School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Kevin Van Wynsberg


Black Women, Critical Race Feminism, Gendered Racial Microaggressions, Intersectionality, Racism, Religion, Spirituality, Strong Black Woman, Trauma




On May 29, 1851, Isabella Baumfree, a 54-year-old former slave, delivered the keynote address at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. Baumfree, better known as Sojourner Truth, could have focused her speech on the lashes grooved in her back, or her children she watched sold off into slavery. Yet her rallying cry came in the form of a simple question: “Ain’t I a woman?” Before gendered racial microaggressions had been defined, Sojourner Truth recognized that although she was a woman, she was not treated the same as non-Black women. There is no shortage of data on the deleterious effects of gendered racism on the Black woman. This paper quantitatively explores the degree to which Black women experience gendered racial microaggressions, whether they perceive their encounters as traumatic, and if religiosity/spirituality serves as a moderator for their stressors. Through the use of a single anonymous online survey that combined the GRMS, PCL-5, DUREL, and demographic questions, N=462 (n=261 non-Black and n=201 Black) women contributed to this study. Results showed that, in nearly every category, non-Black women responded in a manner that suggests they experience gendered microaggressions and are bothered by them more than Black women. The Black women in this study rated their perceived encounters of traumatic stress lower than non-Black women and religious beliefs higher than non-Black women. Thus, it is possible strong religiosity/spirituality reduces the impact of traumatic stressors experienced by Black women.

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