Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

William Wells

Second Advisor

Patrick Englert

Third Advisor

Sharis Lattimore


Despite there being increased dialogue and attention focused upon the experience of Black males in K-12 education, there is a still a disparity between the academic and behavioral performance of Black males compared to that of their White counterparts, and it is clear that more can be done to support their success in the educational system (Cholewa et al., 2018; Morris & Perry, 2016). The purpose of this study is to examine the Black male middle school experience and take a closer look at how Black males view themselves, how they believe their teachers perceive them, what they have specifically experienced, and how these factors relate to their educational, emotional, and social needs. This qualitative case study is informed by three theoretical concepts: critical race theory, African American male theory, and self-authorship. This current study consists of seven Black male participants at the middle school level and their seven single mothers. Although findings from this case should not be generalized, these findings may be insightful to those in similar contexts. This research emphasizes the need to move beyond rhetoric and to focus on changing entrenched practices. Feedback and experiences from the Black male participants can be used to help cultivate, and advocate for, a more equitable environment to better enable all students to learn and grow. Individuals can use these findings to motivate, to inspire, and to act as catalysts for a change.