Preferred Name

Zelda Tackey

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Communication Studies


Carlos Alemán

Melissa W. Alemán

Jennifer PeeksMease


The purpose of this thesis is to explore the storied experiences of Black women at predominantly white institutions (PWI) of higher education. I adopt a phronetic iterative approach to the qualitative analysis of interviewed Black women to explore how the image of a Strong Black Woman mediates a storied understanding to microaggressions, invisibility and racial battle fatigue. I present that survivor narratives typically employed to explain Black women’s encounters on the PWI are ill-suited for interpreting their experiences of campus life, and that the storying of persistence may be more insightful for generating an understanding of a Black womanhood that is complex and adaptive to the PWI environment. Additionally, this thesis highlights the importance of a Strong Black Woman Collective (SBWC) theoretical framework as means understanding of how the communal practices of Black women validates their experiences. Lastly, major takeaways and hopes for universities are discussed.



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