Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

William Parham

Third Advisor

Torrie Weiston-Serdan


Working class Black girls experience multilayered oppression informed by their triadic social identity that sits at the intersection of race, gender, and class in their lives and more specifically in their schooling experiences (Collins, 1986, 1989; Onyeka-Crawford, Patrick, & Chaudry, 2017). A variety of mentoring practices have been adopted among educators throughout the public-school system to remedy the impact of poor educational opportunities for Black girls. In contrast to the use of traditional mentorship practices that solely focus on the individual, critical mentorship seeks to engage and support the cultural, political, and economic contexts that positively shape the experiences and aspirations of Black girls and young women. To better understand this phenomenon, this deeply insightful autoethnographic study engages the following questions: (a) What were my particular experiences with mentors that prepared me to persevere in education in ways that nourished my commitment and empowerment? (b) What were the particular experiences with my mentors that assisted me in connecting with the Black girls that I have mentored in my work? and (c) What can my experiences as a Black feminist mentor of Black girls contribute to our understanding of critical mentoring? The application of Black feminism, Black girlhood studies, and critical mentoring frameworks found the following major themes to be critical in mentoring Black girls during childhood, adolescence, and the university years: (a) individual identity development, (b) development of individual voice, (c) sisterhood and solidarity, and (d) conscientization and resistance. This dissertation offers key principles in mentoring Black girls, and recommendations for how to shift the larger approach of mentoring to better meet the needs of Black girls in childhood, adolescence, university years, and beyond.