LIVING LEGACIES: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF SEVEN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS FROM A SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
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LIVING LEGACIES: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF SEVEN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS FROM A SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

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Mary Ann Springs, PhD - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair ...

Mary Ann Springs, PhD - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair

Dissertation Title: LIVING LEGACIES: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF SEVEN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS FROM A SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY

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LIVING LEGACIES: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF SEVEN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS FROM A SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS Document Transcript

  • 1. LIVING LEGACIES: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF SEVEN AFRICANAMERICAN MALE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS FROM A SOUTHWESTERN HISTORIALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY IN TEXAS A Dissertation Submitted to the Whitlowe R. Green College of Education Prairie View A&M University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy By Mary Ann Springs July 2011 Prairie View A&M University
  • 2. Abstract The purpose of this study was to conduct a phenomenological investigation that gavevoice to seven African American male leaders. The study examined the emergence ofeducational leadership and its impact on African American males as perceived, experienced, andexercised by African American male administrators of a Historically Black College andUniversity HBCU in Southwest Texas. The analysis of the data yielded six common themes that were identified as protectivefactors to the success of the seven participants of the study: (a) recognition of and opportunitiesfor leadership, (b) recognition of the negative and positive impacts of segregation andintegration, (c) community, family, and national leaders as mentors, (d) negative risk factors notacknowledged as roadblocks, (e) African American males continued service to impact youth, and(f) influence inside and outside of the school community. iii
  • 3. Dedication To Michael, my darling husband of 20 years…you have stood by my side from thebeginning of our union to the present. Through your leadership and God‘s guidance, Godcommanded the steps I should take from the beginning of this process to the finish. I neverwould have made it without the two of you. While striving to obtain my doctoral degree, Godwas my guiding light. Your loving support was the ―pot of gold‖ at the end of the rainbow. I loveyou…with every beat of my heart. iv
  • 4. Acknowledgements Along life‘s highway, God sends special individuals in one‘s life that will have aneverlasting impact. Such was my dissertation chair, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis. He waspredestined to serve as an integral part of my life. You have been more than a mentor; you havebeen like a father to me. I‘m searching deep to find the words to humbly express my gratitude toyou and Dr. Mary Alice Kritsonis, who wanted my success just as much as I did. Mother MaryAlice, I can‘t thank you enough for the endless hours you devoted to the formatting of thishistorical document, your commitment to academic excellence, and your example of strong workethics and teamwork. Thank you for giving yourselves to us, the doctoral students. I cannot truly express my sincere gratitude to my parents, who were my first mentors androle models. Mom and dad, I thank God for you because you brought seven children into theworld and kept us together as a family through hard work and integrity. To my dynamic committee: Dr. Douglas Hermond, Dr. Patricia Hoffman-Miller, Dr. CarlGardiner, and Dr. Solomon Osho…thank you for your encouragement and guidance during thisprocess. You‘re timely feedback was instrumental in filling-in the missing pieces of the puzzle. To Dr. Teresa Hughes, my dissertation coach, mentor, and friend...you were with mefrom the beginning to the end. Thank you for believing I had what it took to make it to this point. Much gratitude to you, Mr. Grundy and Patrice, for your constructive feedback in helpingme edit my dissertation. I appreciate your hard work. Finally, to the participants of the study…thank you for sharing precious moments in yourlife that were the embodiment of the powerful icons you represent today. May all who read thisdissertation, extract not only your timeless words of wisdom, but absorb the essence of anAfrican American male leader. v
  • 5. Table of ContentsAbstract .......................................................................................................................................... iiiDedication ...................................................................................................................................... ivAcknowledgements ..........................................................................................................................vTable of Contents ........................................................................................................................... viList of Tables ................................................................................................................................ xiiList of Figures .............................................................................................................................. xiiiChapter I Introduction ......................................................................................................................1 Barriers to African American Male Leadership at Predominately White Institutions...............3 Critical Race Theory ..................................................................................................................4 Resiliency Theory ......................................................................................................................5 Mentorship .................................................................................................................................5 Background of the Problem .......................................................................................................6 The History of African American Education .......................................................................6 The Significance of HBCUs and African American Male Leadership................................8 Research Questions ..................................................................................................................10 Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................................11 Significance of the Study .........................................................................................................11 Personal Statement ...................................................................................................................12 Delimitations of the Study .......................................................................................................22 Limitations ...............................................................................................................................22 Definition of Terms..................................................................................................................23 Organization of the Study ........................................................................................................24 vi
  • 6. Chapter II Literature Review .........................................................................................................25 History of Black Education in the South .................................................................................25 Rise and Significance of the HBCU ........................................................................................26 Critical Moments in African American History ......................................................................28 Black Leaders and Politics .................................................................................................28 The Jim Crow Laws and Segregation ................................................................................29 The Black Power and Civil Rights Movements .................................................................29 The Black Family and Community ....................................................................................30 The Rise of African American Leadership and National Leaders ...........................................31 Leadership Styles of African American Men ..........................................................................33 Frederick Douglass ............................................................................................................33 Henry Highland Garnet ......................................................................................................34 Marcus Garvey ...................................................................................................................34 Booker T. Washington .......................................................................................................35 William Edward Burghardt DuBois...................................................................................36 Malcolm X .........................................................................................................................37 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ................................................................................................38 Educational Leaders of African American HBCUs .................................................................39 Black Faculty in Higher Education ....................................................................................39 African American Male Administrators in Higher Education ...........................................40 A Brief History of HBCU Educational Leaders ................................................................41 Leadership Demands ................................................................................................................44 The Significance of Mentorship for African American Males ................................................46 vii
  • 7. Critical Race Theory ................................................................................................................48 Resiliency Theory ....................................................................................................................49 Risk Factors that Threaten African American Male Youth .....................................................53Chapter III Methodology ...............................................................................................................55 Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................................55 Methodology ............................................................................................................................56 Research Design.......................................................................................................................58 Subjects of the Study ...............................................................................................................60 Instrumentation ........................................................................................................................60 Validity and Reliability of the Data .........................................................................................64 Procedures ................................................................................................................................65 Data Analysis ...........................................................................................................................69 Summary ..................................................................................................................................72Chapter IV Data Analysis ..............................................................................................................73 The Purpose of the Study .........................................................................................................74 Data Analysis ...........................................................................................................................75 The Participants .......................................................................................................................76 Research Participants: Individual/Participant Profiles……………………………………….78 Participant A ......................................................................................................................78 Participant B.......................................................................................................................80 Participant C.......................................................................................................................81 Participant D ......................................................................................................................84 Participant E .......................................................................................................................85 viii
