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Jagged Edges

Black Professional Women in White Male Worlds

Series:

Nancy Talley-Ross

This study examines the lives of African-American women practicing in non-traditional, white male-dominated professions through an analysis of their life histories. Non-directive interviews were conducted with seventeen African-American women practicing in professions such as law, medicine, corporate management and journalism. The six themes that emerged from the data were: parental promotion of optimism, parental and informant promotion of self-reliance, enjoyment of and emphasis developmentally on reading, support for attending traditional black colleges and universities, positive accommodation of racism and a strong promotion of church affiliation.