Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Farber

Second Advisor

Dr. Jill Hermann-Wilmarth

Third Advisor

Dr. Dini Metro-Roland


African American female, educational barriers, educational paradoxes, intersectionality educational inequities

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Using a literature review and personal experience, this paper aims to examine the paradoxes and barriers of African American girls in education. The educational system has left black females without support to ensure consistent results across a variety of settings and environments. There are a variety of voices on what barriers African American girls face and how those barriers influence their educational progress. Despite some progress, many African American girls are at risk for suspension, expulsion, and grade retention. They are at risk to be pressured into dominant culture norms for behavior, to be regarded as subordinate, to be negatively stereotyped, alienated, and silenced. The one size fits all educational system has not supported black girls in educational achievement. Research revealed that despite the obstacles and barriers, many African American females develop a sense of strength that allows them to bear up against oppression and inequities. Barriers are a result of societal inequalities. As a society, we should move toward a solution that would center around ending societal inequities and supporting African American girls until educational access and results are equal to that of white, male students.