Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

“My Black Womanness, She’s Fierce”: How Black Graduate Women Respond to and Cope with Gendered-Racial Microaggressions at a Historically White Institution
by Jones, Angel M., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2020, 197; 28025015
Abstract (Summary)

Although the number of Black women enrolled in historically White colleges and universities has grown in recent years, research has failed to adequately address the mental, social, and emotional well-being of these students (Green et al., 2018). While Black women seek higher education to gain upward mobility, they find themselves in a hostile environment that acts as a microcosm of the larger society where race, gender, and power relations are present. Research has shown that Black women are the most isolated group at historically White institutions, which is psychologically and emotionally taxing (Shavers& Moore, 2014). To address the neglected social and emotional needs of Black women, this study used Critical Race Theory to explore their experiences with racial-gendered microaggressions at a historically White institution (HWI). Specifically, it examined 4 questions: how do Black graduate women experience gendered-racial microaggressions? How do they respond? What factors influence their responses? And how do they cope with their experiences?

Findings showed that Black women experienced gendered-racial microaggressions on a consistent basis. Among these microaggressions were ones that made assumptions about their beauty, attempted to silence them, or depicted them as negative stereotypes of Black women. Their responses demonstrated their resiliency and demand for respect. Their experiences also showed the negative emotional, social, and psychological consequences of gendered-racial microaggressions as many of the women reported feeling anxious, depressed, or physically ill. Lastly, findings showed that the women in the study employed coping strategies, which were influenced by the endemic nature of racism and often exacerbated their symptoms of racial battle fatigue.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stone, Ashley Nicole
Commitee: Ali, Arshad I., Smith, William A.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Leadership & Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Black studies, Womens studies
Keywords: Black women, Critical race theory, Higher education, Microaggressions, Racial battle fatigue
Publication Number: 28025015
ISBN: 9798662450035
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