Hyacinth Campbell

profile photo grad student

Master of Education

Research Adviser: Leanne Taylor

Program Entry Date: 2018

My name is Hyacinth Campbell, and this is my Brock Grad Story. I am currently working on my MEd thesis. I will conduct a narrative inquiry to examine how colorism informs Black women’s post-secondary experiences. Purposeful sampling of 2-3 participants will be used to select participants from one university in Southern Ontario. This size is reasonable for my research which, as a qualitative study, is not intended to be generalized to a larger population. The goal of my study, like most qualitative research studies, is to understand a phenomenon in depth, not breadth.

My research explores how colorism informs Black women’s post-secondary experiences. Literature suggest that racism and colorism work together to reinforce structures of racial discrimination and bias based on skin tone. The process of racialization works together with different types of oppression to marginalize students of colour. I follow Eley and suggest that racism and colorism are constructed differently. The racialization of students of colour is manifested in small and overt ways to discount their knowledge or silence the voices of students of colour. Hence, I interrogate what do Black women’s experiences reveal about the complex ways colorism is expressed in postsecondary contexts?

The theoretical framework guiding my research is Critical Race Theory (CRT). I use Critical Race Theory to “recognize the ways in which race informs our everyday experiences and practices and how perceptions of skin colour and physical appearance can be powerful determinants of educational and social outcomes” (James & Taylor, 2010, p. 126).

I have enjoyed my Brock experience because of the small class sizes, and the supportive services in place to facilitate student success. I had excellent professors who genuinely care about their students, which made the learning environment a pleasant place. My thesis supervisor is Leanne Taylor. She is accessible, supportive and an all-around fantastic resource. I could not ask for a better supervisor. I also believe that having a great thesis advisor helps to make the journey easier.