Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Cooter

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Cleveland

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Stephen Daeschner


The cycle of low performance of African American males continues to eliminate the pool of African American male educators who can serve as role models for future generations (Hale, 1986; Noguera, 2003). The objective of this dissertation is to understand the lived experience of African-American male principals post Brown v. Board of Education, and how they perceive their leadership experience working in an urban elementary school setting by exploring their commitment to black children, specifically black males. The questions examine the experience of AA male principals, their beliefs, perceptions, cultural intersections, and use of cultural resources in relation to AA male students. This qualitative multi-case study utilizes critical race theory and draws on the work of Kofi Lomotey (1987, 1993) and his findings of homophily in African American principals. The five participants were drawn from a county in the Southeast region of the United States that serves approximately 48,242 elementary students of which 8,833 are AA male students. Findings are presented as six interrelated themes which indicate the importance of servant leadership and the ways in which participants emphasized the role of building relationships with AA male students.