African Americans, disabled persons, hermeneutics, phenomenology, young adult



  1. Ricks, Tiffany N.
  2. Frederick, Angela
  3. Harrison, Tracie


Background: Black men experience the highest rate of disability compared to White, Asian, and Hispanic men. Yet, we know little about how Black men with disabilities experience the embodiment of their gender, race, social class, and disability positionalities and how they draw from their cultural backgrounds as they engage in health-seeking behaviors.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore how young Black men experienced the onset of chronic disabling conditions while negotiating health-promoting activities in the context of gender, race, social class, disability positionalities, and culture.


Methods: This descriptive study used hermeneutic phenomenology to achieve study objectives. This study's research questions were answered using audiotaped, one-on-one qualitative interviews, along with detailed field notes. Each participant was interviewed twice at a mutually decided upon location to ensure their privacy and comfort.


Results: In relation to their embodied interactions of self in the context of disability, these men described their health-related decisions using four themes: maintaining manhood, economic constraints, the "risk" of healthcare, and health promotion.


Conclusions: By examining the experiences of young adult Black men living with disabilities, knowledge of their perspectives and experiences at earlier stages in their life course contributes to the understanding of their personal challenges, health needs, and their perspectives of health-promoting strategies.