Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

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


College of Education

Committee Chair

Delores Liston

Committee Member 1

John Weaver

Committee Member 2

Peggy Shannon-Baker

Committee Member 3

Denise Taliaferro Baszile

Committee Member 3 Email



The present study investigated the lived experiences of Black women on a predominantly White institution (PWI) campus in the South as they relate to the core themes of Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought (BFT). The core themes of BFT that were the focus of the research were Self-Definition/Empowerment, Safe Space, Controlling Images, Invisibility/Sense of Belonging. Sista circle methodology was used as the form of inquiry with two 60-minute sessions over a two-month span. This methodology was chosen because its focus centers the lived narratives of Black women within a safe space unlike traditional focus groups. Findings from the sista circles revealed that the participants’ experiences did align with BFT which was originally published in 1990. Black women continue to feel stereotyped and invisible and encouraged to assimilate to the cultures and traditions of their PWI. These women are empowered to choose how they will be defined and demand spaces where they are not under surveillance. Through this study, college administrators, faculty and staff are provided insight to the lived experiences of Black women. This study supports the need to provide platforms where Black women are acknowledged as being a part of the campus culture as intellectuals and experts regarding such experiences.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material