It’s Too Heavy: Depictions Of The Black Experience In Kiese Laymon’s Heavy: An American Memoir

Student(s):

Mahogany McGhee (Sophomore, Psychology)
Louis Williams (Sophomore, Undecided)
Angelique Chatman (Sophomore, Communication Arts)
Dakwan Ford-Hendley

College of Arts and Letters

Faculty Mentor(s):

Dr. Marsha Rhee, Johnson C. Smith University

Discipline:

Social Sciences

Abstract:

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.

Poster:

2 thoughts on “It’s Too Heavy: Depictions Of The Black Experience In Kiese Laymon’s Heavy: An American Memoir”

  1. Congrats to the student scholars and commendable mentorship by Dr. Rhee for this enlightening research on the Black community.

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