Graduation Date

Spring 2023

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in English, emphasis in Literary & Cultural Studies

Committee Chair Name

Christina Hsu Accomando

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Ramona Bell

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff


Black power, Sam Greenlee, African American literature, Literature, Dan Freeman, Armed resistance, Mask, Masking, Masks, Black, African American, Rebellion, African American cultural history, Self-esteem, Positive

Subject Categories



In his hard-hitting novel The Spook Who Sat by the Door Sam Greenlee aims to help his target African American audience to succeed and thrive as their true selves with the novel functioning as a guide to resisting the ever-present physical and spiritual threat faced daily. On the one hand the novel functions as a manual for civil uprising, but underneath that surface, Greenlee argues that true African American resistance comes through nurturing self-determination, self-love, and self-esteem. This project also argues that Spook ought to be located closer to the center of the African American literary canon and provides comparisons to widely read and valued African American literature. This project argues for the canonization of The Spook Who Sat by the Door. This project claims that Greenlee views self-determination as a path to resistance and success for African Americans.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location


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