media + psych


“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I began pursuing my PhD in Media Psychology in September of 2014, all I really knew at the time was that I was embarking on a journey that was going to be challenging, to say the very least. However, what I did not know was that while I had always enjoyed reading and asking questions, this particular quest would spark within me a new found interest to become a journalist of sorts—a researcher—a documentarian. As I began looking at the intersection of Black media consumers and the role media plays in shaping our identity, I soon discovered that while there is a significant amount of research on racial identity, there is limited scholarship surrounding Black identity. Moreover, there is almost no research on the impact of Black celebrities on Black culture—its attitudes, behaviors, goals, etc.. How could this be in the media saturated world we live in? Beginning in 1950 and arriving in 2018, how have the people on screen who look like us, telling our stories, shaped our collective identity? How has the last decade of reality TV and social media with application to Black celebrities influenced Black culture? What are the consequences of the new norms? Therein lies my dissertation topic: The #BlackExcellence Mindset: Black Media Consumers’ Perceptions about Aspirations and Black Macro Level Influencers. Class of 2020.

What is Media Psychology? Media psychology starts with psychology.  Where traditional communication, media studies, sociology, or psychology focus on process or isolate media from human experience, media psychology offers  the answer to the ‘why,’ integrating the expertise of psychology with in-depth knowledge of media and technology.  My colleagues and I explore the ways in which cognition, emotion, and instinct can influence human responses to different media stimuli and alter technological impact.  We use these skills to anticipate consumption and use patterns, engagement, and access and look for ways to leverage solutions to global problems, from smart technology design to economic, social, and environmental impact.

Television+Film+Social Media+Black Media Consumers

Black people watch the most television of any racial group—nearly 200 hours per month—roughly 60 more hours than the total audience (“Multifaceted Connections,” 2015)

Trayvon Martin
Tamir Rice
Michael Brown
Kendrick Johnson
Jordan Davis



As a black man who was once a black boy, born to a father who from infancy to age 6 was addicted to alcohol and drugs, and having been raised by a single mother until age 18, I know what it is like to have the odds stacked against you. That is why I advocate for black & brown boys becoming men. I am dedicated to fighting against the social injustices that target black youth and black men by using my voice and also teaching black youth the critical thinking and life skills necessary to excel academically and in the real world.

Relevant Reading

'Are You Still Watching?': The Affects of Seeing Traumatic Events