Young black women symbolise the effects of the inequalities of British society. They do well at school, contribute to society, are good efficient workers yet, as a group they consistently fail to secure the economic status and occupational prestige of their white counterparts. Heidi Safia Mirza, a black woman sociologist, charts the experience of a group of young black women as they leave school and enter the world of work, and investigates why black women suffer these injustices. She challenges the widely-held myth that young black women underachieve both at school and in the labour market, and provides evidence that goes beyond current notions of black female identity. She reveals the processes of inequality that, despite meritocratic ideals, persist in western society, shifting the emphasis from an analysis of identity towards an examination of the central role of social and economic disadvantage in the education system.
Through a comparative study of research and writing from America, Britain and the Carribean, Young, Female and Black re-examines our present understanding of what is meant by educational underachievement, the black family and, in particluar, black womanhood in Britain.