The poetic identity work and sisterhood of Black women becoming academics

Francesca Sobande, Jaleesa Renee Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Studies highlight institutional structures that hamper the recruitment, retention, and progression of Black university students and scholars in Britain. Yet, scarce research explores the nuanced encounters of Black women who are early career (Ph.D.) researchers, facing entangled oppressions. Located in a Black feminist tradition and by drawing on two Black women's (our) accounts of co-reflexive identity work in academia, this article addresses calls for more sociological analysis of how intersecting antiblackness and sexism impacts academic experiences. By analyzing the identity work and spirit of Black sisterhood embedded in a longitudinal postal poetic exchange that we began as doctoral students, this research examines components of collaborative, co-reflexive, and counter-narrative coping mechanisms between Black women in Britain in predominantly white institutions. We conceptualize dimensions of poetic co-reflexivity and identity work at the nexus of studentship and scholarship as Black women; through a praxis-based framework—Black women “becoming” academics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-484
Number of pages16
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number2
Early online date2021
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Black women
  • academia
  • intersectionality
  • poetry
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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