All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Loucrecia Collins

Advisory Committee Members

Evelyn Nettles

William Rogan

George Theodore

Charles Willis

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Education (EdD) School of Education


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the personal, professional, and social experiences of African American male school leaders in suburban school districts. Suburban school districts were defined as residential areas on the outskirts of metropolitan areas that often have higher standardized test scores and successful programs with higher rates of college attendance. The area also has higher family incomes and few African American residents. Using a phenomenological design allowed the researcher to inquire and gather data through open-ended, face-to-face, interviews with study participants. Critical Race Theory was used to frame this study. The researcher identified 10African American male school leaders from suburban school districts located in central Alabama. These school leaders served as assistant principals, principals, and central office administrators. Data analysis revealed five emergent themes: (a) family support and influence, (b) work-family balance, (c) race and perception in school leadership, (d) mentoring and motivation, and (e) communication and relationships. Study participants spoke candidly about their challenges and successes as African American male school leaders. Additionally, study participants were humble and determined to help others reach their own unique potential. The findings of this study may help educational practitioners, educational leadership programs, and school districts examine their practices as well as African American males who may be interested in pursuing opportunities as school leaders in suburban school districts. Finally, this research study may contribute to the overall conversation of African American males in educational leadership.

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