Abstract: In order to take steps toward making the physics field more equitable and inclusive for Black students, we focus our efforts in the study of the intersections of physics and racial identity. Through understanding common patterns of experience, we can begin to identify how Black physicists negotiate their physics identities in conjunction with their racial and ethnic backgrounds, and how they are impacted by structural and systemic factors. In ongoing work, we have develop an operationalized framework and methodology to examine the intersections of racialized identity and physics identity. Because Black physicists are not a monolithic group and can have very differentiated experiences depending on other identities, we conduct a case study to examine two physicists who are Black women from different countries, the U.S. and Kenya. Through the analysis of their interviews, we identify similarities and differences in the ways that each woman experiences physics, as well as how they view and frame these experiences in relation to their other identities. We outline common barriers that these women face and the different mechanisms they use for addressing them, and discuss the varied role of race in physics identity for each of them.
Written By: Simone Hyater-Adams
Collaborators: Tamia Williams, Claudia Fracchiolla, Noah D. Finkelstein, and Kathleen A. Hinko