Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African-American Studies

First Advisor

Makungu Akinyela

Second Advisor

Sarita Davis

Third Advisor

Michael Simanga


There are many studies that detail the misrepresentation of Black people or lack thereof in classic media (visual art, literature and theatre). This study seeks to explore how Blackness is represented in classic media: film, television, visual art and theatre and how these representations shape the consciousness of young Black and African American adults ages 18-25. Using a narrative research approach, this study explores the arc of Black representation in classic media beginning in the late 1800’s and ending with the Black Arts Movement. This study utilized an original stage play as a creative component to mirror the content of the plays from the Black Arts Movement. The latter is followed by discussion with the audience members where I hope to find answers to the following questions: “How do you feel you are represented as a Black person through classic media?” and “Is this theatre intervention an effective tool for understanding Black consciousness?”