A Search for the Formation of Self: How do Black Women Born and Raised in the United States Describe and Understand How Black Girls Become Black Women
Ruth D. Edwards, Ph.D., Alumna, School of Human & Organizational Development (2008)
Black women born and raised in the United States live at the intersection of race, gender, and class, a concurrence that significantly influences their development. This study focused on describing and understanding how racism, sexism, and classism influence the way Black girls become Black women in US society. Qualitative research using Collective Memory Work was conducted with a total of eight U. S. born Black women (pilot study and research inquiry) including the author, to describe, interpret, and understand their lived experience growing up in the United States. The women recounted situations and incidences from their family, work, and social interactions. This study revealed that Black women function within the realities of Institutionalized Oppression and Internalized Oppression, simultaneously holding themselves in a state of Resistance and Resilience. The author submits that Black girls born and raised in the United States access an Internalized Collective Consciousness comprised of Institutionalized Oppression, Internalized Oppression, and Resistance & Resilience that facilitates their development into Black women.