Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Mark P. Orbe

Second Advisor

Dr. Leigh Ford

Third Advisor

Dr. Ben Wilson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


As non-dominant group members enter and attempt to succeed within the United States' organizational structures, there continues to be a need for scholarly examination concerning how their communication is impacted by culture and power. This thesis focuses specifically on how discourse is influenced by these factors. It is an exploration of the dialectical tensions that beset the communication of African American males whose interactive success or failure in academic and professional organizations is often associated with the historical differences of culture and power. A review of existing literature addresses the communication dilemmas and co-cultural strategies that "outsiders within" (Collins, 1986), and Black males in particular, use within U.S. organizations and academic institutions. This thesis addresses the general question "How does the Black man survive communicatively within the predominantly European-American U.S. organization?'' This thesis seeks to crystallize the struggles of persons seldom acknowledged in traditional research (Allen, Orbe, & Olivas, 1999). Primarily, this research attempts to look beyond cultural generalizations (Orbe, 2000) and offer a critical exploration of power, culture, and language themes.