Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education/Higher Education PhD

First Advisor

Tricia Kress

Second Advisor

Menashy Menashy

Third Advisor

Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández


After a historic investigation of the schooling of Black Americans with an emphasis on art education, this study presents the retold schooling narratives of six Black male artists from the Eastern United States. Efforts have been made to maintain the subjective understanding–– the unique meaning-making of the speakers–– in order to honor that one best speaks one’s own truth and that the subjectivities of individuals must trump socially constructed projections. The primary method of analysis is in the narrative retelling of stories which grew from an analysis of a spectrum of data compendia, comprised of field reflections, visual images, and transcribed interviews.

This work adds the inclusion of visual artists to anti-deficit scholarship (Harper, 2012; Harper & Associates, 2014; Howard, 2013a, 2013b) a growing body of literature that illuminates the academic accomplishments of Black males in order to redirect the legacy of social science deficit research, which has perpetuated an essentialized portrait of Black males as derelict and pathological for nearly a century. It also directs a focus on Black male artists for the field of art education, a terrain that has, with few exceptions, whitewashed their narratives and legacies in the dominant discourse.


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