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Black Women Speaking From Within

Essays and Experiences in Higher Education


Edited By Kelly K. Hope

In Black Women Speaking From Within: Essays and Experiences in Higher Education, contributors use intersectional and interdisciplinary lenses to share the ways in which they understand, navigate, resist, and transform student services, learning, teaching, and existing in the academy. This book explores and discusses the following question: How do Black women experience and perceive place and agency in higher education? Black Women Speaking From Within draws upon the influence organizational culture, sense-making, and sisterhood has on praxis and pedagogy and places the Black woman’s stories and experiences at the center of the conversation.

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Chapter 2: My Sister, Myself: Sociocultural Factors That Affect the Advancement of African-American Women Into Senior-Level Positions (Antoinette Bonnie Candia-Bailey)


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Chapter 2: My Sister, Myself: Sociocultural Factors That Affect the Advancement of African-American Women Into Senior-Level Positions


African-American women have made tremendous gains in higher education; however, there remain several obstacles and barriers regarding their career satisfaction, professional development, advancement, and mentorship opportunities. During slavery, African-American women were not allowed to read or write. Education was also deemed unnecessary for African-American women. However, despite this prohibition people like Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Jane Patterson, Lucy Diggs Slowe, Anna Julia Cooper, Lucy Lanny, and Fanny Jackson Coppin forged forward in educating themselves and others. Oberlin College in Ohio is cited as the first college in the United States to admit Blacks and women. Mary Jane Patterson was the first official African-American woman graduate, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1862. Patterson became the first African-American female principal at the Prep School for African-Americans in Washington, DC. Also, Mytilla Minor and Harriet Beecher Stowe founded the Minor Teachers College for African-American women in the late 1850s (Rankin, 1998). Before the Civil War, women and African-Americans were excluded from institutions of higher education.

There is a burden for African-American women described as the “double whammy” of race/ethnicity and gender. In the 21st century, some African-American women in higher education administrative positions still face barriers in the workplace. According to Blakesdale (2006), many researchers suggest problems for African-American women administrators stem from the issues of perceptual bias that...

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