Beyond Me: Black Women’s Experiences at Predominately White Institutions of Higher Learning

Kayla Long Butler University, Madison Nichols Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Christine Taylor Butler University, Kristin Swenson Butler University
We present the complex experiences of four Black women who have attended predominantly white colleges and universities by sharing their stories through the documentary form. Informed by critical race and cultural theories, we explore subsections and interactions within identity, environments, communities, roles of Black women, health, overall experiences in predominantly white institutions of higher learning, allyship and advocacy. We contend that a documentary style production allows viewers to explore and gain greater understanding of the difficulties that individuals face within race and gender binaries. We conducted interviews with four Black women, three current college students and one college graduate. Their voices and stories encompass their experiences as Black women at a predominantly white institution including how they are social agents making efforts for change. The documentary draws on statistics from scholarly research, historically significant events and Black women who have made an impact on society. In recent years, conversations regarding race and gender have surfaced as more pertinent than ever with discussions taking place in classrooms, throughout media, and in daily lives. However, many of us tend to think in the binary (either, “or”). The experiences that come with being both Black and women form a unique site of oppression, especially while existing as a minority that has been historically active in social justice. The purpose of this extensive research and documentary production is to inform audiences of various challenges presented to Black women at predominately white institutions and emphasize the pertinence of listening to marginalized voices.
Communication & Media Studies
Oral Presentation

When & Where

10:45 AM
Jordan Hall 236