Black Women’s Counter-Stories of Resilience and Within-Group Tensions in the White, Patriarchal Space of Mathematics Education

Author: Luis A. Leyva1
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  • 1 Vanderbilt University

This article proposes and employs a framework that characterizes mathematics education as a white, patriarchal space to analyze undergraduate Black women’s narratives of experience in navigating P–16 mathematics education. The framework guided a counter-storytelling analysis that captured variation in Black women’s experiences of within-group tensions—a function of internalized racial-gendered ideologies and normalized structural inequities in mathematics education. Findings revealed variation in Black women’s resilience through coping strategies for managing such within-group tensions. This analysis advances equity-oriented efforts beyond increasing Black women’s representation and retention by challenging the racialized-gendered culture of mathematics. Implications for educational practice and research include ways to disrupt P–16 mathematics education as a white, patriarchal space and broaden within-group solidarity, including Sisterhood among Black women.

Notes

Thanks to Nicole Joseph, Melissa Gresalfi, and Ilana Horn, who read and gave insightful feedback on various drafts of this article. I appreciate the support and encouragement from members of a departmental writing group (Shannon Daniel, Teresa Dunleavy, Heather Johnson, Michael Neel, and Marcy Singer Gabella) during initial stages of developing this piece. I am grateful for the invested time and helpful feedback from JRME editorial leaders and anonymous reviewers. I dedicate the publication of this article in loving memory of my father, Felix Leyva, whose birthday coincided with the date of submitting the original manuscript for peer review (May 24, 2019).

Contributor Notes

Luis A. Leyva, Department of Teaching & Learning, Vanderbilt University, 230 Appleton Pl., Nashville, TN 37203; luis.a.leyva@vanderbilt.edu

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
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