Shontoria D. PrattFollow

Document Type



Spring 4-18-2019


Afrocentric, Carceral State, Historical Materialism, School to Prison Pipeline, Institutional Racism, Education




Syracuse University

Funding ID



This work would not have been possible without Dr. Linda Carty my academic advisor. I cannot express enough thanks to my committee for their continued support and encouragement: Dr. Linda Carty, Dr. Teresa Gonzales, Dr. Herbert Ruffin and Dr. Paula Johnson. I offer my sincere appreciation for the learning opportunities provided by my committee. Thank you Dr. Cynthia Blair, interim director of the African American Cultural Center (AACC) at UIC. I am forever grateful to the staff of the Pan African studies department at Syracuse University: Ms. Ajajielle Brown and Mrs. Regina Cole. My completion of this project could not have been accomplished without the trust and help of research participants. Thank each of your for allowing me to capture a small part of each of your stories. Thank you Dr. Casarae Gibson for giving me the tools which ignited my academic journey. Thank you to my mother: Frances Pratt for making sure I knew the importance of education. Finally, to my caring, loving, and supportive partner: Eliquewa Santiago. Your encouragement, help and guidance are much appreciated.


African American Studies | Conflict of Laws | Constitutional Law | Criminal Procedure | Curriculum and Instruction | Law and Race | Other Education


African American men have been dying at an alarming rate for many years. Issues such as violence, prison, education success rates, and health related issues, as well as institutional injustice, have been significant factors in these physical and mental deaths of African American men. The purpose of this research is to investigate the correlation, if any, between the quality of life of African American men in urban cities and their level of Afrocentric knowledge. To what extent does the exposure of Afrocentric knowledge affect the views or help African American men avoid these deaths? This research will present preliminary ideas based upon a review of the literature on Black masculinity, criminalization, the carceral state and the educational institution. During the summer of 2018 I conducted interviews with African American males ages 18-32 from the city of Chicago who have been exposed to Afrocentricity through education to gain an understanding of how this knowledge has influenced their ability to confront and combat structural racism. I also interviewed African American males ages 18-32 from the city of Chicago who have a history with the criminal justice system, to get an understanding of how the criminal justice system has altered their lives, and how Afrocentricity may also have affected their lives. This research contributes to long standing debates on the prevalence of African-inspired beliefs and practices within the African American community by examining the impact of Afrocentric knowledge on black males’ quality of life.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.