  • 8. Participant F .......................................................................................................................86 Participant G ......................................................................................................................88Participant Observations ..........................................................................................................90 Participant A ......................................................................................................................90 Participant B.......................................................................................................................91 Participant C.......................................................................................................................93 Participant D ......................................................................................................................94 Participant E .......................................................................................................................95 Participant F .......................................................................................................................96 Participant G ......................................................................................................................97Narrative Responses.................................................................................................................97 Research Question 1 ..........................................................................................................99 Research Question 2 ........................................................................................................106 Research Question 3 ........................................................................................................119 Research Question 4 ........................................................................................................128 Research Question 5 ........................................................................................................134 Research Question 5 ........................................................................................................139 Research Question 6 ........................................................................................................142 Research Question 6 ........................................................................................................147Conceptual Frameworks ........................................................................................................154Summary ................................................................................................................................156Mentorship .............................................................................................................................157Conclusion .............................................................................................................................158 ix
  • 9. Chapter 5 Findings, Implications and Recommendations ...........................................................159 Interview Process ...................................................................................................................161 Data Analysis .........................................................................................................................161 Common Themes ...................................................................................................................162 Recognition and Opportunities for Leadership ................................................................162 Recognized Negative and Positive Impacts of Segregation and Integration ...................165 Community, Family, and National Leaders as Mentors ..................................................167 Negative Risk Factors Not Acknowledged as Roadblocks..............................................170 African American Males Continued Service to Impact Youth ........................................171 Influence Inside and Outside of the School Community .................................................172 Theoretical Frameworks ........................................................................................................174 HBCUs Helped Prepare Students for Success .................................................................174 Dedication to Excellence and Strong Work Ethics ..........................................................175 Injustice Gave Birth to the Demand to be Successful......................................................176 Taking Risks for What One Believes is Fair and Just .....................................................176 Faith in God, Education and Role Models .......................................................................177 Summary ................................................................................................................................177 Conclusions/ Impact on Researcher .................................................................................177 Implications for Practice ........................................................................................................179 Opportunities to Demonstrate Leadership .......................................................................179 African American Mentorship Program ..........................................................................179 Impact and Influence/ ―Dual Role in Education‖ ............................................................180 Reflection .........................................................................................................................180 x
  • 10. Revisiting the Mission of HBCUs ...................................................................................181 Recommendations for Further Study .....................................................................................181References ....................................................................................................................................183Appendices...................................................................................................................................193 Appendix A: Demographic Instrument ..................................................................................194 Appendix B: Interview Questions Instrument .......................................................................198 Appendix C: Interview Protocol ............................................................................................201 Appendix D: Observational Protocol .....................................................................................204 Appendix E: IRB Approval for Research Study ....................................................................206 Appendix F: Consent Form....................................................................................................208 Appendix G: Informed Consent Permission to Audio Tape Interview..................................212 Appendix H: Revised Interview Instrument ..........................................................................214 Appendix I: Interview Transcription .....................................................................................216 Interview with Participant A ............................................................................................217 Interview with Participant B ............................................................................................241 Interview with Participant C ............................................................................................264 Interview with Participant D ............................................................................................294 Interview with Participant E ............................................................................................321 Interview with Participant F.............................................................................................335 Interview with Participant G ............................................................................................348Vita...............................................................................................................................................360 xi
  • 11. List of TablesTable 1 Data Collection ................................................................................................................71Table 2 Demographic Information................................................................................................77 xii
  • 12. List of FiguresFigure 1 Common Themes...........................................................................................................163Figure 2 Resilience Factors ..........................................................................................................174 xiii
  • 13. Chapter I Introduction For centuries, African American males have had a history of fighting for their basic rightsafforded by the American Constitution which were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Since the arrival of African American slaves to the shores of North America during the 18th/19thCentury, they were forced to deny the existence and practice of their culture in exchange forthinking, working, and living like a slave until their death. This life of servitude was inescapableand, inevitably passed down from generation to generation (DuBois, 1903/2003). Life for African Americans, especially African American males, has continued to lookdismal. According to DuBois (1903/2003), the American society has stereotyped AfricanAmericans as lazy, insolent, aggressive, and unintelligent as compared to the dominant race.While these views are often opinionated and over-rated, such speculation has caused a negativeview of African American males to permeate throughout society. This negative aura has leftAfrican American males marginalized, criminalized, and dehumanized (DuBois). According to the African American Initiative statistical report published by Child‘s AidSociety (2006), more than 29% of African American male youth 15 years and older wereincarcerated as compared to 4.4% Anglo American boys. In this report, African American malesrepresented 49% of the inmate population, while only 4% of African American males attendedcollege, and 3% actually graduated. Less than one-half of African American males wereemployed and 50% who attended metropolitan schools did not finish. The report also revealed that homicide was the number one killer among AfricanAmerican male youth. In lieu of the research on the societal, political, and educationaldisplacement of African American males (Bashi, 1991; DuBois, 1903/2003; Smith, 2004; & 1
  • 14. 2Woodson, 1933/2005), it was not surprising that the statistics describing this group werealarming and contributed to perpetuating the stereotype. In the area of education, the Child‘s Aid Society (2006) report showed that AfricanAmerican males were over-represented in areas of suspension, discipline referrals, and specialeducation programs. Conversely, African American male representation in Gifted and Talentedor Advanced Placement programs were minimal in the literature. The report further indicatedthat African American male‘s failure in these areas served as a precursor to other societalproblems such as incarceration, homicide, drugs, gang violence, and persistent drop-out rates ineducation. In Tillman‘s (2004) study of African American males enrolled in community colleges,many males contended that their educational experience was one in which they experiencedisolation, little support, and resources, which included an underrepresentation of role-models anda lack of mentorship programs. College environments which were non-supportive and failed tomeet the needs of African American males may have contributed to their transferring ordropping- out of the program (Tillman). Cuyjet (2006) postulated that the low performance andunderrepresentation of African American males has become a growing concern for HistoricallyBlack Colleges and Universities (HBCU) as well. Factors that prevented African Americanmales from attending college were the obligation of being the provider for the family, thenegative influence of pop culture, and the lack of educated role models (Cuyjet). While these problems held true for a plethora of African American male youth, AfricanAmerican males who succeeded at the collegiate and leadership levels in higher education facedsimilar race-related barriers (Frazier, 2009). According to Jackson (2008), African Americanmales lagged behind Anglo American males economically and are less likely to receive
  • 15. 3opportunities for promotions. This malady is related to hiring selections for executive positionswhere Anglo American males are more likely to be selected over African American males inleadership positions (Jackson). Barriers to African American Male Leadership at Predominately White Institutions As Smith, Turner, Kofi, and Richards (2004) assert, African American males inleadership roles at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) experienced similar many challenges.Risk factors that impacted these leaders included voicelessness, tokenism, isolation from one‘sculture, and stress when forced to adopt mainstream ideals that were inconsistent with theirvalues. In addition, African American faculty at PWIs experienced fewer opportunities fortenure, promotions, and scholarships. In some cases, exploration of studies regarding AfricanAmerican phenomenon was not considered scholarship worthy and was scarce in mainstreamreview of literature (Smith et al.). These negative factors spoke to the relevance of HBCUs in thedevelopment of African American male leadership (King & Watts, 2004). One study was conducted on African American educational leadership at an HBCU,however, all participants of the study were female (Green, 2009). Relatively few studiespurported the experiences of African American male educational leaders at PWIs, who becamesuccessful in spite of barriers such as racism, discrimination, and inequality (Daniel, 2006;Ellison, 2007; Frazier, 2009). While there are many African American males in leadershippositions at HBCUs, their voice is absent in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this studywas to give voice to seven African American male educational leaders, by conducting aphenomenological research study that examined the emergence of educational leadership asperceived, experienced, and exercised by African American male administrators of an HBCU inSouthwest Texas.
