Politics, Identity, Faith, and the Academic Hazing of a Black Woman: A Scholarly Personal Narrative of a Black Woman Doctoral Student

Valerie J Thompson


Academic hazing within doctoral programs is often so deeply embedded within the doctoral experience that it becomes normalized. This effort translates into oppressive practices where students are broken down and rebuilt into the ideal doctoral candidate, and the process continues with the next batch of candidates. However, no one discusses the mental, physical, and spiritual burden that academic hazing takes within the lives of its students, especially the Black students. Utilizing a scholarly personal narrative approach (Nash, 2019), the purpose of this paper is to center the lived experiences of a Black woman doctoral student and how politics, identity, faith, and academic hazing framed those experiences. Implications for doctoral programs ended the narrative by recommending doctoral programs take the same effort that they place on diversifying their professoriate that they do caring for the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of their students, especially their Black students.


Black women; Doctoral Experience; Academic Hazing

Full Text:



Adams, Y. (1997). Through the Storm. On Through the Storm. Sony Legacy.

Gardner, S. K. (2013). The challenges of first‐generation doctoral students. New Directions for Higher Education, 2013(163), 43-54.

hooks, b. (1990). Homeplace: A site of resistance.

Lorde, A. (2013). The Transformation of Silence into Action In Sister outsider: Essays and Speeches (pp. 40-44). Crossing Press.

Nash, R. (2019). Liberating scholarly writing: The power of personal narrative. IAP.

Vickers, T. (2014). The (In) Visible Road Map: The Role of Mentoring for First-Generation Black Female Doctoral Students at Predominantly White Institutions.

Wallace, J. K., & Ford, J. R. (2021). “They Don’t Value My Knowledge”: Interrogating the Racialized Experiences of Black First-Generation Doctoral Students in HESA Programs at HWIs. Journal of First-generation Student Success, 1(2), 127-144.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Research Issues in Contemporary Education

The Official Publication of the Louisiana Educational Research Association