Date of Award

Fall 8-26-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Anaida Colón-Muñiz, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Quaylan Allen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kimberly White-Smith, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Sharon Elise, Ph.D.


Afro-Latinas, Latinas of African descent, exist at the intersections of culture, race, gender, and class, and this position informs how we experience our world. This unique experiential perspective is present when we decide to attend college. It was the goal of this research project to explore the post-secondary educational experiences of Afro-Latinas. One particular group of Afro-Latinas was the subject of the research project: Afro-Boricua women.

The unique relationship that Puerto Rico has with the United States provided a backdrop for these women’s college going experiences. It provided a historical framework of colonialism and racialization that occurred both on the island and stateside. Critical Race Theory was utilized as an analytical tool with which to interrogate the outcomes of intersections of this relationship. The experiences of the Afro-Boricuas were captured through narratives, in the form of conversations that gave way to testimonios that captured the thematic lives of the women. Through the use of Sociocultural Theory, the researcher incorporated qualitative research approaches including narrative inquiry to address the question: What are the experiences of college-educated Afro-Boricua women? The results of these conversations were then analyzed using a Critical Race Theory framework in order to investigate the role of race and how it manifested in the lives of women who live within a conflicting racial understanding of what “one drop” means. The conversations resulted in testimonios[1] that added complexity to the narratives of other Latin@[2]and Afro-Latina voices speaking of their college experiences as well as their experiences in general.

[1] All Spanish language words will be noted in italics with a translation in parenthesis.

[2] The moniker “@” will be used as an inclusive symbol representing both male and female references inherent in the term Latin@.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


Any questions regarding the content or use of the document can be directed to the author, Marie Nubia-Feliciano, Ph.D. She can be contacted at