This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Toward a Theory of Black, Rural Praxis




Slaughter, Kamia

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



This study explores how outreach-oriented practitioners (OOPs) across the interdisciplinary field of higher education support Black, rural students and communities in Alabama. It asks two questions: (1) How do practitioners’ experiences and reflections about working in Black, rural communities in Alabama advance conceptions of rurality? (2) What processes and strategies support construction of a model for Black, rural student success? This dialectical critical realist grounded theory (CRGT) study centers 22 OOPs who work in and throughout various contexts. Some of the institutional types included in this study are 2- and 4- year public institutions, 4-year private institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), predominantly white institutions (PWIs), research universities, land-grant institutions, and K-12 institutions. Organizational types included in this study are non-profit organizations, government and policy organizations, and religious organizations. CRGT methods required iterative cycles of deskwork and fieldwork, which included two sets of virtual interviews, journey mapping, and reflective memoing. Findings offer a set of Black, rural logics that help practitioners enact their work and offer a point of departure for development of a grounded theory of Black, Rural Praxis.