Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Education, Teacher Education and Professional Development


In this article, we use the concepts o f fictive kinship networks (Cook, 2011; Fordham, 1996; Stack, 1974) and intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991) to explore the deeply embedded attitudes found in certain religious doctrine about the value o f education for Black females and how these beliefs shape the educational aspirations o f Black females. Especially for Black women from more conservative, religious backgrounds, we identify fictive kinship networks as important to creating the vital emotional, spiritual and intellectual spaces necessary to imagine and explore educational possibilities. As an important protective factor, a fundamental function of fictive kin relationships is the nurturing and embracing o f black women s intellect.


© The Western Journal of Black Studies, 2015, Washington State University

Cook, D. A., Williams, J. T. (2015). Expanding Intersectionality: Fictive Kinship Networks as Supports for the Educational Aspirations of Black Women. The Western Journal of Black Studies, 39(2), 157-166.