Term of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Judith Repman

Committee Member 1

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 2

Kathy Albertson

Committee Member 3

Dr. Robert Lake

Committee Member 3 Email



This research examined the role of the mass media in the lives of four African American girls. The results uncovered how the media’s negative stereotypes contribute to the silencing of their voices. It explored the effectiveness of enacting Web 2.0-infused Critical Media Literacy in facilitating the cultivation of their voices. The conceptual framework draws on Black feminist theory, which addresses the validation of Black women’s unique realities (Few, Stephens, & Rouse-Arnett, 2003). This qualitative case study indicates that girls need a conduit of self-expression that inhibits that silencing effects of media stereotyping. The data sources for this work were in the form of interviews, observations, student work products, and the researcher’s journal entries. Findings revealed that the girls’ mothers or mother figures are the most influential persons in their lives. They also showed that the girls are highly influenced by reality television, while being well aware of the media’s contrived nature. Finally, the findings indicated that Web 2.0 tools afford the girls the opportunity to tell their unique stories and highlight their own experiences. This study, therefore, contributes to the expanding field of educational research pertaining to African American girls.