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Date of Graduation
Master of Arts (MA)
School of Communication Studies
Melissa W. Alemán
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.
Tackey, Zelda, "Young, gifted, and black: A narrative of persistence of black women in academia" (2020). Masters Theses, 2020-current. 18.