Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Department of Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. William H. Boone


This is a study on African American women judges who serve on the general and appellate courts. This study addresses four questions: who and where they serve?; what were the recruitment and selections processes that netted the majority of these judges?; what are their attitude and perceptions of gender related issues?; and what were the barriers of those seeking the judiciary? This descriptive analysis is presented as a case study. The analysis is based on data collected from the universe of African American women judges and a random sample of non-African American women judges on these court levels. African American women judges have served less than five years. They reached the bench through an informal selection process at a younger age than their judicial counterparts. They serve in large cities where they are usually the only African American woman on their court and/or court level. They are Democrats and prescribe towards a liberal ideology, yet they do not consider themselves feminists. The gender issue is important, but the race issue supersedes. The research found few differences between black and white women judges