Date of Award

Spring April 2014

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

Dexter Blackman

Third Advisor

Joann Smartt Gaither


African-American student achievement is a pervasive problem for school communities. This qualitative research explores the Black Church’s role in the bicultural development of six African-American male students. Using the critical theory of biculturalism this study seeks to determine what aspects of the Black Church experience influence the African-American male’s ability to navigate the school environment and participate in school. This dissertation study utilized to complementary methodologies, testimonies, and witnessing, to document the students experiences in the school and church communities. Data analysis included holistic-content analysis. Findings indicate the Black Church was an effective vehicle for the empowering process of biculturation. Thought its critical teachings, cultural responsive care, and engaged pedagogy, the Black Church affirms the bicultural students and helps them contend with their personal experiences with oppressive individuals and structures. The findings support the need for the Black church to participate in the education reform efforts affecting African-American students. The findings also support a renewed focus on engaging teachers in the utilization of culturally responsive care in their interactions with African-American students.