Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African-American Studies

First Advisor

Makungu Akinyela

Second Advisor

Jonathan Gayles

Third Advisor

Sarita Davis


Studies have indicated that the loss of a child to violence is a traumatic experience that can leave mothers in an unmitigated state of suffering and trepidation. Available research suggests that Black mothers who suffer disproportionately from violent loss, their experience of loss while individualized, is grounded in social contexts. The following phenomenological study explores the lived experiences of three Black mothers who have lost a child to homicide. This study explores the social phenomenon associated with losing a “Black” child to homicide and the grieving and bereavement experience of the surviving mother. Analysis revealed that the themes of race, gender and class are defining facets that intensify and compound the conditions of grief for Black mothers. This study concludes with recommendations in hopes of helping others begin to understand all that is lost and what must be understood when a Black Mother losses her child to homicide.

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Available for download on Thursday, August 05, 2021