Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Educational Leadership

Committee Director

Steve Myran

Committee Member

Jori Beck

Committee Member

Felecia Commodore


With the changing landscape of America’s K-12 student population becoming a myriad of ethnicities, the importance of diversifying school leadership is critical to reflect the varying groups represented in the student population. Khalifa et al. (2016) and Talbert-Johnson (2006) attest that the development of culturally responsive programs is necessary to address the needs and experiences of a diverse population. Similarly, the premise of teacher preparation programs that are predominantly white and middle class need additional initiatives to better prepare candidates in working with diverse populations (Browne-Ferrigno, 2011; Carpenter & Diem, 2013; Ford et al., 2020; Hampton et al., 2008; Khalifa, 2012; Schaffer et al., 2104; Sleeter, 2016; Talbert-Johnson, 2006; Urick & Bowers, 2013).

Given this need to address the changing landscape of the student population, I argue that it is important for school systems to ensure school leaders are reflective of the population that is served. However, the pipeline of minority leaders in school leadership is disproportionately underrepresented based on race and gender (Gooden, 2012; Gooden & Dantley, 2012; Shields & Hesbol, 2019; Williams & Loeb, 2012; Young & Laible, 2000). Based on this disproportionate underrepresentation of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) in school leadership, there is a need to give scholarly attention, in particular to Black Male school leaders (Bass, 2019; Bass & Alston, 2018; Lomotey, 1987; McClain, 2016; Sims et al., 2021; Smith, 2021; Tillman, 2008). I argue that by amplifying the lived experiences of Black Male Educators through a phenomenological study will evoke a positive change towards diversity, equity, and inclusivity in school leadership in which there is a staggering disproportionality of educational equity (Henderson, 2015; Palmer & Louis, 2017; SASS, 2022; Shields & Hesbol, 2019; Thompson & Thompson, 2000). Further, through amplifying the voices of the lived experiences of Black Male school leaders, the contribution of these leaders will add to the educational literature a counter-narrative to the demographics and statistics (Atwood & Lopéz, 2014; McClain, 2016) to understand the disproportionate underrepresentation of Black Male Educators in school leadership.

Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the disproportionate underrepresentation of Black Males in K-12 school leadership through their lived experiences and provide a counter-narrative to the white patriarchal images that have plagued Black Males and Black Male masculinity. Through the concept of intersectionality that frames this phenomenon, a post-structuralist (Attridge et al., 1987) lens reinforces the notion of intersectionality that otherwise runs the risk of adding a white normative layer to the dominant paradigm of leadership. That is, post-structuralism asserts that the normative practices that have dominated the field are social constructs shaped by hegemonic Eurocentric norms – not definitive truths. As such, the history of Black Education, Colonialization, and Critical Race Theory explain contradictions to the grand narratives of the dominant managerial paradigm that perpetuates the disproportionate underrepresentation of Black Males in school leadership. Further, I argue that you cannot emancipate the knowledge of BIPOC individuals without advancing the knowledge of the experiences of BIPOC individuals. Given this rationale, the significance of integrating epistemic outlooks and perspectives through poetry, art, lyrics, and literature highlight a powerful tool of getting to the problem of the study that can be obscured simply by academic treatment. To this point, embedded in this study are not only rational empirically grounded perspectives, but boundless segments of poetry, art, lyrics, and literature that disrupt the normative epistemic perspectives on school leadership.


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Copyright, 2022, by Jeryl Kimbrough-Scott All Rights Reserved.