Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership & Policy Studies

Committee Chair

Eric Platt

Committee Member

Donna Menke

Committee Member

Edith Gnanadass

Committee Member

Ladrica Menson-Furr


African Americans have been treated unequally and unfairly by the media. This issue deserves national attention while stressing the need for more positive messages of African Americans. The intent of this study was to examine how Black produced films, Hip-Hop songs and magazines portray the African American high school educational experience. The theory that guides this paper is critical media literacy. Critical media literacy provides an opportunity to evaluate, understand and critically analyze all forms of media. A qualitative content analysis was used to determine how African Americans are depicted by Black producers, directors and writers. Central questions worth exploring were: (a) How is the African American experience in high school portrayed by Black producers, directors and writers? (b) In what ways do film, Hip-Hop and magazines illustrate the usefulness of the educational experience for social mobility (financial attainment, career vocation attainment, and school attainment)? and (c) Do certain types of media portray the African American high school experience in a more positive or negative light? The results of the study show that African Americans high school students are often portrayed as violent, criminal, poor, uneducated, overly sexual and athletes in popular films, Hip-Hop and magazines. These negative cultural stereotypes remain a concern for many African Americans.Keywords: African American educational experience, critical media literacy


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest