Dr. Sondra Bickham Washington

Assistant Professor of American Literature

Dr. Sondra Bickham Washington

PhD, Literature, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

MA, Literature, University of Alabama at Birmingham

MS, Public Relations, University of Southern Mississippi

BA, English, Louisiana State University

Dr. Washington specializes in 19th and 20th century African American literature. Particularly, she focuses on black girlhood and the ways in which race and gender-related violence and trauma affect African American female children and adolescents. Her current research challenges traditional readings of black girls as licentious, disrespectful, and disrespectable, instead associating their mindset with a traumatized mental state and their behaviors with post-traumatic stress responses sparked by their adultification and expedited maturity. Dr. Washington also founded The Black Girlhood Project, a digital humanities resource designed to enhance the emerging interdisciplinary field of black girlhood studies and to offer scholars and researchers a centralized location for networking and locating information on black girl characters.

Prior to entering academia, Dr. Washington worked for many years in journalism and public relations. She also authored The Story of Nannie Helen Burroughs, a biographical narrative on a lesser-known, but very influential religious leader, educator, and women’s rights advocate based in Washington, D.C.

Contact: SR 230; 561-799-8818