Date of Award

Spring April 2012

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Yvette V. Lapayese

Second Advisor

Jennie Spencer Green

Third Advisor

Emmett G. Price III


Since the slave trade, African Americans have been the most media-stereotyped race of people. From that time, multiple forms of media have been used to convince Blacks of their inevitable servitude and Whites of their supremacy (Burrell, 2010), as a means of transferring physical slavery to mental slavery (Akbar, 1998). Additionally, African Americans have been the victims of a Eurocentric educational system essentially designed to “mis-educate” (Woodson, 1933)—to further oppress and devalue African and African American contributions to our global history. This qualitative research study aimed to analyze an existing curricular model known as Rise Above the Noise, which combines two educational pedagogies, African-centered (Murrell, 2002) and critical media (Morrell, 2008; Thoman, 2003a), and is designed to appropriately educate and mentally liberate African Americans whose ancestors were displaced by slavery. I adopted a critical race methodology (Delgado, 1995a;Yosso, 2006), utilizing video interviews, counterstorytelling, journaling, and a focus group as data collection tools, and analyzed data according to Banks’s (1982) model for appropriately educating the miseducated (as cited and summarized by Akbar, 1998), known as D-R-C (deconstructionist—reconstructionist—constructionist). Using a convenience sample of five African American young adults (ages 18-30) from Los Angeles, CA who were considered socioeconomically disadvantaged, I attempted to discover how the implementation of a combined African-centered/critical media literacy pedagogy could impel participants to transform their current life circumstances.