Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Higher Education

First Advisor

Christine Nelson

Second Advisor

Frank Tuitt

Third Advisor

Judy Kiyama

Fourth Advisor

Frederique Chevillot


Black undergraduate students, Critical race theory, Critical whiteness, Identity enactments, Nigrescence, Political science


In this research, I develop a methodology that I call Race-Grounded Phenomenology (RGP). The scope of this study investigates how Black undergraduate students navigate the discipline of political science. An eclectic array of critical theories of race unveil the ways in which Black undergraduate students exhibit flair and tenacity, or what I call Black Finesse. The eclectic array of critical theories of race utilized in this study include critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, and identity enactments. However, this study focuses on the Black student experience amidst the socialization of political science or what I call the political science paradigm. This study leans on catalytic validity as a measure to determine the value and validity of the study from the lens of the participants rather than relying on normative measures of validity. The study is focused within Colorado and draws participants from five four-year institutions of higher education. The implications and recommendations of the study calls for a shift in the political science paradigm to make Black minds, bodies, and souls matter in the discipline.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Janiece Zalina Mackey


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

247 p.


Public policy, Curriculum development