This study is an exploratory phenomenological study regarding experiences of bullying among African American male adolescents (AAMAs) and their parents/guardians. Given the population of interest, a critical framework was used. The critical framework included critical race theory (CRT), Black feminist thought (BFT), and altruism born of suffering (ABS). According to the 2015 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AAMAs in high school reported lower levels of bullying victimization at school and online compared to all other student groups in their data. This study was designed as a mixed-methods study with a strong qualitative component and a supplementary quantitative portion. The sample included 16 AAMAs and one parent/guardian per youth (N = 32).
The findings were organized into themes for the three areas of study: perceptions of bullying (i.e., emotion, entertainment, fighting, structure, and home life), responses to bullying (i.e., self-preservation, suffering, passivity, and standing up for other people), and barriers/supports of prosocial active bystandership of bullying (i.e., barriers, education, and taking action). The quantitative results indicated that all of the participants observed bullying (N = 32), almost all of the participants had been bullied (n = 29) and a strong majority (n = 25) experienced racialized suffering. The results of a matched pairs t-test of factor one of the Colorblind Racial Attitudes Scale (CoBRAS) and factor five the Bystander Intervention of Bullying and Racial Harassment Scale (BIBRS) indicated these measures may not be a good fit for this population.