Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2012

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Gayles

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis

Third Advisor

Dr. Layli Maparyan


The purpose of this study was to explore how Black men and women negotiate ideas about masculine performances within the context of romantic relationships. The New York Times Bestselling book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, which communicates a particularly patriarchal understanding of masculinity, was used as a point of reference. Six focus groups were conducted with 28 Black males and females between the ages of 19-60. Three general conclusions about masculine performances within Black male/female relationships were drawn from the findings.