Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Conlisk Gallegos, Liliana


This study analyzes the communication praxis for the purposes of decolonization of four community leaders, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells and Malcolm X in efforts to reconstruct African American (AA) identity by exposing the inhumane speech, behavior and thought of white supremacy. Their work employs specific communication strategies such as descriptive narrative, allegory, two-ness, anaphora, and metaphors to address the oppressive white-centric representation of AA identity and provide a decolonial shift in U.S. Eurocentric ideology. Through a close reading and textual analysis of representative works such as, Frederick Douglass’s book, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” (2005), W.E.B. DuBois’s book, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Malcom X’s speech “The Black Man’s History” (1962) and Ida B. Well’s book, Crusade for Justice (1999) there is a clear connection to be drawn of how African Americans were treated by white supremacists and how AA identity was manipulated. Through this contested experience of Black identity in the United States, these exemplary community leaders intentionally used decolonial (anti-colonial) resistance communication tactics for the purpose of Black liberation.