Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Black men, masculinity, coming of age, Short Stories, African American males, teachers, fiction, African American literature, American literature, interrelated stories

Major Advisor

Ellen Litman

Associate Advisor

Patrick Hogan

Associate Advisor

V. Penelope Pelizzon

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This collection of interrelated stories seeks to disrupt the prevailing narratives of African American men. These narratives are social constructions that categorizes African American men as either respectable (good) or unrespectable (bad). In these stories, I attempt to expand these narrow categories and explore other possibilities of African American manhood. Through my research and creative endeavors, I have sketched out male-spaces of dad, brother, and son as being fruitful areas where my characters and where actual male identity form. The Critical Preface analyzes the historical and current trends of African American identity formation in general and African American men’s in particular. Additionally, the preface situates my fiction within the broader context of African American male writers writing about African American men and others. Chiefly, I place my work among James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” Ernest J. Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying and In My Father’s House, and Percival Everett’s Damned If I Do. In this work, I show the relationship between my fiction and theirs, while at the same demonstrating how each of us resists the stereotypical categories of African American men, writers, and fiction.