Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Black Female Voices: Self-Presentation Strategies in Doctoral Programs at Predominately White Institutions

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Drawing on a larger study, this qualitative investigation uses Black feminist thought as the interpretive lens to investigate perceptions and experiences of African American female doctoral students at predominately White institutions (PWIs). Semi-structured interviews were used to gain an understanding of their experiences and how these experiences influence academic persistence and overall well-being. A total of 15 participants were interviewed, and responses were analyzed for emerging themes. From the interview data, 5 themes emerged: (a) academic mask, (b) private self, (c) other selves, (d) protection of self, and (e) disadvantages of the academic mask. A summary of the findings and implications is presented.