This study is about the lived experiences of Black male filmmakers’ global identity, and representation. This study is pertinent as Black males are often portrayed as stereotypical characters when they are much more meaningful people to society. Black male creators’ stories are being told but not by them and not from the perspective of how they want to be seen while contextualizing the humanity of Black male film creators. This study explored two research questions: What are the lived experiences of being a Black male creator in the film industry? And to what extent do Black males feel their identity is represented based on their experiences in the film industry? The method of data collection included 10 interviews and surveys with Black male film creators in the roles of writers, directors, actors, and producers. I employed a research design of ethnography that is central to me as the PI and as a Black male film filmmaker. The interviews contained 6 questions and the surveys have 4 Likert item prompts. The study relied on 5 central tenets: Lived Experience, Global Identity, Representation, Emotion, and Race to categorize emergent themes. The theoretical frameworks used for this study are Critical Race Theory (CRT), African American Male Theory (AAMT), and Intersectionality. Among the findings were that Black males would rather tell their own stories than to be represented in ways that discredit their identities and lived experiences. This means that Black males require spaces of belonging exclusive to themselves, as well as among other groups of diversity and inclusion.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Men, Black, in motion pictures; African American men in motion pictures; African American motion picture producers and directors; Identity (Psychology)

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Mark Allen