Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Susan L. Groenke

Committee Members

Stergios G. Botzakis, Michelle D. Commander, Judson C. Laughter


This dissertation answers the question of “How do high school English teachers teach Black literature?” Guided by critical race theory and using grounded theory methodology, the study surveyed (Phase 1) a pool of high school teachers on their rationales for teaching Black literature, their actual text selections, and their placement of the literature within the curricular scope and sequence for their courses. Phase 2 involved a series of follow-up interviews with four teachers, extracted from the Phase 1 participants. Survey and interview data combined to render patterns within the participants’ ideologies and practices as well as an understanding of what English teachers tend to consider when thinking of Black literature. The dissertation concludes by offering implications and considerations for practicing teachers and teacher education programs.

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