Engrained : the legacy of familial Black narratives, Black joy, and Black resistance counteracting generational White supremacy in media

Access full-text files




Horsley, Harold D., II

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



From my perspective, one thing that people don’t understand is that in a way Black people are always having to put on a costume to adapt to environments that don’t work for them. In the workforce, in schools, and throughout various areas of everyday life Blackness was not celebrated in public forums, unless it was by Black people. Because of that, I had a foundation that was planted by the people that raised me which gave me a greater sense of self worth–it was engrained within me. This thesis is a selected written analysis of different chapters of my life that exposed me to different self-actualized mediums, like race, gender, class, sexuality, and education that would inadvertently affect me nearly day to day. These mediums would influence how I think of myself as a living being and as an artist that results and how I move through the world as a living being and as an artist. The paper and the documentary (the performative aspect of my thesis) were both created from Black narratives of my own and my family’s. The written portion of the thesis is from my first-person account of my life when examining the segregated cultures I navigated as a child up until now whilst focusing on my viewpoints as a growing academic. Some writings are a series of essays written from classes I was enrolled in or audited at the University of Texas when researching the origins of race theory and media influence of the evolution of race theory within the United States and westernized culture. A large focus of the thesis is on the portrayal of Blackness in the American theater and the portrayal of Black womanhood in media and how it has evolved over the last century within the United States. The documentary is a visual representation of multi-generational Black women in my family that helped raise me, guide me, and encouraged me to make a difference in how I create and present myself, present my art, and use my voice. Since television and film are the most accessible artforms to Black Americans in the past and now, I asked questions relating to Black representation within their childhood and adulthood when focusing on broadcasting network shows.


LCSH Subject Headings