Term of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Meca Williams-Johnson

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 3

Wynnetta Scott-Simmons

Committee Member 3 Email


Non-Voting Committee Member




The current qualitative study was used to explore the lived experiences regarding racism and microaggressions experienced by 6 Black women who all attended the same predominately White high school in the northern region of the U.S. Critical race theory approach to storytelling was used to expose Pennsylvania High School’s (pseudonym) colorblind stance to negative racial interactions and the responses of the Black women who attended this predominately White institution (PWI). Interpretive theoretical frameworks, critical feminist race (Wing, 2003) and Black feminist thought (Collins, 1990), were used to provide interrelated concepts to further an understanding of the hostile learning environment during the course of the participants high school years. Included in the findings were 3 overarching themes: (a) hostile racial climate and racism caused the participants to create strategies to navigate and practice; (b) self-preservation, and resistance of the myth and stereotypes of Black females; (c) persistence toward high school graduation. The participants told counterstories of covert racism or microaggressions and microassault, and the counterstories were documented. Participants felt targeted based on oppression regarding race, gender, and class. Participants were able to “talk back” and resist the dominant narratives of the White staff members and students, while forming a womanist support system. Resilience to dispel the negative stereotypes and myths projected upon the participants was achieved upon their graduation. Curriculum reform using culturally responsive pedagogy is needed to aid the school officials in attaining a cohesive learning environment for all students.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Wednesday, October 01, 2025