Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African-American Studies

First Advisor

Makungu Akinyela

Second Advisor

Sarita Davis

Third Advisor

Jonathan Gayles


The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of Black men on mental health seeking behavior as viewed through the lens of Black Masculinity. Using an empirical phenomenology approach as described by Creswell (2007), with the Common Sense Model as the framework, four Black men between the ages of 18 and 30 were interviewed and participated in a focus group examining if adherence to traditional roles of masculinity shapes mental health attitudes and help-seeking behaviors and to uncover the stigma and barriers associated with mental health help-seeking in the Black community. The shared phenomenon I examined is mental health experiences as a Black male. This study has implications for mental health promotion and advocacy in the Black community.