Current & Future Research by Dr. Lockhart

The Experience of HBCU Students Who Consume and Create Personal Experience Based Literature (2017)

Abstract:   

This qualitative study sought to gain insight into the experience of 10 students attending a Historically Black University (HBCU) in North Carolina. Participants were enrolled in a 16-week creative writing prose course where they consumed and created literature based on personal experiences utilizing two expressive writing methods developed by the researcher, biblio-fusion and personal plot (Lockhart, 2017). The tenants of expressive writing, bibliotherapy, and cinematherapy were the methodological basis, and transformative learning, and feminist pedagogical theory the theoretical basis for the study. Participants were asked about their experience with this method in a focus group, and three major themes surfaced: “identity”, “transformation”, and “community”. The theme “community” was dominant and suggested that group learning impacted students’ experience with this method. These results prompt further inquiry into the specifics of community-based art therapy and transformative learning experiences specific to Black students. 


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Mutual Vulnerability and Intergenerational Healing: Black Women HBCU Students Writing Memoir (2018)

Abstract:   

This qualitative phenomenological study sought to gain insight into the unique experiences of Black women students who were writing memoir toward the goal of self-definition in a Black feminist learning environment at a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). Two teaching methods included personal plot (an extension of expressive writing that offers writing prompts for emotional closure), and biblio-fusion (a combination of expressive writing and bibliotherapy) (Lockhart, 2017a; 2017b). Interviews were conducted with six Black women participants and triangulated against their personal essays and online journal responses. Personal plot, a form of narrative analysis was used to construct paragraphs on what each personal essay was about, and a data driven analysis of narrative was conducted on the online journals and interview transcripts. Findings revealed that participants faced obstacles of racism, and sexism and internalized these oppressions through conforming to stereotypes of Blackness, colorism, sexualization of Black women, and assimilation. To counter these obstacles, participants utilized survival and success strategies. Notable among these strategies was mutual vulnerability with their classmates and their teacher as the catalyst for transcending fears and stereotypes of Blackness. Also notable was healing transformation and intergenerational healing where participants wrote and spoke of re-gifting their new awareness to the next generation. These results bear implications for expressive writing and other expressive therapies, and prompt further inquiry into teaching and research methods that emphasize Black women's ways of learning and healing.  

 

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Black Women Writing Memoir: Everyday Life Stories that Heal a Future Generation (a work in progress)

Abstract:   

 The American South is ground zero for Black women’s systemic and endemic wounds of racism, sexism, economic oppression and the internalized permutations of these oppressions. It is the ground on which she was brought ashore from her native country, stripped of her name, her customs, her language, and her title as human. When the war for her freedom was fought and won, she was released from her prisoner of war status into the territory of her enemies. From this place, her pain has reverberated out from the place of impact and inward from this place of impact for multiple generations. This study will seek to gain insight into the experience of Black women between the ages of 40 and 65 living in the Southern United States who are writing and reading memoir toward intergenerational and multigenerational healing. In a previous study it was found that bibio-fusion (the expressive writing method, personal plot combined with bibliotherapy), offered participants a means through which to write through their pains of oppression and internalized oppression toward revelation and outcome while experiencing other writers who had done the same (Lockhart, 2018). The efficacy of this writing method for the purpose of intergenerational and multigenerational healing was not the intent of the previous study, though it called forth further inquiry into Black women’s experience with this method for its intergenerational and multigenerational healing properties. Thus, participants in this study will engage in a 9 month memoir writing workshop while consuming the works of Black women memoirist.   At the beginning, mid-way point, and end of the workshop, participants will fill out surveys about their well-being, which will include questions on the state of their current relationships. At the end of the workshop participants will also attend a focus group.  Outcomes may expand upon the scant research on effective methods for applying Black feminist theory in Black women’s everyday lives, and on the efficacy of stories told and consumed to promote intergenerational and multigenerational healing. 

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