School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)
college-educated, African American women, archetypes, singleness, intersectionality, lived experiences
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Pope, Tonia, "The Lived Experiences of Single African American Women with Postbaccalaureate Degrees" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4823.
This qualitative phenomenological study aimed to understand the lived experiences of single African American women over 30 with postbaccalaureate degrees. The guiding theories were Patricia Collins's Black feminist thought, embracing notions of resistance for African American women as agents of knowledge, and Kimberle Crenshaw's intersectionality theory, highlighting specific forms of intersecting oppression, such as race and gender, and examining the interconnection. The central research question was, "What are the lived experiences of single African American women with postbaccalaureate degrees?" Purposeful and snowball samplings were used to recruit 15 African American women with a master's, doctorate, or professional degree. The study relied on data from surveys, open-ended questionnaires, and interviews. Per the findings, all the participants shared common experiences. As African American women, society viewed the participants negatively through the "Angry Black Woman" archetype lens and negatively and positively through the "Strong Black Woman" archetype lens. Also, half of the participants were happily single, while the other half felt this was challenging. Per these findings, more research is required for deeper insight into the lived experiences of African American women over 30 with postbaccalaureate degrees.