  • 16. 4 The conceptual frameworks used for this study were based on Critical Race Theory(CRT), Resiliency Theory, and Mentorship. CRT seeks to counter traditional theories andpractices that marginalize people of color. It attempts to give voice to the oppressed throughstories concerning experiences related to racial discrimination and inequality that have served ascontributing factors to their lack of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (Creswell, 2007). The study sought to establish the background for the participants experience with andexposure to inequality and/or discrimination in society through the lens of CRT (Lee 2008).Resiliency was used to determine if protective factors contributed to the overcoming of barriersand led to the success of seven African American male educational leaders at a SouthwesternHBCU in Texas (Daniel, 2006; Frazier, 2009). The significance of mentorship by AfricanAmerican males has gained recognition as a viable solution to societal problems that faceAfrican American students and administrators (Bacon (2002); Scott (2011). Critical Race Theory According to Delgado (1999) and Bell (1995), much of one‘s own reality is sociallyconstructed and that reliving the experience can be medicinal to the wounds caused byoppression and racism. Through the understanding of how race and discrimination negativelyimpact marginalized groups, oppressors are challenged to reflect on their practices and behaviortoward the oppressed. In Delgado‘s model of CRT, as cited by Lee (2008), the central tenets of CRT involvefive elements: the centrality of race and racism in society, the challenge to dominant ideology,the centrality of experimental knowledge, interdisciplinary, and the commitment to social justice.Lee (2008) asserts that race and racism are ideals that have historically identified andcharacterized the American society. Racism has had a negative impact on minorities individually
  • 17. 5and collectively. The researcher utilized the centrality of race component of the theory toexamine the impact of racism among seven African American male educational leaders, throughthe re-telling of their lived experiences. Resiliency Theory While CRT exposes racial and discriminatory practices through lived experiences of thevictim, Resiliency Theory seeks to identify factors that contributed to the rise and success ofindividuals experiencing oppression (Zimmerman, Ramirez-Valles, & Maton, 1999). Accordingto Fergus and Zimmerman (2005), researchers have developed three models of resilience(compensatory, protective, and challenge) to analyze how promotive or protective factors helpoff-set the individual from risk factors that have negative outcomes. For the purpose of the study,the researcher utilized the protective-stabilizing model. The protective stabilizing model isapplied when protective factors help neutralize the impact of the risk and the negative outcome;when the protective factor is absent, the greater the relationship between the level of risk and thenegative outcome. The researcher examined protective factors that helped seven AfricanAmerican male educational leaders develop the resilience to overcome political, social, andcultural barriers throughout their journey toward leadership (Fergus & Zimmermann, 2005). Mentorship According to Bashi (1991), mentoring first began as a tool used by corporate executivesto successfully navigate the journey up the corporate ladder. The research of mentoring inbusiness settings indicated that two-thirds of successful corporate executives had a mentor.These same executives with mentors were more likely to earn more and experience higher jobsatisfaction. The author further implies that mentoring expanded into the academic settings in K-12 schools and college programs. It was ignited by the ―I Have a Dream‖ (IHAD) program in
  • 18. 61981 where a multimillionaire, Eugene Lang, promised to pay for the college education of agroup of sixth graders (in an inner-city school) if they graduated from high school. This programmentored the students in addition to paying for their college tuition. Bashi further asserts that mentoring is incorporated into every aspect of the academicjourney: K-12 schools, colleges & universities, graduate and professional schools. Manyprograms are incorporated to work with diverse students: gifted, disadvantaged, at-risk, andunderrepresented minorities. The effectiveness of mentoring programs for at-risk ordisadvantaged students, however, is unclear in the field of educational. Background of the ProblemThe History of African American Education African Americans, historically, have had a difficult journey navigating through thesocial, political, economical, and educational systems of America. These systems were in placeand controlled by the dominate culture during the Southern Antebellum; as such, the benefits ofthese systems were not privileged to people held as slaves. As it pertains to education, slaveswere usually taught by the mistress or children of slave owners who went to school, though suchacts were prohibited by law (―Slavery and the Civil War,‖ 2009). At the sunset of slavery and thedawn of public education in the South, newly freed slaves sought education as a means of accessto these systems which they felt could enhance their lives and the lives of their families.(DuBois, 1903/2003; Woodson, 1933/2005; Woolfolk, 1986). According to Palmer (2010), HBCUs emerged as a social contract between freedmen andthe American society that would reflect a number of people working together for mutual gain.The contract was designed to decrease racial tension and inequality by created laws,amendments, and HBCUs. The mission of HBCUs was to provide education and a successful
  • 19. 7transition into society for youths who were ex-slaves. The demand for education of AfricanAmerican youth created a void for African American teachers, thus, HBCUs added teacherpreparation and missionary education (service to the community) to their missions. With the rise of institutions of higher education for Negroes, it was clear to the AfricanAmerican community that education played a critical role in the entrance into public educationwith their White counterparts. The dream was often challenging due to the lack of funding andinadequate facilities at Black colleges. With the aid of the Freedman‘s Bureau, Whitephilanthropy, missionaries, and personal savings of the Black community, African Americanscolleges survived a turbulent beginning. It wasn‘t until the Morrill Land Grant Act that states inthe South actually began funding public schools of Higher Education (Allen & Jewel, 2002;DuBois, 1903/2003; Woolfolk, 1986). African American leaders such as W. E. B. DuBois andhis contemporary, Booker T. Washington, emerged this time to add voice to the development ofHigher education institutions for African American students. For many decades, a remnant of African American male leaders began to surface as theirright to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were challenged by the status quo. Although theefforts of DuBois and Washington were noble, equity of education between Blacks and Whiteswas not reached. The nation‘s leaders sought to equalize the playing field of education throughthe efforts of the Freedman‘s Bureau (1865), desegregation through the Supreme Court‘s rulingof Brown vs. the Board of Education (1954), and the rise of the Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968), yet the nation‘s schools were still segregated (Allen & Jewel, 2002; DuBois, 1903/2003). As a result of Plessy v Ferguson in 1896, separate but equal included the establishment ofseparate educational institutions for African Americans from Anglo American institutions. MostHBCUs were poorly funded and underdeveloped, but leaders of HBCUs and the African
