Diasporic Dialogue: An Intergenerational Study of Black Women and Girls Educational and Lived Experiences

Jones-Bey, Noor.   New York University ProQuest Dissertations & Theses,  2023. 30528472.

Abstract (summary)

Black women and girls are shaped by racial and gendered ideologies descending from colonial slavery and reproduced structurally and socially in everyday life (Cooper, B.C., 2015; Morgan, J.L., 2004). Educational research shows that constant surveillance restricts the sense of self that might otherwise empower Black girls with capacities of language and expression performance for overcoming binding stereotypes and other institutional and socio-economic factors that render Black girls vulnerable in school and public life (Fordham, 1993; Morris, 2016; Shange, S. 2019a). So perhaps unsurprisingly educational research does not by-and-large use the actual words of Black women and girls to make the types of historical connections needed to address contemporary issues. Consequently, I draw upon methods of critical linguistics and discourse analysis (Gilligan, 1982; Kynard, 2007b; Shange, N., 2011; Smitherman, G., 2006, 2015) to review archival, interview and focus group data of 41 intergenerational women and girls that illustrate the interweaving connections across social, cultural, and historical landscapes experienced by Black women and girls in the pursuit of education from 1730 to present day (Davis, 1972; DeGruy, 2017; Dillard, 2012; Hartman, 1997, 2019; Walker, 2003). The resulting study illuminates how race, class and gender are shaped by schooling from intergenerational embodied perspectives. Findings reveal many ways in which Black women and girls resist and repurpose life inside and outside of formal institutions. The data suggest an intergenerational “call and response” in the writing, speaking and preaching of Black women and girls – transforming dominant understandings of schooling and education through critical discourses and reckoning with power. My research findings show how an intergenerational reading of educational experiences reveals the limiting policies and practices of schools that continue to require Black women and girls to give up their authentic selves to “be good.” Other emergent themes include histories of sexual and gender-based violence, legacies of collective storytelling, art practice, and alternative educational spaces. My research can thus be used to advance equitable policy and practice and as a curricular tool for educators and practitioners. My study also highlights how educational policy and practice must listen critically to Black women and girls across generations to transform schools and ultimately achieve educational equity.

Indexing (details)

Womens studies;
Black studies;
Gender studies
0515: Education
0453: Womens studies
0325: Black studies
0733: Gender studies
Identifier / keyword
Art; Black women; Dialogue; Diaspora; Gender-based violence
Diasporic Dialogue: An Intergenerational Study of Black Women and Girls Educational and Lived Experiences
Jones-Bey, Noor
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 85/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Doucet, Fabienne
Committee member
Gilligan, Carol; Morgan, Jennifer
New York University
Teaching and Learning
University location
United States -- New York
Source type
Dissertation or Thesis
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL