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