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Black Feminism and Black Women’s Interactions With Faculty in Higher Education  

Monica Allen, April Smith, and Sandra Dika

The legacies of slavery and exploitation continue to shape the opportunities and experiences of contemporary Black women in the United States. While college access and attainment has increased over the past few decades, Black women contend with negative stereotypes, experiences, and inequitable outcomes associated with the intersectionality of their race and gender. Feminist standpoint theory and Black feminist thought can be used as lenses to centralize Black women’s experiences and thoughts when aiming to understand how their interactions with faculty and other institutional agents can function as barriers to and facilitators of their educational persistence. When Black women feel acknowledged by faculty as competent individuals rather than stereotypes, their engagement, sense of belonging, and persistence are positively affected. Listening to and valuing the stories of Black women students is an essential step to bringing about necessary changes for educational equity on historically White campuses across the country.