  • 20. 8American community fought to keep school doors open for African American youth. Aseducation among HBCU‘s was on the rise, by 1915 the majority of students in Black highereducation were males (Palmer 2010; Woolfolk, 1986).The Significance of HBCUs and African American Male Leadership Since the inception of HBCUs, many African American males were given theopportunity to exercise leadership by serving as teachers/administrators. The birth of AfricanAmerican males as academic and managerial leaders of institutions created a sense of self-respect with their Anglo American counterparts who were overseeing the fiscal and maintenanceaffairs of public schools (Woolfolk, 1986). Leaders of HBCUs and teachers were highlyrespected and served as role models of success for the African American community (DuBois1903/2003; Jackson, 2007; Woolfolk, 1986). Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBoisinfluenced the leadership and educational direction of many HBCUs. Although African American males were in the majority in the pursuit of education andeventually leadership in the early 1900s, African American males of today have not continuedthis legacy. Risk factors such as racism, inequality, single parent homes, and the lack ofmentorship contribute to the negative outcomes that confront African American male youth(Daniel, 2006; Delgado, 1999). In order to cultivate and nurture African American maleeducational leaders of the future, African American males can benefit by having access to andcommunication with successful African American male educational leaders/teachers (Bacon,2002; Boswell, 2010). The desire for autonomy in decision-making and the need to raise leadersto continue the mission of HBCUs remains a critical issue. A growing body of research arguesthat African American males are missing in action significantly at the public post-secondarylevels of education (Green, 2001; Jackson, 2001; Wiley, 2001).
  • 21. 9 According to Green (2001), the escalation of African American male drop-out rates hasbecome a major concern for policy-makers and the educational community across the nation, yetthe problem continues to persist. All factors for this decline in graduation rates have not beenspecifically identified, but some factors may include political, social, and cultural barriers. Theimplication is that if drop-out rates among African American males continue to increase, thecritical presence of future leadership among Black men in public and higher education willcontinue to remain marginal (DuBois, 1903/2003; Eatman, 2000; Green, 2001). African American male leadership is crucial to the African American community becauseof the rise of Black-on-Black crime, poor academic performance, the overrepresentation of Blackmales in special education, and disproportionate numbers of African American maleincarceration in comparison to other races (Child‘s Aid Society, 2006; Ladson-Billings, 1999).Without proper guidance programs and the necessary mentors and coaches to help young AfricanAmerican males, this group may lack the resilience to work hard and become productive citizensthat will carry the legacy of African American male leadership (Child‘s Aid Society, 2006). Theconsistent decline of African American male participation and contribution to the AfricanAmerican community could lead to the absence of future leaders of HBCUs and public schoolsin general (Jackson, 2001; Wiley, 2001; Woodson, 1933/2005). Despite these social, political, and cultural barriers that impede African American males,many do succeed. In fact, African American male educational leaders at HBCUs are successfuland have a significant influence on African American male students through mentorship. Theliterature tells us little about the impact and influence of such men; therefore, the researcherconducted a study that would describe the impact of the centrality of CRT, what made thesubjects of the study resilient in overcoming societal barriers, and the significance of mentorship
  • 22. 10on their journey toward leadership. The researcher utilized search engines such as ProQuest, Sage Publications, and EBSCOHost search engines to locate studies on the emergence, essence, and influence of AfricanAmerican male educational leaders who survived societal barriers and became successful at anHBCU in Texas. After an exhaustive search, no dissertation study or literature review was foundaddressing the specificity of the type of institution and geographical location. Consequently, theresearcher decided to conduct a phenomenological study devoted to examining the emergence ofAfrican American male educational leadership as perceived, experienced, and exercised byAfrican American male administrators of an HBCU in Southwest Texas Research Questions The following research questions guided the study. According to Marshall and Rossman,as cited in Creswell (2007), the central question of a phenomenological study should beexplanatory in nature when little is known about a particular phenomenon and descriptive whendescribing patterns related to the phenomenon. Therefore, the researcher developed the followingresearch questions for the study:1. What is the evolution of leadership over the past three decades of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwest Historically Black College and University?2. What critical moments in history have impacted the educational leadership style(s) of seven African-American male educational leaders from a Southwest Historically Black College and University?3. Which leaders from the past have left an impression on seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?4. In the face of social, political, or racial adversities, what influenced the decisions of seven
  • 23. 11 African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?5. What is the essence of the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders at a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?6. How has the leadership of seven senior African American male educational leaders influenced policy over the years/ helped develop program, strategies, curriculum, or theories? Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to conduct a phenomenological investigation that gavevoice to the seven African American male leaders. The study examined the emergence ofeducational leadership and its impact t on African American males as perceived, experienced andexercised by African American male administrators of a Historically Black College andUniversity HBCU in Southwest Texas. Significance of the Study The constant decline of African American male drop-out rates in public and highereducation has posed a serious threat to the recruitment and retention of African American maleleadership (Cuyjet, 2006). With the internal and external pressure from policy makers todiversify their student body, faculty, and staff, public institutions in higher education aregradually acknowledging the low entrance college rates of African American males (Smith et al.,2004). Diversity initiatives have been developed, yet appear to be futile when considering thegrowth of academic marginalization and the impact of negative risk factors on the lives ofminorities (Wiley, 2001). Absence of Black leadership and Black mentors will not only negatively impact publicand post-secondary schools that educate African American males but will impact these young
