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Vol. 29 (2009)

Black Women Employed in the Ivory Tower: Connecting for Success

  • Dr. Wilma J. Henry
  • Nicole M. Glenn
June 21, 2017


The purpose of this article is to continue the dialogue regarding the impact of lack of critical mass and systemic racism on the success of Black women employed in higher education. While the literature suggests that it is essential for Black women to connect with one another in order to overcome the obstacles they face within the academy, the effects of systemic racism and their underrepresentation in the profession makes this recommendation extremely difficult to implement in some settings, and nearly impossible in others. Black feminist thought and critical race theory provide a theoretical framework for discussing innovative connective opportunities that promote the success of Black women working in higher education. Individual as well as institutional strategies are presented as a means to address the obstacles encountered by Black female faculty and staff in predominantly White institutions (PWIs). Implications for practice are discussed and recommendations for research are offered.