Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


African American women face multiple oppressions and injustices. Since the beginning of slavery, they have formed an inner courage and a cultural heritage to fight oppressions by empowering themselves and others to speak out against discrimination. The purpose of the research is to learn methods to teach African American students and women how to use their voices to empower themselves. Women were asked to share how they developed self-confidence and how they used their voices to overcome different types of oppression. The participants were five African American women: one African American student, one African American professor, one community leader, one counselor and one school teacher. I chose women in education because my topic objective is to learn strategies for educating African American women, youth and children with exceptionalities. I chose a variety of different careers, generations and perspectives hoping to obtain their view about self-empowerment, the many oppressive acts they have had to endure and their use of voice to overcome their shyness and or fear. These five women are all considered successful because they have all achieved or attempted to achieve degrees in higher education and are acknowledged by their community and other African American women as leaders. They also teach in various disciplines around education and they have developed their voices to help students and other people of color to build self-confidence and become empowered. They transcend the normal teaching standards and strive to help women of color, particularly African American ancestry women.


Thesis (M.A.) Institute for Advanced Studies in Education