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I Introduction: Understanding Young African American Women's Experiences in Science * I 2 The Conceptual Framework: A Critical-Feminist Approach * 7 3 Young African American Women's Experiences in Science: "Science Is Like Opening a Present from Your Favorite Aunt. You Just Can't Wait to Open It Because You Know There Is Something Wonderful and Unique Inside." I 2 4 Influences-Teachers and Schools: "They Looked at Us Like We Weren't Supposed to Be Scientists:" - 43 5 Influences-Family and Community: "My Mother Never Minded Me Using Her Kitchen Utensils to Dig Up Insects and Worms to Explore." * 72 6 Influences-Peers: "I Know Plenty of Girls at My School [Who] Love Science." - 94 7 Conclusions: "Science Is Not About Which Race Likes It Better, It Is About Doing WhatYou Like." * 121 Appendix A: Tables * 129 Appendix B: Detail on Knowledge Networks Sampling * 177 Appendix C: Text forVignettes I 8 1 Appendix D: Selected Questions from Knowledge Networks Survey * 183 Appendix E: Detail on NELS Sampling and Data * 185 Notes * 187