Carter, Akilah Rah
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The study sought to understand the experiences of African American female athletes and identity formation in the context of a predominantly white institution (PWI). Employing critical race theory and Black feminist thought the researcher attempted to determine how African American female athletes formulate their identity in college; the factors used to shape African American female athletic identity; and the impact of race, gender, and sport on the formation of identity. Black female collegiate athletes who self identified as African American attending a PWI in the southeastern region of the United States were selected for the sample population. A quantitative instrument was administered to obtain demographic data, perceptions of: athletic opportunities, athletic support, and discrimination, and the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale, which was the principal construct used for the selection of participants interviewed. Data collection occurred during the fall semester of 2007 and the spring semester of 2008. The study was conducted in a attempt to add to the dearth of research on African American female athletes in the intercollegiate environment. Findings from this research revealed the experiences and interactions of the African American female athlete: a) to be isolated and alienated; b) outside of the sport context to have a significant impact on identity; c) to be highly racialized.