Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Social Work

Degree Program

Social Work, PhD

Committee Chair

Miller, Shawnise

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Harris, Lesley

Committee Member

Harris, Lesley

Committee Member

Archuleta, Adrian

Committee Member

Thomas, Shelley

Committee Member

Perry, Armon

Author's Keywords

critical consciousness; conscientization; phenomenology; African American; racism


This transcendental phenomenological dissertation is an examination of the lived experience of Black American Racial Conscientization (RCZ). Worded differently, this descriptive phenomenological study investigated how Black Americans learn to perceive racial oppression and the various means by which they resist it. Fourteen in-depth interviews from within the epoché were conducted. The sample was heterogeneous with respect to age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, career path, martial and parental status, sex, home and current state, and religious affiliation. The sample was homogeneous regarding citizenship status and gender identity. Data explication manifested 97 different codes that were then grouped into five situated narratives: Impactful Learning, Descriptions of Racism, Consequences, Critical Consciousness, and Resisting. In addition to detailing these situated narratives, a composite textural description and various composite structural descriptions are presented. Implications of key findings, connections to prior research, and recommendations for practice and future research are discussed.