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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Krista Harper

Second Advisor

Amanda Johnson

Third Advisor

Benita Barnes

Subject Categories

Social and Cultural Anthropology


This dissertation is based primarily upon my semi-structured hourlong one-on-one interviews with ten non-White cis male NESU undergraduate students. My respondents share the community presumption of organized athletics affiliation. Six of the young men are current or former Black male NESU football players, two were active members of the NESU Black male basketball team, two were non-White males (Black and Latinx) of athletic stature. These interviews were processed through a grounded approach aided by utilizing NVivo in open coding my qualitative data. I have deployed narrative analysis in synthesizing thematic commonalities across my respondents. The central question this dissertation seeks to address is: How do Black male student-athlete counterstories expose and challenge the majoritarian narratives related to the high school recruiting process, the college student-athlete experience, and post-collegiate athletic career success? Earnest allies, operating alongside a stereotype-informed folk logic, orbit a conceptualization of Black maleness that must be accepted as deficient if we are to progress from the denial phase of processing the actual tragedy that is the context within which Black men are expected to succeed. Critical race theory (CRT) defines this network of belief and behavior, deployed by those with cultural capital to simultaneously enshrine and ensconce their accumulated advantage within a meritocratic narrative, as majoritarian storytelling. Far too often university administrators and organizational practices disproportionately allocate resources to address and respond to the “bad behavior” of a few students. In this way I conceptualize HWCU’s as part of the carceral state. An extension of the K-12 school to prison pipeline. It is my hope that future opportunities to hear and learn from Black male student-athletes will not be reduced in correlation with their HWCU enrollment. The presentation of their words in responding to the dissertation’s research questions should encourage continued efforts to better understand a community whose fight to matter, on and off the field, whose future presence is less assured than the preservation of the safety of insular White spaces, like HWCU campuses.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Saturday, May 13, 2023