Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Adult Education and Human Resource Development

First Advisor's Name

Thomas Reio

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Judith Bernier

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Maria Lovett

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Teresa Lucas

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Isaac Burt

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


financial literacy, financial capability, financial fragility, Black men, institutional racism, intergenerational financial illiteracy, financial illiteracy, black hyper-masculinity, racial financial profiling, socioeconomic barriers, racial micro-aggressions, micro-insults, micro-invalidations, financial literacy programs

Date of Defense



This phenomenological study examined Black men’s perceptions of their personal finances and their lived experiences developing financial literacy and building financial capability through the lens of institutional racism. Institutional racism was used as the conceptual framework to examine the participants lived experiences. Institutional racism works to disadvantage minorities and simultaneously provide privileges to Whites through organizational and institutional policies, practices, and treatment (Unzueta & Lowery, 2008).

Purposive sampling was used to obtain 16 participants for this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect the data from the participants and were analyzed using the Moustakas’s (1994) Modification of Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen Method of Analysis of Phenomenological data. The inductive analysis revealed five themes: a) intergenerational financial illiteracy, b) black financial fragility, c) racial financial profiling, d) black hyper-masculinity, and e) earning inequity. These emerged themes were composites of the participants’ individual textural descriptions of their lived financial experiences. The emerged themes represent socioeconomic barriers the participants experienced as conditions of institutional racism.

The study revealed that these socioeconomic barriers challenged the participants lived experiences acquiring financial literacy and building financial capability. The socioeconomic barriers were linked to their experiences growing up in households with financially illiterate parents and living in financially fragile families. The participants were relegated to learn about personal finances through being curious via trial-and-error experimentation which put them at a disadvantage to their White male counterparts. The participants nor did their families have direct access or awareness of financial literacy programs that could have helped them gain financial equity with their White counterparts. The study posits that the participants, their parents, families, and communities were racially marginalized, thus limited their access to financial education and restricted their relationships with financial institutions. The study implies that the conditions of institutional racism has influences on the financial lives of Black men.





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