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Exploring Black girl magic: Identity development of Black first-gen college women

Williams et al. / Journal of Diversity in Higher Education / October 2020

black female red scrunchie

The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry was to explore the impact of institutional context on Black first-generation college women’s identity development. We examined their experiences along the lines of their minoritized race, gender, and first-generation student status using intersectionality theory. Six Black, first-generation college women participated in this study. The findings revealed that participants struggled with constant identity negotiation, particularly related to their potential for academic success as first-generation students, all participants reported experiencing and seeing discrimination that culminated in feelings of institutional betrayal and despite negative experiences and encounters, each of the women in this study identified support mechanisms and counterspaces for developing healthy coping strategies with balancing their identity development in predominantly White campus environments.