Date of Award

Fall 11-26-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Reid, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marianne Conway, Ph.D.


Critical Race Theory, African American principals, equity in school leadership, urban educational leadership, suburban educational leadership, racial equity in education


Despite the research conducted on this group, African Americans continue to be underrepresented in educational leadership, particularly in districts with growing minority populations. This qualitative, narrative-based study sought to build on previous research conducted on African Americans working in education, specifically within leadership as principals. By examining the perceptions of urban and suburban African American principals, this research contributed to the understanding of an emerging need within education where many districts are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of student populations, yet still lack diversity within their leadership ranks. The purpose of this study was to be intentional in comparing the lived experiences of urban and suburban African American principals, within the context of race and equity, educational leadership, and student achievement. By examining the experiences and practices, choice and preferences, successes and failures of these African American administrators, this study addressed the challenges these leaders face and provided insight into their perceived barriers of working in an urban and/or suburban district with regard to student progress and achievement. The results of this study support not only the case of increasing the numbers of male and female African American principals but also the claim that students of color benefit most when they see themselves reflected in the curriculum and in leadership positions.