Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



There is a lack of understanding about how generational curses affect the self-identity of Black Christian women despite it being a common topic of discussion among them. To gain insight into this matter, I explored the lived experiences of Black Christian women and how their self-identity is shaped by acknowledging purported generational curses. I adopt an interdisciplinary approach to understand better how Black Christian women who acknowledge the adverse characteristics and traits termed generational curses shape their self-identity. Womanism and Womanist Theology, culture, and intersectionality provided the theoretical frameworks for this study to facilitate a comprehensive examination of the participants' various intergenerational influences and interactions. More specifically, I explore the meaningfulness of issues concerning belonging in the Black Baptist church and society.

Using auto/ethnography and conversations, I seek to answer the following research questions: (1) What are the religious, personal, emotional, social, and cultural factors that shape the construction of self-identity in Black Christian women from different generations? (2) What are the positive and negative influences of previous generations of Black women upon self-identity? (3) How do Black Christian women define, interpret, and acknowledge generational curses? (4) What are the generational curses, negative patterns, or cycles that Black Christian women see perpetuated in their families that need to be broken? This dissertation includes personal narratives shared through individual and group conversations, my own stories, and our collective analyzed insights. The study involved nine Black Christian women who are either current or former members of Beechgrove Missionary Baptist Church, located in Ethel, Louisiana. I aim to highlight the intersection of Black Christian women's cultural and relational experiences with their self-identities. The powerful tool of storytelling can help researchers gain deeper insights into historically underrepresented groups.



Committee Chair

Jackson, Joyce Marie

Available for download on Saturday, November 02, 2024