Mahogany McGhee (Sophomore, Psychology)
Louis Williams (Sophomore, Undecided)
Angelique Chatman (Sophomore, Communication Arts)
College of Arts and Letters
Dr. Marsha Rhee, Johnson C. Smith University
Kiese Laymon’s Heavy: An American Memoir is a story that not only reflects the story of a young Mississippi boy but other Black youth around the world as well. For this qualitative research study, researchers investigate the “Black experience” as presented in Laymon’s memoir. Via an analysis of varied primary and secondary sources, researchers highlight the relevant topics of negotiating White spaces, toxic masculinity, trauma within the Black household, stereotypes of the Black community, and child-rearing in the Black household. Additionally, social media is a prevalent, twenty-first century vehicle that may proliferate and reinforce negative stereotypes linked to the lived experiences of African Americans. Ultimately, the research suggests that the Black community has and still experiences significant trauma while navigating White spaces, societal prejudice and lack of mental health and wellness support.