My research examines the various ways Black Americans perceive and respond to racial inequality. I’m particularly interested in how Black Christians, Black celebrities and athletes, and Black college and graduate students navigate the racial and gendered hierarchies within each of their respective institutional spaces.
My dissertation research project is titled, “Unapologetically Black and Unashamedly Christian: Exploring the Complexities of Black Millennial Christianity.” This study draws on qualitative and quantitative data to explore the various ways Black Christian Millennials reconcile the tensions between their racial and religious identities.
For much of the twentieth century, the social, political, and religious lives of Black people were intertwined because the Black Christian church, the oldest Black social institution, served as the epicenter of the Black community. Black social life today, though, differs from the past. Church attendance rates are decreasing and the amount of secular spaces facilitating the development of a Black oppositional consciousness, such as colleges/universities, and virtual communities like Black Twitter, have increased.
It is an opportune time, then, to revisit the role Black Christian faith is playing in the socio-political lives of Black people. Specifically, my dissertation assesses how the Black Christian tradition is impacting identity formation, oppositional consciousness development, and mobilization for Black Christian Millennials amid the current Black Lives Matter movement.
Community-Based Research Projects
I’ve also contributed to a few community-based research projects focused on residents’ perceptions of inequality. Through The Cincinnati Project, I was paired with a local community organization, The Black United Front, to help conduct a comprehensive study which surveyed thousands of Cincinnati residents about their perceptions of community-police relations.
I was also selected as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Research Fellows to create and implement a study that examines how residents of historically Black neighborhoods in Louisville, KY perceive urban change and risk of displacement. A full-length report of my findings along with the other Research Fellows’ case-studies is forthcoming.