Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Adult and Continuing Education

First Advisor

Dr. Scipio Colin III

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Heaney

Third Advisor

Dr. Derise Tolliver


The purposes of this historical study were to 1) document the Selfethnic Liberatory adult education nature and goals of the poetry of Langston Hughes (from 1921 to 1933); and 2) to document the impact this poetry had on members of the African Diaspora. In addition, the goal of this research was to expand the historical knowledge base of the adult education field, so that it is more inclusive of the contributions of African Americans.

This study addressed the problem that the historical and philosophical literature of the field does not to any significant degree include the intellectual and adult education contributions or activities of African Americans.

Framed within an African Centered Historical Paradigm, this qualitative study analyzed sixteen of Hughes’ poems, his essay entitled, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”, (1926) and the foreword to his college senior research project. The units of analysis were the conceptual elements embedded in the Theory of Selfethnic Reflectors (Colin 1989) and the Theory of Selfethnic Liberatory Adult Education (Colin 1998).

The results of the data analysis showed that each literary piece contained these conceptual elements: Hughes addressed the negative impact factors of sociocultural and intellectual racism; the substance of the selected works reflected African Centered concepts, including the Nguzo Saba; and/or that his goal was to facilitate the development a positive Selfethnic Image. Further, this study provided a new meaning construct for using literature art as a specific curricular element in Selfethnic Liberatory Adult Education; thus, the concept of Selfethnic Liberatory Literary Adult Education was developed.




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