  • 24. 12men by decreasing their influence and visibility at the social, political, economical, andeducational levels (Stupak, 2008). Failure in these areas could ultimately affect the nation as awhole when considering true and timely reformation. Designing a hermeneutical phenomenological study that focuses on the life experiencesof seven senior African American male educational leaders at an HBCU may serve as a tool torestore what ―excellence in action‖ looked like in the form of phenomenology. Data collectionincluded interviews, documents, and artifacts designed to capture the essence of each participant. The desired outcome was four-fold: (1) to foster the meaningful paternal relationshipsfrom senior educational leaders to succeeding generations; (2) to teach and share leadershipcharacteristics with young male youth of all backgrounds; (3) to encourage African Americanmales to graduate; and (4) to inspire and motivate African American males aspiring leadershippositions in public and higher education. The study highlighted seven African American male educational leaders and gave themopportunity to be heard with minimal interpretation from the researcher. This study did notreflect the thoughts and opinions of the entire African American male educational leadershippopulation; neither was the narrative experiences of the participants germane to all AfricanAmerican male educational leaders but included the unique experiences of the seven participantsof the study. Essentially, the study added to the limited body of research on African Americanmale educational leadership among HBCUs in the Southwest region of the United States. Personal Statement According to Moustakas, as cited by Creswell (2007), ―the first step toward―phenomenological reduction‖ in the analysis of the data is for the researcher to set aside allpreconceived ideas or experiences in order to best understand the experiences of the participants‖
  • 25. 13(p. 235). The researcher therefore shared her experiences with risk and protective factors thathave framed her interpretation of leadership. While growing-up in Bellville, Texas, a small town with a population of less than tenthousand residents, I learned to appreciate my father as the leader of our family. His outstandingwork ethic served as a model that helped me cope with discrimination, inequality, and a negativeself-concept that I would have to overcome in order to take my place in society and servehumanity. I am the second product of the union of a 13 year old Black female, Dorothy Gilmoreand a 17 year old Black male, Howard Palmer. Although they were relatively young, my motherand father made the commitment to stay together and raise a family. My father‘s life set the stage for my quest for strong leadership as a guide in overcomingpre-existing barriers I would face and continue to face in the ―game of life‖ in America. As thesecond oldest of seven children, I loved my father because he was my hero, the person I lookedto for strength within the fragile world of my imagination. My father became my first point ofreference as I began to frame my definition of leadership. He often shared stories and experiences of how hard life was for African Americansduring his adolescent years. He told me about his job as a young share-cropper picking a hundredpounds of cotton a day to help provide food for the family. While he had an eighth gradeeducation and my mother a third, the owners of the crop fields made it clear (to the principals ofthe colored school) that education was secondary to the planting and picking of cotton. Blackstudents spent half the school year in the cotton fields. Daddy‘s family prided themselves on strong work ethics. A few years later, when hisfather decided to desert his wife and eight children, my dad and his siblings became the breadwinners for the family. Dad told me of many occasions in which a ―good‖ family name caused
  • 26. 14White people to help them buy food when they only had little for survival. The separation of mydad‘s mother and father hurt him as a child, so he vowed that if he ever had a family, he wouldnot repeat the decision his father made. It was in the cotton plantation that my dad met my mother. The two formed a union andstarted their family. My parents had no home of their own, so they resided with my grandmotherand step-father. My mother had her first child, Shirley, and I was born a year and a half later.Due to my mother‘s step-father‘s attempt to sexually molest Shirley, my parents were kicked-outof the house and forced to find shelter in an old abandoned car until they could find a place tolive. Although his education was limited, dad found odd jobs by utilizing his ability to workhard to support his young family. One day an affluent White cattle owner by the name of CalvertMewis (whom my dad worked for on a few occasions), saw my dad walking on the road andasked him where he was going. My dad told him that he and his family had no place to stay andwere hungry. Mr. Mewis had empathy for his situation and made a deal that if my dad wouldfaithfully serve him, he would provide land, a home, and food for the rest of his life. With thedesire to show his appreciation, dad became the ―John Henry‖ of cattle wrestling for Mr. C.A.Mewis‘ Livestock business. Dad spoke of how at the young age of 18, he would throw 200 to 300 pound cows andbulls with his bare hands. While his strong inner-drive and undaunted work ethic won the favorof Mr. Mewis, it created animosity among the sons of Mr. Mewis and his other hired hands. Mr.Mewis often referred to my dad as his ―Black‖ son. There wasn‘t a need that my dad had thatMr. Mewis did not meet. Because of his strong determination, unwavering courage, and moralcode of ethics, my dad emerged as an outstanding African American male leader in my eyes. The
  • 27. 15lack of black-owned gas stations, convenience stores, and Blacks in public offices at the time,left me few examples of African American male leadership. As the years passed, my mom had five more children where she remained a stay-at-homemom until our teenage years. It was during middle school at Bellville where I began to see thedeadly blow of the lack of empowerment of African Americans at the social, political, andeconomical levels. There was an understood divide that existed between the Black and Whiteresidents of Bellville. This divide was apparent in the types of housing available to Blacks,which were mostly the ―Projects.‖ Other homes owned by Blacks looked like run-down shacks,compared to the nice brick houses that many of my non-Black peers resided. In lieu of embedded racism, the social structure of the town was fragmented with Whitesand Blacks perpetuating the values of their respective race. Economically, I saw more Blacksworking for Whites or White-owned businesses than working for themselves. Occasionally, mymother would clean houses for White women, which I detested. I attempted to show my disdainby referring to her type of work as ―slavery.‖ Observing my parents constant subjection anddependence on White people served as my motivation to pursue a singing career inCountry/Western music. Blacks and Whites were divided educationally. Black families that lacked the homestructure and educational tools to help their children with academics were prone to teacherreferrals that placed Black children in special education programs, services in which I received.None of the Palmer children (including myself) have attended Bellville schools without beingretained. Almost 95% of my siblings‘ children that attend schools in Bellville have been retained,and 100% of boys in our family who attended these schools were retained and placed in specialeducation. This stigmatism placed upon my family by Bellville I.S.D. still exists today.
