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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Traci Parker

Second Advisor

Barbara Krauthamer

Third Advisor

James Smethurst

Fourth Advisor

Martha Biondi

Subject Categories

Social History


This dissertation examines the role of Black women scholar-educators in spaces of higher education between 1957 and 2016. The lived experiences of Judyie Al-Bilali, Cheryl L. Evans, Joyce Ann Joyce, and Esther M.A. Terry are presented as case studies. Research methods also include oral history interviews and archival records from colleges and university repositories. This dissertation recovers Black women’s education and activism in higher education and situates Black women scholar-educators as historical actors within the long civil rights movement. As women who obtained advanced degrees within the decades of 1950 and 1970, the undergraduate and graduate experiences of Al-Bilali, Evans, Joyce, and Terry illustrate how the social context of Civil Rights and Black Power shaped Black women’s educational attainment and entry into the academy. This dissertation also argues that Black women scholar-educators utilized teaching, organizational leadership, and service work to reform the landscape of higher education throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From 1957 to the present day, Al-Bilali, Evans, Joyce, and Terry created academic and co-curricular initiatives that cultivated racial equity, fostered social integration, and advanced Black studies in higher education institutions.


Creative Commons License

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

Available for download on Wednesday, September 01, 2027