Theses Doctoral

Disrupting Anti-Blackness and Celebrating Black Joy: A Narrative Inquiry study of Black Male Music Educators' Experiences in Predominantly White K-12 Learning Spaces

Walters, Colin Vincent

This narrative inquiry study explored the lived experiences of five Black male music educators in the New York Metropolitan area. The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of how Black male music educators theorized Blackness, disrupted anti-Blackness, and cultivated Black Joy within predominantly White K-12 learning spaces.This study sought to provide Black male music educators space to narratively display their genius, restore their humanity, and celebrate their Blackness and Black Joy. The researcher conducted two semi-structured interviews with each participant, focused on their identity, skills, intellect, criticality, and joy. This study used Abolitionist Pedagogy, Gholdy Muhammad’s Culturally and Historically Responsive Education Model, and Black Critical Theory frameworks as lenses to interpret the lived experiences.

This study took place in two phases over four months, beginning October 2023 through January 2024. The participants’ responses to the interview questions helped generate the findings, narratives, and themes of their lived experiences within predominantly White K-12 learning spaces. The Black Male music educators in this study offered several ways on how they celebrate their Blackness and Black Joy, in the face of anti-Black sentiment. Their daily presence in their learning spaces, despite being the only Black male in some instances, was a conscious act of defying the inherent structures created to keep them out. Their overflowing expressions of Black Joy through family, faith, culture, and strength created learning spaces that support intersectional justice and uplifts the humanity of others.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Parkes, Kelly A.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
May 22, 2024