Othersistering: A Holistic Perspective on Black Women Administrators in Higher Education




Whitehead, Mary Elizabeth

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Current literature on Black women administrators in higher education is limited and develops research on this community through a narrow perspective of Black womanhood. Expanding the literature to include a holistic perspective of Black women through examining their lived experiences as administrators in higher education is important. Utilizing a phenomenological analysis approach, this qualitative investigation explored the lives of Black women administrators in higher education with membership in NPHC sororities. Grounded in the theoretical framework of Henri Tajfel's Social Identity Theory and Layli Phillips's Womanist Perspective, this study aimed to unearth new knowledge about the lived experiences of Black Women administrators through their various relationships connected to their sorority identity.To better understand this phenomenon and address the research question, data were collected through a semi-structured interviews of six participants who shared racial, gender, and sorority identity. Four themes emerged from the research data: Identity Acknowledgement and Sense of Belonging, Redistribution of Resources and Social Capital, Unwritten Cultural Knowledge and Expectations, and Unavoidable Barriers and Privilege. The implication were addressing Black women administrators' communal responsibility and institutions addressing racial campus climate, retain and recruit Black professionals, and require diversity training. In conclusion, there were further implications and direction for future research.


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Black womanhood, Black women, Social Identity, Sororities, Support Systems, Womanist Perspective



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies