Preferred Name

Kenique Brown

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 Education (MEd)


Department of Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities


Stephanie Wasta

Brent Lewis

David Owusu-Ansah

Oris Griffin


Black students all over the world are at a disadvantage. They are misunderstood and oppressed. Black students do not receive an adequate intentional education in traditional educational spaces. Non-formal educational spaces have been supportive to Black students since slavery. Non-formal spaces have provided a space for Black people to feel seen and learn in a safe space. In this phenomenological qualitative study, four female Black Zambian gap-year students within a non-formal educational space were interviewed individually to describe the impact of a non-formal space on their understanding of Blackness. Through individual, semi- structured interviews, and additional data from the researcher’s journal that documented information from those interviews, participants described how their identities were shaped by the non-formal space. Key findings included the non-formal space being a safe space and home-like for participants, a recognition of the impact of their dark skin on their Black identity, and how Blackness is described in the non-formal space. This study contributes to the much needed research and investigation on Black African women in non-formal spaces, but most importantly Black women.

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