Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. John B. Nash


This dissertation examined the relationship between students in a school-based hip-hop club and their ability to develop leadership capabilities through club activities. This study followed a hip-hop club at an urban high school in the Midwest to better understand how hip-hop spaces impact youth participants. The participants included four current members of the club and three alums, all of whom were African American. This study used qualitative methods through heuristic inquiry to understand the phenomenon of hip-hop clubs. Data collection methods included session notes, musical creations, semi-structured interviews, and a Microsoft Teams group chat. Additional heuristic data was collected through a researcher’s journal, reflection process, and song lyrics. This study contributes to the growing field of hip-hop education research by examining school-based hip-hop spaces through a critical pedagogical lens and their contribution to youth development. As a result of this study, several key themes surrounding leadership development, the role of community in the creation process, and students’ capacities to promote change arose through the data collection process.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)