Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



Black women exist in a peculiar position in American politics. As women and as Black people, Black women face consistent discrimination, which bleeds over from their everyday life into their political pursuits. Discrimination against Black women hinders their development as citizens, political candidates, and elected officials. The data for this project was collected through fieldwork at various governmental agencies around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as through semi-structured interviews and a focus group. Also, I disseminated a survey and a survey experiment disseminated online. With more research on women in politics, understanding the peculiar position Black women sit in is beneficial to researchers and women across the country. Through survey research and extensive participant observation, the results show that most Black women desire to uplift their communities and fight for justice. Still, they will experience discrimination and hardships in their journeys inside and outside political institutions. However, a finding that can prove very important in the future is that high levels of White women are willing to vote for a Black woman. These findings indicate the need for party elites and others inside political institutions to protect Black women from discrimination and place more resources into the recruitment and training of potential Black female political candidates. Lastly, Black women running for office in majority-minority districts may have a chance to win, which could influence political parties and voters to support them more.



Committee Chair

Sullivan, Jas



Available for download on Wednesday, July 04, 2029