Thug Life as Framework for Stages of Consciousness: Examining How Black Male MOB Youth Navigate Processes of Alienation
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Black youth
racial identity
social justice
Tupac Shakur

How to Cite

Anderson, I. (2022). Thug Life as Framework for Stages of Consciousness: Examining How Black Male MOB Youth Navigate Processes of Alienation. Research in Educational Policy and Management, 4(2), 37-55.


This study examines the impact that My Other Brother (MOB) has on K-12 Black male youth in the MOB community organization within Oakland Unified School District (OUSD. In critically examining the narratives of 10 low-income K-12 Black male students in MOB: This study utilizes Tupac Shakur’s construct of Thug Life as a theoretical and analytical lens in assessing how Black males in the MOB program navigate processes of alienation. Navigating processes of alienation was placed in context with four critical stages in alignment with Thug Life: These stages emphasized, 1) MOB students’ recognition of racism/inequality on an individual level; 2) a recognition of structural level inequality of which they are members of a community of oppressed; 3) a recognition of pride and solidarity in communal struggle; and 4) a political praxis to resist structural racism/dehumanization through education as a function of Black male success. The 4th stage of Thug Life, - MOB youth’s political praxis to resist structural dehumanization, is most important given that this stage of Thug Life is a stage of justice. Justice is grounded in addressing real world issues that youth in this study experience, such as poverty. How can we re-imagine education policy and practice to support Black male youth in receiving access to tangible financial opportunities as part of their education experience while being intentional about understanding that Black solidarity and community is key to this process? Education leaders and Policy makers must support those that are already grounded in community that can do the necessary work to achieve Black male success outcomes as defined by students.
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