Leila Linntoya James, Ph.D., is a 2019 graduate of the PhD Program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Kevin Lyness, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Walter Lowe, PhD, Committee Member
  • Nicholas Jordan, PhD, Committee Member


African American Marriage and Family Therapists, Husserlian Phenomenological, tokenism, critical race theory, marginalization, institutional racism, counter storytelling, permanence and intersectionality, color blindness, interest convergence

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In this dissertation, I seek to understand the factors that play a role in the success of African American Scholars in the Marriage and Family Therapy field, by conducting an extensive literature review of factors that may affect matriculation and retention through lived experiences. In the study, I use narrative inquiry, research questions and Husserlian Phenomenological methodology to explore the challenges important to the African American journeys toward success. In the first chapter, I introduced the criteria in which the study focused which highlighted four areas of accomplishments including clinical, teaching, supervision, and research. dissertation that follows. The second chapter presents a critical review of the literature, discussing factors of theoretical orientation, critical race theory and the five tenets that are essential factors within the study. In the third chapter, I discuss the biography of each African American scholar as it relates to the underlined accomplishments overtime including, research, publications, teaching and therapy. Chapter four describes the methodology used to determine the impact of the experiences and how they were interpreted as results. In Chapter five, I discuss the results and common themes found within the African American scholar experiences. Finally, in Chapter six I summarize the results in its entirety and discuss the studies overall impact on the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. Moreover, I discuss the limitations, and future research directions.