Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


College of Education

First Advisor

Allison Anders

Second Advisor

Gloria Boutte


Despite the vast amount of research on effectively educating African American students, there are few studies capturing the educational narratives of African American students, and specifically Black males, in their own words. Much of the literature focuses on dismal statistics and outcomes concerning African American male students. Drawing upon Woodson’s (1933) timeless critique of the miseducation of the Negro, Afrocentricity in education (Asante, 1987; King & Swartz, 2014,2016) emancipatory pedagogies, and Ladson-Billings’ (1994) theory of culturally relevant pedagogy, this study explores one adolescent African American male’s reflections on school. Using a critical case study methodology, one participant, Merrick, participated in four semistructured in-depth interviews. From a coding analysis, I developed four themes: (1) meaningful work for Merrick, (2)the impact of teachers on Merrick, (3) Merrick’s sociopolitical consciousness, and (4)Merrick’s idea of being known. Implications for curriculum writers, teachers, teacher educators, and civic partners are presented.