Theses Doctoral

Making Room: Creating Space for Black Boys to Tell Their Own Stories

DuBose, Brennan

This dissertation examines the lives of four adolescent Black American boys as they relate to education, media, race, and the law. As a case study using elements of narrative research analysis and portraiture, this research offers an in-depth understanding of the individual journeys of these young men as a way to provide an understanding of their adolescent male urban experience. Thus, in this dissertation, I explore the intersections between media-constructed narratives and my participants’ educational experiences, as I pursue a better understanding of how the participants view themselves within the construction of their own identities.
Through conversations, this dissertation offers a platform to empower my participants’ voices and allow them to tell their stories by answering open-ended questions. For this study, I met with each participant on a biweekly basis to have conversations that lasted between 10 and 30 minutes in a New York City coffee shop in Harlem over a winter period of 3 months. This research showed that through intentional and thoughtful conversations, Black American adolescent boys who live in urban settings conveyed exactly what they need not only to survive, but also to thrive in a country that systemically puts them at a disadvantage. Finally, this study was framed by W. E. B. Du Bois’s research on how Black Americans perceive themselves in the United States; this study utilized his double consciousness theory as its theoretical framework.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
English Education
Thesis Advisors
Morrell, Ernest
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 15, 2018