What does it mean to a Black man in the United States of America?
Snyder, Nerissa Lovella Rea
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Scarce is the research on the effects of the social and political climates of the Civil Rights era on children of that time. Comparisons are made throughout these writings between that era and the social and political climates that exist today in the United States of America. Specifically, the effects of these climates on Black males are examined across contexts. To better understand the Black male perspective, this body of research contributes to filling the gap of scarce research about older Black men, exploring lived experiences of eight African-American and Black men, 66-78 years of age, through first person interviews. A phenomenological research design and first person interviews allowed the researcher to find themes in the lived experiences of these men. Some of their life experiences (e.g., experiencing racism and disrespect related to being Black men), parallel the research findings throughout the literature review about the life experiences of generations of younger Black males that are coming behind them. Six themes were drawn, from the lived experiences of these men, to answer two research questions that guided the study. Those themes are: 1) personal experience with discrimination, racism or prejudice, 2) the need for strong familial support, 3) the importance of being aware of differences, 4) learning about your-self, 5) giving back to family and community and, 6) views about the need for counseling. From this research, implications are made for counselors, counselor educators and community advocates.
General Audience Abstract
There are not a lot of research articles that follow the lives of children that lived through the Civil Rights Era, specifically young Black boys of that time. That era was full of social and political climates that the researcher compares to the social and political climates that exist as recently as the time of these writings in 2018. In this research study, the researcher interviewed eight African-American and Black men, ages 66-78, about their experiences living as men in the United States of America. Their life experiences are filled with lessons about racism, building positive family support, learning about yourself, taking care of responsibilities and community advocacy, to name a few. One of many potential benefits of these experiences is the impact it can have on young Black boys today who are living through social and political climates like those that the men interviewed lived through. The men interviewed were able to look back on their lives as young men and offer words of wisdom and advice to young Black men today. These words of wisdom and research have the potential to benefit the way mental health clinicians provide care for their clients, the way community members advocate for their young Black male citizens and the way police interact with citizens, specifically young Black men. For the purpose of this research, African-American is the term used to describe an American of African and especially of black African descent. Black is the term used to describe a person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. The men interviewed were also asked about their view of respect which, for this research, is defined as: high or special regard: the quality or state of being esteemed.
- Doctoral Dissertations 
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