Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology & Research

Committee Chair

Susan Nordstrom

Committee Member

Beverly Cross

Committee Member

Alison Happel-Parkins

Committee Member

Andre Johnson


In this critical race theory (CRT) autoethnographic arts-based study, I used autoethnographic arts-based methods (i.e. poetry and photography) to examine my experiences growing up as a Black male in an urban city in the Northeast in order to examine how I navigated between the physical spaces of school and neighborhood and how that shaped my understanding of Black masculinity, including the dominant narratives of underachievement, tough neighborhoods, and the proclivity to violence associated with it. I aimed to answer the following research questions: 1) How did the physical spaces of school and neighborhood contribute to my systemic oppression and my perception of the systemic oppression of other Black males in my immediate social circle? 2) How did Black masculinity manifest in the physical spaces of my school and my neighborhood? 3) How did I contribute to the Black masculinity narrative of my school and neighborhood in the context of physical space? I utilized poetic inquiry and photographic inquiry to produce knowledge centered on the intersection of Black masculinity and physical space. The data analysis was grounded in the tenets of CRT: 1) The intercentricity of race and racism with other forms of oppression, 2) The utilization of interdisciplinary approaches, 3) The challenge to dominant ideology, 4) The centrality of experiential knowledge, and 5) The commitment to social justice (Johnson-Ahorlu, 2017, p. 731). The research findings were represented through a gallery-inspired, arts-based autoethnographic presentation that included original works of poetry and photography. These findings generated counternarratives that opposed the dominant narratives that once shaped my past perspectives of Black masculinity and physical space. Keywords: critical race theory, Black masculinity, physical space, autoethnography, arts-based research


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Embargoed until 7/3/2024

Available for download on Wednesday, July 03, 2024