Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Nydia C. Sánchez, PhD, Co-Chair Cheryl Getz, EdD, Co-Chair Joi A. Spencer, PhD, Member


Writing, Epistolary, Black womanhood, Spirituality, Higher Education, PhD program, contemplation, autoethnography, endarkened feminist epistemology, Black feminism, surrender


This dissertation offers readers a spiritual and intellectual journey through the Saturday Morning Letters, an autoethnographic exploration grounded in endarkened feminist epistemology and the improvisational move—tarrying.

I join Dillard (2006), who argued “our methodological choices are spiritual choices, interrelated, and whole” (p.86). Therefore, I offer three interlinked manuscripts to present this work rooted in Black women's onto-epistemologies, concerned with Black womanhood, embodiment, and spirituality.

The first paper traces the lineage of Black women's intellectual legacy, positioning Saturday Morning Letters, a ceremonial and digital letter-writing project within the continuum of Black feminist scholarship and public intellectualism. It sets the foundation for a study that not only interrogates historical and contemporary forms of knowledge production but also reimagines them through the praxis of personal and communal liberation.

The anthology presented in the second manuscript is the heart of the project, a compilation of letters written to my co-journeyers (readers) that weave together my multifaceted narratives. This manuscript serves as both a reflection on and a celebration of the communal bonds forged through the act of contemplative storytelling, which underscores the project's role in co-creating a shared space for spiritual dialogue and reflection.

The third manuscript critically examines the methodology of surrender as a guiding principle in the conceptualization, writing, dissemination, and reception of the letters. By analyzing the tenets of love, compassion, reciprocity, and ritual, it highlights how the project facilitates a unique form of communal solidarity through sincere connections and healing.

Collectively, these manuscripts contribute to the discourse on autoethnography, critical qualitative methodologies, and Black feminist scholarship. Saturday Morning Letters' significance lies in its sincerity, methodological innovation, and cultural congruence. May this work serve as permission for us all to collectively embrace the wisdom that shapes our individual and shared realities.


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Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC License

Available for download on Friday, May 09, 2025