RaiNesha Miller

Oklahoma State University

RaiNesha Miller is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology program. RaiNesha’s research interests include understanding the impact of possessing multiple marginalized identities on the mental health outcomes of women as well as the utility of social support networks in the psychological adjustment of individuals from underrepresented populations. RaiNesha’s dissertation research merges Black Feminist Thought and psychological theories to examine the influence of gendered racism on Black/African American women’s experience and expression of anger and stress.

Dissertation Title: The Right to be Angry: Black Women’s Stress Appraisals, Anger Experiences and Expressions in the Context of Gendered Racism

Dissertation Abstract: Black women’s racial and gender identities create a unique intersectional experience incomparable to that of Black men or white women. The oppression associated with their racial and gender marginalization, known as gendered racism, manifests in the pervasive negative social messages and stereotypes of Black women being angry, hypersexual, and emasculating. Repeated exposure to such oppression leads to a sense of powerlessness and increased risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and emotional dysregulation. To date, researchers have failed to specifically examine the impact of Black women’s intersectional experiences on anger and stress. The current researcher employs psychological and Black Feminist theories to investigating three questions: 1) what is the relationship between Black women’s experience of gendered racism and stress?, 2) what is the relationship between Black women’s experience of gendered racism and anger experience?, and 3) what is the relationship between Black women’s experience of gendered racism and anger expression? Psychological conceptualizations of emotionality provide an explanation for the anger processes of Black women without insight into why certain patterns of anger expression develop and persist among this group. However, Black Feminist conceptualizations of anger as a lived experience, a method of resistance, and as a stereotype used by dominant social forces to suppress said resistance provides the ‘why’. This research is important because it critically examines the Angry Black Woman stereotype. Such examinations stand to illuminate various social and cultural factors that negatively impact the emotionality (i.e., anger) of Black women and increase their susceptibility to negative mental health adjustment.