Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Gayles

Second Advisor

Dr. Lia T. Bascomb

Third Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis


In contrast to resilience research in heterosexual Black male populations, few empirical studies exist regarding the persistence of gay Black men in college. This study examines the relationship between identity development and resilience of fifteen gay Black men enrolled in collegiate academic programs. This research, informed by a phenomenological and qualitative lens highlights the voices of fifteen gay Black men who are currently enrolled in, or alumni of, college programs. The following research questions guide this study: (1) What are the ways in which the specific intersectional identities of Black gay men shape their college experiences and (2) What effect do these identities have on resilience while engaged in college matriculation? The theoretical framework that informs this research is E. Patrick Johnson’s Quare Theory.