Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lilia Monzo

Second Advisor

Quaylan Allen

Third Advisor

Safiya Noble


The stereotypes present in popular television shows often become barriers that limit Black women in higher education, influencing the ways in which they experience college campuses, including how they are treated by faculty and peers and how they interact with others in these spaces. This study examined the perspectives of Black women regarding how media portrayals of Black women and specific popular characters influence their learning opportunities and sense of belonging as undergraduates in college campuses. Black Feminist Theory was employed to analyze the experiences of the participants, Black women, and Critical Race Theory aided in understanding how these women function within the system of higher education. These theories work in conjunction to address racist, sexist, and classist conditions to which Black women are subjected and their responses in specific contexts. Four major themes emerged, each having a set of subthemes. The four themes are: (1) Black womanhood is multi-layered and multi-faceted, (2) Black women in the media, (3) this is not my space, and (4) creating a sense of belonging.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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