Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


African American men-Psychology, Blacks-Race identity, Hip-hop - Psychological aspects, Hip-hop - Therapeutic use, Social work with African Americans, Hip-hop, Healing, Black males, Social work


This qualitative study was developed to explore the experiences that Black men have of hip-hop and its potential healing function. Ten Black men were interviewed in the Los Angeles and Bay Area regarding their experiences as either practitioners or followers of hip-hop. Participants were asked to reflect on the role that hip-hop has played in their lives, hip-hop's effect on their racial identities and its impact on their emotions. All subjects described themselves as having a relationship with hip-hop that was, and continues to be, transformative. Participants described hip-hop as a chosen kinship and described the culture as having a profound impact on their personal and racial identities. Although participants experienced hip-hop as providing a positive emotional space, some felt that their relationship to the culture was complex, challenging them to reconcile the many positive aspects of hip-hop with its negative attributes. Implications for social work and further research are also discussed.




ii, 54 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 47-49)

Limited Access until August 2017