African American Women in Academia: Intersectionality of Race and Gender


Charnetta Gadling-Cole, PhD – Chair and OUD/SUD Certificate Project Director, Department of Social Work and Child Life Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor

Series: African American Women
BISAC: SOC001000

African American Women face a variety of issues in the academy, community and society. The strength of this group often lies in sisterhood, as to many, the saying “you are your sister’s keeper” rings true. This series addition addresses the concerns of African American Women in academia at the micro, mezzo and macro levels that can be used as the foundation for developing policies and intervention strategies to assist on their journey. Theoretical perspectives and practices that have impacted African American women in academia related to their individual and collective experiences are also explored. The literature provides a clear understanding of the intersectionality of being Black and a Woman.

African American women employed in academia must balance perceived roles related to being Black and a woman. This is a difficult balancing act for many due to the systemic racism and gender bias that exist within the institutions, along with those that exist in society as a whole. The authors describe a variety of circumstances that have impacted their perceptions related to academic experiences. It is imperative that African American women learn how to successfully navigate systems and uncomfortable situations that occur within the academy. It is the responsibility of those who understand the academic process and have been successful in addressing issues that arise to reach back and assist those that will follow. They must continue to lift as they climb!

Table of Contents


(Dr. Mildred C. Joyner)


Chapter 1. The Racial Divide: Theoretical Perspectives
(Charnetta Gadling-Cole, PhD, Chair and Masters of Social Work Program Director, Department of Social Work and Child Life, Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wisconsin, US and others)

Chapter 2. The Affirmation Queen: Resisting Their Expectations of the Black Woman in the Academy
(Tiffany Lane, PhD, Associate Professor and BSW Coordinator, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, US)

Chapter 3. Challenges in Academia for African American Women
(Donna D. Gibson, PhD, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US)

Chapter 4. Journey to Academia
(Tina Marie Glover, PhD, TM Glover and Counseling Services)

Chapter 5. Establishing Professional Pathways: Considerations for African American Women in Social Work Education
(Kesslyn Brade Stennis, PhD, Kathy Goodridge-Purnell, PhD, Virletta Bryant, PhD, Alecia Taylor, Christa Gilliam, PhD, and Elaine Bynum, Executive Director, Dr. Dorothy I. Height Center for Social Justice, Coppin State University, Baltimore, Maryland, US, and others)

Chapter 6. Motherhood and Academic Careers: Challenges Faced by African American Women in Academia Marriage, Parenthood, and the Tenure Clock
(Breshell Nevels, PhD, Assistant Professor and MSW Program Director, Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia, US)

Chapter 7. My Life in Higher Education: Tales from the Darkside (and Lightside)
(Val Livingston, PhD, Assistant Professor and MSW Admissions Director, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia, US)

Chapter 8. I Paid to be The Boss
(Catherine Regina Gayle, Associate Professor of Social Work, Chair of the Department of Social Work, Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia, US)

Chapter 9. The Journey Continues
(Charnetta Gadling-Cole, PhD, Chair and MSW Program Coordinator, Department of Social Work and Child Life, Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wisconsin, US and others)

About the Authors


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