Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis (Master's)

Department or Program

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Harriette Yahr

Second Advisor

Anna Minardi

Third Advisor

Vievee Francis


Inspired by both Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 album DAMN and Logic’s 2017 album Everybody, my project, “The Prince of New York,” is a story that speaks to the experiences of my character, Scott McKenzie. Using the thematic through line of athletics, the project is a coming-of-age story that shows Scott’s growth as both a high school athlete and a biracial teenager living in New York City. Throughout the story we see Scott navigate the pressures of living up to the expectations set by his parents, as well as those of being a star athlete. Initially, Scott wants to win a championship in each of his three sports, football, basketball, and baseball because he wants the validation of his family. However, as the story progresses Scott finds that he doesn’t need external validation as he’s become more confident and self-assured. By the end of the story, Scott is comfortable making his own decisions in the face of the expectations thrust on him by his family. Initially conceptualized as a satirical screenplay, “The Prince of New York” morphed into a hybrid project —combining narrative prose and poetry with the screenplay form—as I realized that this would be a more effective way to tell my story. I see my project in the same light a musician sees a concept album. Each of the individual pieces tell a compelling story in their own right, together they form an even more powerful and profound narrative. By weaving the screenplay with prose and poetry, I could blend aspects of all three mediums to craft a story that spoke authentically to Scott’s experiences as a BIPOC person living in New York City. The fragmented, almost disjointed structure of the thesis mirrors the chaotic way in which Scott sees the world around him. His worldview consists of frenetic snapshots that are combined into one cohesive life experience. The unconventional nature of the project gave me the opportunity to tell a story that is authentic to my character’s experiences and that speaks to my own lived experiences as a biracial man.