Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

John Weaver

Committee Member 3

William Schubert

Committee Member 3 Email



DR. EUGENE GRIGSBY’S CONNECTIONS TO ART, AFRICAN AMERICAN LIFE IN THE SOUTH, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR ART EDUCATION CURRICULUM by REGINALD STEPHENS (Under the Direction of Dr. Sabrina Ross) ABSTRACT Building on concepts of double consciousness (Dubois, 1903/1994), the negative effects of a lack of visibility in curricula (Woodson, 2010), critical race theory, and the notion that artists’ lived experiences of oppression encourage actions and art that challenge injustice (Bey, 2011), this study sought to demonstrate that the lives and works of Black artists from the South in the early 20th Century are pedagogical. Inspired by the critical race methodology of counter storytelling (Solorzano & Yosso, 2002), the life and works of 20th Century Black artists, with special emphasis on the life and work of Dr. Eugene Grigsby, were examined within the socio historical context of the U.S. South. Through a critical aesthetic analysis of the life histories and artwork of Dr. Eugene Grigsby and other Black artists, this study sought to illuminate the informal curriculum of social justice (i.e., the ways in which the everyday lived experiences of Black Southern artists taught lessons on how to challenge racism and other structures of oppression) evident in the life and work products of each artist. By making connections between the life and work of Black artists and issues of social justice, this study sought to demonstrate that infusing art curricula with information on the lives and works of Black artists holds potential for enriching art curriculum in U.S. public schools and altering the miseducation of public school students who suffer as a result of a lack of Black visibility in the curriculum. INDEX WORDS: Black artists; art education; curriculum studies; Eugene Grigsby; social justice; double consciousness; counter-storytelling 2