Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African-American Studies

First Advisor

Sarita Davis

Second Advisor

Makungu Akinyela

Third Advisor

Jonathan Gayles


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether Black men experienced empowerment throughout the process of employment preparation. This study also sought to give voice to this population regarding their experience in this process. A definition of empowerment, posed by Barbara Solomon of “empowerment theory”, was used to understand the process of empowerment the study participants may have experienced. Nine African American male former offenders who had participated in a job readiness program, and are 18 and older, were interviewed about the preparation they received, and how they perceived this training effected their pursuit of agency, employment, and recidivism.