Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



My dissertation research investigates the extent to which media are central in the coverage and portrayals of state-sanctioned violence against Black victims and examines the effects of gun violence on marginalized Black communities whose stories are less likely to be highlighted in mass media. The first chapter, No Time to Grieve?: An Investigation of The Lived Experiences of Black Mothers Who Have Lost a Son to Gun Violence explores the effects of gun homicide on bereaved Black mothers from their own narratives. This chapter explores how Black women are disproportionately affected by gun violence deaths. Chapter two, The Flip Side of the Coin or the Same Side of a Coin?: Media Portrayals of Black Men and Black Women Gun Violence Victims investigates how newsprint media differently treats Black men and women who have died due to gun violence. This chapter maintains particular focus on the ways the stories of Black women and girls have been rendered invisible and are less likely to be covered in the media. The third chapter, Black College Students’ Perceptions of Police Violence against Black women on Social Media is an exploration of Black women’s experiences with police violence that have played out on social media. Findings from chapter one reveal Black mothers' negative encounters with police and stigmatization in media portrayals. Chapter two reveals the stereotypical and differential treatment Black women victims of state-sanctioned violence receive in the media. In chapter three, I found Black college students perceive police violence against Black women as a recurrent social problem. I intentionally place Black women at the center of analysis, employing a qualitative research approach. My research centers the physiological and psychological health and well-being of Black survivors, their experiences, and their pain – all of which have been largely neglected in both culture and in academic research.



Committee Chair

Martin, Lori L.

Available for download on Thursday, March 27, 2031