Black Women Students at Predominantly White Universities: Narratives of Identity Politics, Well-Being and Leadership Mobility

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This narrative inquiry study uses personal experiences as a method of ethnographic research among Black women student leaders. The collegiate life stories of six African American women undergraduates experiencing gendernoir racial battle fatigue are described and analyzed. Combined are participant journaling, lived experiential interviews, and organizational observations within various organizational situations. Participants’ narratives are presented to understand the process of enacting leadership within varied organizational contexts while experiencing racial and gender-racialized aggressions. A three-dimensional narrative inquiry is utilized to restory field texts. In this instance, narrative inquiry is applied to demonstrate how participants respond to the effects of cumulative racial stressors in ways that positively influence their practice of leadership. Emergent themes were as follows: (a) buffered leadership and (b) holistic leadership. Participants spoke of avoiding gender-racialized aggression by using buffered leadership to create proximal distance between themselves and adverse racial interactions with White males. Participants used holistic leadership to describe nuanced Black womanhood to White women peers to dismantle stereotypes and increase rapport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-155
Number of pages12
JournalNASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2017

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