Date of Award

Spring 2022

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Master of Arts



School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Nancy Pineda-Madrid


While exploring the history of liberation theology themes appearing in Black musician’s work (in Dr. Daniel Smith-Christopher’s class Bible and the Blues), it came to my attention that there are many more contemporary artists whose work also touches on these themes, such as Lauryn Hill. My thesis argues with the help of Black and Womanist scholars that the naming of one’s reality through musical lamentations is a healing act. Further, musical lamentation is an act to carry forth communities and provide them with healing because the act of acknowledging and lamenting the suffering of a marginalized community is liberating in and of itself. This act of lamenting serves, then, as an act of truth-telling, that refuses to deny the pain that is caused by systems of oppression such as racism and sexism. Lauryn Hill’s album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill then expresses a theology of lament in which the lamentation itself serves a healing purpose for those listening.