Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mary Hallums


AbstractIn a Southeast U.S. state, African American female school administrators had difficulty obtaining administrative roles within the local district. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to examine the perceptions of African American females in educational leadership roles and the challenges they faced in obtaining leadership positions. Delgado and Stefenic’s Black feminist theory provided the conceptual framework for this study. Two research questions addressed African American female administrators’ perceptions of their administrative roles, contributions, support of diversity, and experiences in obtaining leadership positions. Data were collected from semistructured interviews with 10 African American female administrators who had a minimum of 3 years of leadership experience. Emergent themes identified through open coding were checked for trustworthiness through member checking, detailed descriptions, and researcher reflection. The findings revealed that African American females who seek educational administrative positions face challenges but can strengthen their qualifications through engaging stakeholders and educational colleagues, using collaborative strategies, and making persistent efforts. A 3-day professional development project was created to assist African American female administrators in obtaining leadership roles. Findings may provide African American female administrative candidates with strategies and approaches for obtaining leadership positions.