Black Girl Magic in Science: A Critical Race Narrative of Black Women in Science PhD Programs




Roby, ReAnna S.

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While there have been efforts to increase both racial and gender diversity within the context of STEM, Black women remain minimally represented. At the same time, while addressing the attainment of PhDs in graduate STEM programs, Black scholars only account for 4% of recipients of such degrees. While these statistics only tell us a fraction of what this means for scholars, there is pool of untapped research that can be reviewed from scholars who currently occupy such spaces within STEM. This study assesses how Black women's experiences may be used to inform/reconceptualize science education. This research employs Critical Race narrative as a means of centering the experiences of Black women scientists to address the question: How might the experiences of Black women in science Ph.D. programs be used to inform science curriculum? The employment of narrative, as a means of engaging in inquiry is central Currere and the tenets of Critical Race Feminism (CRF). A social justice inquiry, this work looks to assess the narratives of the participants while moving their experiences from the margin to center. This study advocates for intentional, concerted support of Black women scientists within the academy, particularly in the science. By not only including the bodies, but embracing the thoughts and contributions of these women holds promise for transforming the field. The responses of the Black women scientists in this study not only reflect an answer, but a living curriculum for the history of science and how it might look different.


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Black, Critical Race Narrative, Curriculum Studies, Higher Education, Science Education, Women



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching