Term of Award

Fall 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Saundra M. Nettles

Committee Member 1

Randal Carlson

Committee Member 2

Cheryl Reynolds


The purpose of this multiple case study was to describe how three female African American high school principals understand the influence of race and gender on their educational leadership experiences. The study focused on the professional background, barriers each informant encountered in her pursuit of a principalship, strategies utilized to facilitate attainment of a principalship, and leadership conceptualization. Through indepth interviews, rich narratives revealed how the duel oppressions of race and gender intersected the professional lives of the three principals involved in the study. The theoretical foundation for the study was black feminist thought as defined by Patricia Hill Collins. Black feminist thought focuses on the marginalized status of African American women and places their experiences at the center of the discourse. In examining the narratives of each of the informants, four themes emerged: 1) legacy of struggle 2) desire to nurture students 3) facilitative leadership, and 4) increasing visibility in professional circles.

Research Data and Supplementary Material