Chalking up: How Microaggressions Shaped My Cultural Experience as a Black Woman Gymnast




Stills, Aja

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The subtle and obscured nature of microaggressions make it possible for these harmful instances of covert racism to go unnoticed, unspoken, and thus uncorrected. Encountering microaggressions in spaces that heavily shape identity can significantly impact cultural experience. In my study, I analyze how cultural experiences are affected by microaggressions presented in settings that largely shape identity. I adopted an autoethnographic research method to reflect on my experience with microaggressions as a black woman in competitive gymnastics, and to investigate the impacts of covert racism in sport on the overall cultural experiences of black athletes. With the execution of this methodology, I found that I made significant rhetorical changes to the structure of my autoethnography in order to satisfy the writing style. The implications of my study indicate how others can use this method to investigate ambiguous, controversial, or difficult topics in order to expand upon an overall cultural experience.



microaggressions, autoethnography, gymnastics, sport, Black woman, culture, covert racism, Honors College


Stills, A. M. (2021). Chalking up: How microaggressions shaped my cultural experience as a black woman gymnast (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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