  • 28. 16 While I attended Bellville High, Advanced Placement courses were geared towardsWhites, with one or two Black students. The staff was predominately White with two AfricanAmerican female teachers, one who taught special education and the other taught Spanish.Absent was the presence of any Black male leaders at Bellville High School during my years as astudent. These programs only reinforced the thought that gradually developed in my mind … thatWhite people were better than Black people. I wanted the life that Whites had, so I began to talklike them, sing like them, and even attempted to date them. I became so obsessed in trying todate White guys that Black boys began to call me ―White boy lover.‖ Consequently, White guyswere afraid to date Black girls because of the prejudice and racism that engulfed the town. Politically, as I recollect, no Blacks held a political position in Bellville. I didn‘t seeBlacks gathering at voting booths or being solicited to vote for a particular political party. Myparents never exercised their right to vote because voting wasn‘t an important factor for them atthe time. Mom and dad didn‘t consider themselves intellects; they were laborers and didn‘t feelthe need to voice their political views. We spent the majority of our lives working for Mr. Mewisby hauling-hay, picking pecans, raking leaves, and manicuring their lawns. Because I lacked theawareness of the power of voting and the price that the Black community paid to acquire it, Ididn‘t practice voting until I became a student at an HBCU. Needless to say, while my familylearned the value of hard work, which was modeled by my father, I began to desire mentors androle-models who could lead me beyond the dismal life that I saw un-educated African Americansbecome victims. I was determined not to fall prey to the poverty and hopelessness that permeatedthroughout the African American community. The only solace I could find was my relationshipwith Christ. When I obeyed the Gospel at 17 years of age, the word of God became my hope of a
  • 29. 17better life for me and my family. As a means of escape from my family‘s present condition, Ifollowed the advice of the African American special education teacher who not only encouragedme to go to college but drove me there. My high school guidance counselor, on the other hand,pushed me toward a trade school rather than college. I admit that I harbored distrust and hatredtoward Whites who mistreated Blacks while living in Bellville. It was at this point in my life thatI knew that only a relationship with God could free me from this pessimistic attitude I haddeveloped. Through prayer, attending church, and working-out my soul‘s salvation, my greatestleader, Jesus took control of my life. Although the painful memories were still there, I was ableto forgive and move-on with my life. When I stepped on campus of this particular HBCU, I had never seen so many AfricanAmericans at one time. It was intimidating because I only remembered negative stories andimages about African American people and how they were prone to violence, especially amongeach other. Upon my enrollment in the fall of 1987, I saw young people just like me striving forthe only equalizer for the Black community - education. My high school G.P.A. was a 2.7, and Ihad no intentions of going to college; therefore, I took my grade point average for granted. I had no knowledge of the SAT or ACT college entrance exams. In order to complete theadmissions process, I had to take the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) and basedupon my scores in math, I needed some additional coursework. It didn‘t matter amount ofcourses I needed to take because this university was giving me a chance to receive an education,and I was grateful for the opportunity. The faculty at the university took me under their wingsand helped me navigate through the financial aid process and over time, I was the first and onlymember of my immediate family who went to college and graduated. As I took the educational route, I was happy to be free from the influence of the dominant
  • 30. 18culture. While attending the university, I saw African American males dressed in fine suits,neatly groomed hair, articulating eloquent speech, and taking charge as leaders. Seeing Blackmen in this light really excited me because I rarely saw such examples in my hometown anddefinitely not in such abundance. During my sophomore year in college, I entered and won a scholarship Pageant. Thisevent allowed me to represent my university on national television at The Miss Texas Pageant inFort Worth, Texas. My reign afforded me the opportunity to demonstrate my ability to lead andserve the school community. My new role as one of the campus leaders meant the critical eye ofsociety would be upon me. This thought raised a level of self-awareness of the leader I wasattempting to become. As previously mentioned, my strategy for overcoming social and economical oppressionwas to become the first Black female ―Charley Pride‖ in Country/Western music. This was goingto be my ticket out of poverty and feelings of inferiority. So I began writing songs and recordingin studios with Mr. Fredrick V. Roberts, who later became my manager. While pursuing mycareer and education, I served the university and various campus organizations withperformances for the next three years and still today. Mr. Roberts and I experienced racism in themusic industry whether in local country music and nationally-televised competitions. My leadership opportunities were further advanced when I represented my university asMiss Collegiate African American among twenty five HBCUs across the nation. Danny Gloverintroduced my Country & Western performance who later invited me to perform for a celebritygala, where he offered me moral support. Danny Glover became a giant in my eyes on anoccasion in which he stepped-in to handle some miscommunication with my hotel reservations. Iwas impressed at how expediently the situation was corrected; it was great witnessing Black
  • 31. 19leadership in action. That experience made me proud to see an African American man stand withboldness and power in the midst of a Predominately White society. This encounter served as thecatalyst of my paradigm shift regarding African American male leadership. These two pivotal moments of my history took me out of a small town which practiceddiscrimination and racism, to a larger platform which instituted similar acts as well. I eventuallybecame discouraged in pursuing the music industry and focused my attention toward educatingyoung minds in the public education system and temporarily suspended my dreams of stardom. During my educational pursuit at the doctoral level, I often wondered what obstacles orracial barriers generations before me had to endure. If only I had a mentor who utilized certainstrategies in overcoming discrimination, perhaps I would have stood my ground in the pursuit ofmy career goal. Providentially redirected from my goal as a Country/Western star, I chose toenter the teaching profession. While working my way toward certification, I fell in love with theidea of cultivating young minds and making a difference in the lives of children. By this time,my husband and I started a network marketing business with about 100 business associates.Although we didn‘t earn much money, we invested thousands of dollars into leadershipconferences, books, audio-tapes, and CDs on attitude, skills with people, and the art ofleadership. As a teacher, I was able to take the success principles from great authors such asNapoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Les Giblin, Dennis Kimbro, Robert Schuller, Mason Weaver,John Maxwell, and Frederick K. Price and transform my students from having a ―negative‖ self-concept to having a ―positive‖ self-concept. We rubbed shoulders with multi-millionaires who practiced the dynamics of leadershipwithin a network of thousands of people. The majority of the men who held the highest level ofleadership were White males and only few were African Americans. In fact, the majority of
