AbstractsWomens Studies

Black Girl Magic: How Black Women Administrators Navigate the Intersection of Race and Gender in Workspace Silos at Predominantly White Institutions

by Allison Michelle Smith

Institution: Louisiana State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Black Girl Magic; higher education; higher education administration; PWI; predominantly White institution; retention; Black Girls are Magic; Black Girls Rock; Black Women; Black Women administrators; Black female administrators; Black female
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2132170
Full text PDF: http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-07082016-173732/


In choosing to look at the impact of white racially homogeneous work environments, if any, in relation to Black women higher education administrators, this research was grounded in Patricia Hill Collins Black Feminist Thought. Utilizing Black Feminist Thought, rooted in intersectionality, provided a sturdy foundation for one interested in conducting research specific to Black women, whether the discourse is race, gender, and/or any other intersecting identities. Black Feminist Thought conveys the message that Black women have similar yet different experiences from White women and similar yet different experiences from Black men, while simultaneously having shared yet different experiences than other Black women in all aspects of life, racially, sexually, gender-wise, socially and politically. Through eight (8) semi-structured interviews, a demographic survey, self-selected organizational and departmental perception, the researcher aimed to capture the essence of what it like to work in higher education administration at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) as a Black woman, as a double minority, with limited or no daily interaction with other Black women, Black men, or Black students. Through the course of interviews and subsequent data analysis, four themes emerged: (1) Increased desire to connect with other Black women, (2) Recognized pervasiveness of intersectional discrimination, (3) Racially-influenced decision-making, and (4) Adherence to a spiritual belief. Additionally, the researcher has compiled recommendations for hiring, supporting and retaining Black women administrators at PWIs, specifically those in non-ethnic or culturally-centered areas. Advisors/Committee Members: Ottea, Jim (committee member), MacGregor, Kim (committee member), Mitchell, Rowland (committee member), Alsandor, Danielle (chair).