Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Curriculum, Advocacy, and Policy

First Advisor

Dr. Antonina Lukenchuk

Second Advisor

Dr. Kamua Rashid

Third Advisor

Dr. Gloria McDaniel-Hall


This narrative research study illuminates the experiences of Black elementary school teachers as they navigate through whiteness on their identity journey. The purpose of this study was to examine the counter-narratives of identity by Black female elementary school teachers within the discourse of Whiteness that remains dominant in the U.S. culture and public school system. This study included semi-structured interviews with six participating teachers from several school districts in a large Midwestern metropolitan city. critical race theory, Black feminist theory, intersectionality, and transcendental theories comprised the theoretical underpinnings of the study. Narrative research design was employed for data analysis resulting in the identification of the following themes; (a) Identifying Blackness: Self, Community, and Safe Spaces; (b) Uprooted or Connected? Generational Trauma, Spirituality, and Black Power; (c) “A Calling I Could not Ignore:” Empowering and Connecting with Black Students;” and (d) At the Intersection of Race and Gender: Dilemmas and Empowerment. This study contributes to the current research by providing an insight into how Black teachers develop their identity, respond to the calling to teach, cope with trauma, and provide advocacy and activism. This study also provides a road map for how the participants navigated whiteness with supportive communities, spiritual connections, and affirming friendships. Among the recommendations was support for Black teachers, Black students, and Black schools and providing identity-driven support for prospective Black teachers.