Progression to Womanhood: A Framework on the Identity Development of Black American

Shawna M. Patterson

Abstract


There are a number of theoreticalconstructs that highlight the myriad ways that Black women contend withisolation, but few examine the interactions that take place between collegesand Black undergraduate women while they are processing their understandings ofBlack womanhood.  Additionally, currentrenditions of student identity development theory center upon the “Blackexperience” or the “woman’s experience”, but these theoretical constructs lackthe intersectional perspective that is required in fully exploring the racialand gender identification of Black undergraduate women.  Consequently, Progression to Womanhood considers historical and sociopoliticalaccounts when describing Black women’s progression into adulthood.  This conceptual framework discusses thestages of racial and gendered development of Black women in the context of thecollege setting.  Progression connects psychosocial and college impact models inorder to more fully explain the intersectional identity developmentalexperiences of Black college women.

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