Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication and Storytelling Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Amber Kinser

Committee Members

Delanna Reed, Andrew Herrmann, Daryl Carter


This multiphasic study explored the narratives of five first-time Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrating during the historic confluence of conflicts in 2020 America. After positioning the liminal 2020 circumstances within an antiracist research lens, the author analyzed, first through grounded theory and then secondarily through poetic inquiry, how these five participants described their protest experiences. The grounded theory phase yielded an overarching theory that first-time protestors experienced a dual process of unsuturing and of calling-out, with three subthemes categorized within each of these two processes. The author moved into analysis with the poetic inquiry phase, crafting poems guided by six subthemes of empathy, silence, permission-seeking, identity, story uncertainty, and direct action, and yielding six total poems produced from participant words. The author concluded that poetic inquiry has promise as a tool toward a functioning antiracist identity, while advising on reflexive antiracist future directions for such work.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.