Publication Date

Spring 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Counselor Education


Jason A. Laker


higher education, misogynoir, women

Subject Areas

Higher education; African American studies; Women's studies


The Black female voice whispers within literature because of the limited focus on their lived experiences, specifically of undergraduate Black women. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how Black women in pursuit of a baccalaureate degree navigate racism and sexism. Additionally, this study explored participant resonance with the characteristics and perceived conflicts of the Strong Black Women (SBW) schema. Six Black women from a comprehensive public university in the West participated in a qualitative interview and member checking. The following are emergent themes found as a result of this study: oppositional framing, navigation of intergroup comparisons, inferiority in the classrooms, realities of the SBW schema, and gratitude for this study. The outcomes of this study contribute to the dearth of research about undergraduate experiences of Black women. Taken together, implications for institutional practices to ensure inclusive learning environments and suggestions for further research conclude the study.