  • 32. 20African American representations at leadership conferences were members of the AfricanAmerican major leader‘s organizations. My up-line leaders were predominately African American; the experience of learninghow to train and develop leaders was invaluable. As I observed these men, I sensed their sinceredesire to pass the torch of leadership to our generation. They were not afraid to talk about theirchallenges and triumphs that allowed them to accomplish their goals as leaders of megaorganizations. Although our marketing business gradually dissolved, 10 years of leadership experiencehelped me to form a concept of what servant leadership was about. After my business ownershipexperience, I began to focus more on education. I have worked at three different school districtsand have become quite disturbed in the lack of African American male teachers and leaderrepresentation. As I sat in data disaggregation meetings with the superintendent of schools, it wasclear that the African American male population performed the lowest among all groups on statemandated tests. I felt like a failure as a teacher in 4th grade because they were the students whofilled the in-school suspension room daily. I knew that our African American boys were introuble. Similar to my experiences of growing up in a segregated town, a study by Fraizer (2009)speaks of her life, set-backs, and triumphs in overcoming racial and gender barriers. Like me, theresearcher‘s father was a critical role-model and mentor in the development of her life. Herfather instilled within her as well, the idea of strong work ethics and the faith that she could sether mind to accomplish anything as a child. However, as she began attending public schools, shetoo began to feel the negative effect of the lack of African American male teachers andadministrators. Due to the absence of African American male role models, the researcher began
  • 33. 21to sense the air of inferiority that the dominate race was attempting to inflict upon her. Theauthor decided to attend an HBCU as well and developed the desire to help improve the lives ofAfrican American male youth through education. In Green‘s (2009) study on African Americanfemale executive leaders at HBCUs, African American women have been victims of racism, aswell as, gender bias. The participants of the study found that while obstacles such as the glassceiling and social injustices at HBCUs had a negative impact on their rise to power, they becameexamples of success through resilience. In addition to funding issues among, the study found thatthe major challenge of HBCUs was the lack of leadership and models of effective leadership. AsI have gone back to my Alma Mata after 20 years, I have observed that the face of leadershipscarcely changed. It appears that senior educational leaders at HBCUs have a need andresponsibility to recruit and train new leaders to fill their positions. In 2007, I witnessed the appointment of the first Black superintendent for HempsteadIndependent School District. He challenged the district to change the direction of its AfricanAmerican male population. I accepted his challenge by desiring to conduct a research study onmen who have experienced the challenges of living as an African American male in the UnitedStates of America. I knew that I needed to find men who were experts in leadership, who hadovercome even greater barriers than generations to follow could imagine. This quest led me backto my university, where I could now study the lives of men who understood what leadership wasall about in the face of adversity. My intention was to conduct a study that would reveal factorsthat made these men resilient and perhaps utilize the information gleaned from the study to helpdevelop African American male leadership and demonstrate the phenomenon‘s relevance tosociety. I knew such models existed because I had known and watched great leaders give back to
  • 34. 22the university with years of service and contribution. The challenge of obtaining this informationwould be their accessibility and willingness to share their lived experiences. , so, I wanted toconduct a study that would chronicle the lives of these men and their contributions and influenceas African American male educational leaders at an HBCU for over thirty years . Delimitations of the Study For the purpose of this study, the researcher chose the following criterion for participantselection: This study looked at seven African American male administrators, thereforeeliminating the experiences and contributions of African American female administrators. Theparticipants of the study have all served as educational leaders at a Southwestern HBCU. In addition, the participants of the study are currently serving as a professor oradministrator at the university chosen for the study. The participants of the study have served theHBCU for 30 or more years in the College of Education. Based on the criterion, seven AfricanAmerican male educational leaders emerged as participants for the study. Limitations The study may include the following limitations: First, the participant‘s narrativeexpressions may be limited to the researcher‘s ability to use strong and descriptive language inorder to accurately report the experience. Second, since the study and experiences are specific tothe participants in question, the reproduction of this study for a larger population with differentdemographic and racial make-up could change the outcome. Third, since participants sharedexperiences from the past, their expressions may be limited to their capacity to recollectinformation. Fourth, the study depended upon the honest responses of the participants whilesharing their experiences. Fifth, since the four participants are actively serving as leaders or asteachers, their availability was limited when scheduling interviews. Finally, the observational
  • 35. 23protocol asks for occupational information that could potentially reveal the participants identity.The participants were given the liberty to answer or not answer any portion of the questionnaire. Definition of Terms Creswell (2008) distinguishes between qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitativeresearch definition of key terms is listed as a critical component of the format, whereas withqualitative research, key terms derive as the study progresses. A general definition of key termswill be used until further terms develop throughout the study. For the purpose of the study, the following terms will be used: African American-A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as ―Black, African American, or Negro,‖ or provide written entries such as African American, Afro American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). Educational Leadership- the office or position of a leader (www.merriam-webster.com). An operational definition (Creswell, 2008; Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006) would include the effective use of human and financial resources by an educational administrator, through a spirit of teamwork, toward the mission of the school. Historically Black College and University - any college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans (Higher Education Act of 1965). Predominately White Institution (PWI) - ―the term used to describe institutions of higher learning in which Whites account for 50% or greater of the student enrollment.‖ (Lomotey, 2009, p.523). Hermeneutic Phenomenology - ―a descriptive methodology attentive to how things appear
  • 36. 24 and wants to let things speak for themselves; it is interpretive (hermeneutic) methodology because lived experiences are always already meaningfully experienced‖ (Manen, 1990, p.180). Leadership style - ―how a leader confronts himself or herself, perceives their environment, and acts upon their worldview‖ (Barber, 1985, p. 37). Mentor - a trusted friend or guide (http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mentor). Organization of the Study Chapter one details the problem, need, and significance of the study; identifies CriticalRace, Resiliency, and Mentorship theories referenced in the study; and provides a summary ofthe chapters. Chapter two provides a review of related literature. Chapter three describes themethodology and rationale of the study. The researcher provides an analysis of the data, theresearcher‘s role, and a summary. Chapter four presents an analysis of the data. Chapter fiveculminates with the summary, conclusions, and recommendations for further research.
