This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Still I Rise: Agency of Black Collegian Women




Morawo, Stephanie

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The research and discourse surrounding Black women in college has continued to expand in its scope in recent years. Scholars have written about Black college women in several ways describing the intersections of their multiple identities, racial battle fatigue, and the unique adversities they face (McKinzie & Richards, 2019, Shahid et al, 2018, Corbin et al, 2018). Scholarship and societal focus on Black women have made it clear that the experiences of these women are unique and invisible. The experiences of Black college women are even more so with a limited body of scholarship isolating experiences of racism, sexism, and marginalization (Patton & Croom, 2017). The support Black college women need to be successful in their collegiate career should be nuanced and specific to their experiences. To better support Black college women, higher education must first understand how these women navigate their success amid adversity, specifically at predominately white institutions. Therefore, I examined the conceptualization of agency for six Black collegian women at a predominantly white institution. Using sista circle methodology, Black college women discussed the relationship with and intentionality of their agency. The findings of this study offer important implications regarding culturally relevant approaches for advancing the support and scholarship of Black college women.