Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

Sociology (Applied), PhD

Committee Chair

Brooms, Derrick

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Negrey, Cynthia

Committee Member

Negrey, Cynthia

Committee Member

Gagne, Patricia

Committee Member

Best, Latrica

Committee Member

Washington, Ahmad

Author's Keywords

black males; education; character education; single-sex schools; colorblind ideology


This research examines how racial ideologies operate and shape experiences in an urban school. Using ethnographic methods, consisting of observations, formal and informal interviews, document analysis, I pose the following questions: (1) To what extent is OS premised on the Black male crisis discourse; (2) How do the students, faculty, and staff navigate the boundaries of race, class, and gender; and (3) How do racial ideologies (i.e., colorblind racism and Black male crisis discourse) influence the experiences of faculty and students? Findings suggest that colorblind ideology operates on various facets and on multiple levels in the school. By focusing on developing character and ignoring the racial realities of student’s lives, faculty seem to being drawing on stereotypes of Black males as hyper-sexual men who reproduce with no intention of caring for their children. Furthermore, it overemphasizes the cultural factors in the educational outcomes for Black males. While this school is premised as an educational alternative, it continues to maintain and reproduce White supremacy similar to traditional educational institutions.