First Person...

The First Person Research Projects captures first person accounts from African-American males regarding community resources, social capital, transitions into manhood, masculinity, and guiding philosophies and values.

"I knew I was a man, when..."

"I knew I was a man when…", seeks to record and analyze first person narratives of African-American men reflecting upon their transition into manhood. Partnering with local and national organizations, Dr. Lathardus Goggins II invites African-American men to volunteer their response to the question, "When did you know you had become a man?

The recorded narratives will be transcribed, and indexed. Though the First Person Research Project is phenomenological in its approach, the “I knew I was a man...” narratives will be analyzed for themes, such as, how African-American males define manhood, masculinity, and experience other social institutions (e.g. education, family, religion, media); how the emerged themes correlate with other demographic data; and to identify the mechanisms that shepherd African American males into manhood, and how this transition is known.

The insights, ways of knowing and experiencing by African-American males, and the relationships between them that come to the fore will inform educators, policy makers, social workers, and community activists, who are concerned with the development and empowerment of African-American males. Additionally, “I knew I was a man when...” will add to the scarcity of research seeking to identify the strengths and resiliency embedded in the “lived experiences” of African-American males.


Would you like to share your experiences?

Contact Lathardus Goggins II, Ed.D. at (tel) 910-663-8093, (email), or on my facebook. Dr. Goggins will provide the necessary information and schedule an interview.

Consent Form / Sample Questions / Flyer

Youth Research Project

The First Person Youth Research Project (FPYRP) will engage groups of African-American males between the ages of 16-21 in an participatory action research project in which they will: (1) analyze the opportunities and resources available to them in their neighborhoods, (2) evaluate the supports that exist in their communities and schools, and (3) advocate for a more comprehensive neighborhood and city-based support network. FPYRP is base on the First Person College Ambassadors model developed and implemented by Eric Grimes ( and Benjamin Herold ( in Philadelphia, PA and supported by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Lastly, FPYRP would report and discuss their findings and solutions with policy-makers and other community leaders.