Critical Perspectives on Black Women and College Success  book cover
1st Edition

Critical Perspectives on Black Women and College Success

ISBN 9781138819474
Published November 2, 2016 by Routledge
238 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this comprehensive volume, research-based chapters examine the experiences that have shaped college life for Black undergraduate women, and invite readers to grapple with the current myths and definitions that are shaping the discourses surrounding them.  Chapter authors ask valuable questions that are critical for advancing the participation and success of Black women in higher education settings and also provide actionable recommendations to enhance their educational success.  Perspectives about Black undergraduate women from various facets of the higher education spectrum are included, sharing their experiences in academic and social settings, issues of identity, intersectionality, and the services and support systems that contribute to their success in college, and beyond.  Presenting comprehensive, theoretically grounded, and thought-provoking scholarship, Critical Perspectives on Black Women and College Success is a definitive resource for scholarship and research on Black undergraduate women.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Critical Perspectives on Undergraduate Black Women

Lori D. Patton and Natasha N. Croom

Section 1: Historical and Generational Perspectives on Black Undergraduate Women

Chapter 2: Black Undergraduate Women’s Experiences of Race, Gender, and Class at Fisk and Howard Universities and Tuskegee Institute; 1923-1960

Linda M. Perkins

Chapter 3: (In)Visibility, Involvement, and Success: A Counter-Narrative of Black Women in Predominantly White Liberal Arts Colleges, 1945-1965

Dafina Lazarus Stewart

Chapter 4: Black Women’s Advice on the Role of Confidence in the Pursuit of a College Degree: Believe You Will Achieve

Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, Courtney L. Luedke, and Carmen McCallum

Section 2: Ruling Discourses and Identity Politics in the Lives of Black Undergraduate Women

Chapter 5: An Examination of Black Women As Students In College Films: Where My Girls At?

Saran Donahoo

Chapter 6: From Discourse to Practice: Making Discourses About Black Undergraduate Womyn Visible in Higher Education Journals and Student Affairs Practice

Kimberly D. Everett and Natasha N. Croom

Chapter 7: Articulation of Identity in Black Undergraduate Women: Influences, Interactions, and Intersections

Christa J. Porter

Chapter 8: The Experiences of Black Immigrant Women Transitioning Into College: Moving In and Moving Through

Kimberly A. Griffin, Chrystal A. George Mwangi, and Shawna M. Patterson

Section 3: Black Undergraduate Women, Respectability and Resistance on Campus

Chapter 9: Black Women Athletes and the Performance of Hyper-Femininity

Tomika Ferguson and James W. Satterfield, Jr.

Chapter 10: Hair, Racism, and Marginalization in the ‘Equality State’

Tracey Owens Patton

Chapter 11: Explorations of Respectability and Resistance in Constructions of Black Womanhood at HBCUS

Nadrea R. Njoku and Lori D. Patton

Chapter 12: Choosing Elites: Experiences of Working Class Black Undergraduate Women at an Ivy League University

Jennifer M. Johnson

Section 4: Socialization, Well-Being and Support for Black Undergraduate Women

Chapter 13: Investigating Historically Black College Women’s Racial-ethnic Socialization Experiences and Mental Health: Shades of Flourishing

Sha’Kema M. Blackmon and Laura D. Coyle

Chapter 14: Influence of Sociostructural Stressors on Mental Health and Academic Performance: Black Women’s College Experience

Roxanne A. Donovan and Nichole A. Guillory

Chapter 15: Supporting Students Who Struggle Successfully: Developing and Institutionalizing Support for Black Undergraduate Women

Mahauganee D. Shaw

About the Contributors


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Lori D. Patton is Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, USA. Dr. Patton was the recipient of NASPA's 2020 George D. Kuh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature and/or Research Award.

Natasha N. Croom is Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Clemson University, USA. Dr. Croom was the recipient of ASHE CEP’s 2021 Founders' Service Award.


"One cannot read these works without coming away with a renewed sense of appreciation, respect, and admiration of Black women’s fights for education as a tool of liberation. By removing the veil that has long covered the stories, struggles and strengths of Black women, this well researched volume is a comprehensive account of the journeys of Black women and higher education in the United States.  An invaluable treasure trove of information."

--Tyrone Howard, Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Education, UCLA


"Critical Perspectives on Black Women and College Success is smartly attentive to historical and contemporary contours of Black women’s possibilities and perils in college spaces where they are often misunderstood, mythologized, and maligned. This timely volume serves as an exemplar of the growing scholarly tradition that focuses on participation, success, and approaches that advance the unique and at times universal experiences of Black undergraduate women." 

--James Earl Davis, Bernard C. Watson Endowed Chair in Urban Education and Professor of Higher Education and Educational Leadership, Temple University