Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African American Studies


Linda Carty


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

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


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.


Open Access



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