  • 37. Chapter II Literature Review In order to understand the phenomenon of African American male leadership, it isimportant to understand their history as a people. The aftermath of slavery, racism, andinequality has left a negative impact on the plight of African American males at the educational,social, and political levels (Woodson, 2005). It is important to note that these risk factors havesignificantly decreased the pool of African American males as future leaders in society (Eatman,2000; Green, 2001; Wiley, 2001). Racism and inequality has had a major impact on AfricanAmericans and continues to affect many aspects of their lives. The literature review will begin with the history of Black education in the South. The riseand significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) have led to theestablishment of African American male leaders at the national level. Leadership styles ofAfrican American men will be discussed in addition to their barriers in higher education. Thischapter will also discuss the significance of mentorship for future generations of AfricanAmerican males and discuss critical race and resilience theories. The chapter will conclude byidentifying risk factors that potentially threaten African American males. History of Black Education in the South Unlike Predominately White Institutions (PWI) in the Northern region of America,HBCUs grew out of the aftermath of the Civil War from 1860-1865 (Allen & Jewel, 2002). Thedawn of slavery gave rise to the birth of education for African Americans, who since their arrivalto southern plantations were denied access to education. From the freedman‘s perspective,education held the keys to political, economical, and social mobility. Violation of the laws toread and write resulted in negative and sometimes fatal consequences (―Slavery and the Civil 25
  • 38. 26War,‖ 2009). No matter how challenging slave masters made the acquisition of education, slaves foundcreative ways to possess the coveted ability to read and write. Before, and certainly after theCivil War, slaves in the South demonstrated their bold desire for education by setting-up theirown churches and informal schools. Many slaves were educated through the telling of stories,singing of songs, and gospel messages by religious leaders in the community (―Slavery and theCivil War,‖ 2009). The Rise and Significance of the HBCU According to Woolfolk (1986), the fall of slavery led to the establishment of schools foryoung newly freed slaves. In less than a decade, over 100 schools for people of color wereestablished. The majority were day schools, while some serviced students at night. These schoolswere heavily underfunded and lacked adequate facilities for teaching, but nevertheless, AfricanAmerican male leaders (with the help of state government, philanthropists, and White religiousgroups) demonstrated resilience in managing to keep school doors open for business in the Blackcommunity (Allen & Jewel, 2002). It was within the walls of HBCUs that African Americansfound a degree of solace. HBCUs focused on preparing young African Americans for educationand a successful transition into society. In 1878, the first public HBCU was established in Southwest Texas. The Alta VistaNormal College for Negroes became the first Black public school for freed slaves. The schoolwas built upon the ruins of a slave plantation owned by Jared and Helen Kirby in Waller Countyin 1876. Many public schools of Higher Education in the South became training grounds forteachers who served in the field teaching uneducated former slaves (Woolfolk, 1986). Accordingto Bennett and Xie (2003), HBCUs were an answer to the racial reprise that African Americans
  • 39. 27were inferior to Whites; therefore, Blacks were excluded from PWIs. In Schexnider‘s (2008) article on the significance and survival of HBCUs, the sustainingof African American male youth is critical in the pursuit of exceptional talent for further leadersin education. The article stated the historical inequalities between PWIs and HBCUs. AlthoughBlack schools were considered inferior in terms of building and financial support, school leaderswere diligent in keeping the doors open to the Black community (Jackson, 2007; Woolfolk,1986). The Black community valued education and believed it served as a path to overcomingpolitical, economical, and social inequality. HBCUs were responsible for the rise of national leaders such as W. E. B. DuBois,Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King. In Benett and Xie‘s (2003) study on the roleof HBCUs in education, collective data showed that HBCUs accounted for a significant numberof college degrees awarded to African American students than other institutions. The researchfurther asserts that African American students preferred HBCUs over PWIs because Blackuniversities had a more nurturing environment, which made them to feel connected to theuniversity. Students also felt the faculty and staff were more supportive at HBCUs by providingacademic and financial assistance (Bennett & Xie, 2003). Carter‘s (2010) study investigated the engagement of White undergraduate students at anHBCU. The qualitative study explored the experiences of 22 White undergraduate studentsattending two HBCUs in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Thestudy revealed that staff-student interactions, faculty-student interactions, co-curricularactivities/university programs, and prior diversity experience were factors that contributed toWhite students‘ growth and engagement at an HBCU. Black Colleges and Universities have historically served as institutions that have
  • 40. 28recruited, nurtured, and retained African American students and leaders. Bennett and Xie (2003)argue that HBCUs have greater success in nurturing students through race pride, the value ofAfrican American history, and social interactions among the school community. HBCUs havemade contributions to American Education by producing a large professional workforce andadvocates for the cause of racial equity for minorities (Bennett & Xie, 2003). Critical Moments in African American HistoryBlack Leaders and Politics In the late 1800s, the poor economical plight of Blacks in the South did not victimize all.There were remnants of Blacks who rose to power and leadership in spite of laws that workedagainst them. According to DuBois (1903/2003), leadership had to come from Blacks themselvesbecause they felt their White counterparts did not have their best interest in mind. During the50s, emerging Black leaders needed the power of the ballot in order to make political changes fortheir race. DuBois (1903/2003) further purported that the Black vote became a threat to the Northand South, therefore, the ignorant, as well as many of the established Blacks, were deterred fromexercising their right to vote. In the final analysis, Blacks viewed politics as a vice for personalgain by those who participated. As a result of non-participation in politics, Blacks becamevictims of dehumanization with no protection under the law. From 1876 to 1965, the Jim Crow Laws were mandated as local and state laws across theUnited States. These laws were designed to create artificial separation between Blacks andWhites, especially in the South. Blacks were disadvantaged at the political, economical,educational, and social levels. Civil rights and civil liberties were also denied to Blacks. In theBrown vs. Board of Education in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation
  • 41. 29unconstitutional and the Jim Crow Laws were dismantled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 andthe Voting Rights Act of 1965 (DuBois, 1903/2003; Harper, 2008; Woodson, 1933/2005).The Jim Crow Laws and Segregation The Jim Crow Laws were designed to reinforce political, economical, and socialsuppression among African Americans (Woodson, 1933/2005). In the face of challenges andadversity experienced by African Americans, some have developed the mental fortitude to riseabove temporary setbacks. DuBois (1903/2003) and Woodson (1933/2005) articulated that whilesegregation was prevalent throughout the South, soldiers of the United States Army (throughWorld War 1) were segregated as well. African American males played supportive roles in thearmy, but most did not see combat.The Black Power and Civil Rights Movements The Black Power Movement of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement became twocritical moments in African American history and leadership. In the fight for an end to racismand the quest for equality, the Black Power Movement took a militant approach to assuage theproblem of African Americans living in America. Their political ideology involved race pride,political and cultural institutions, and Black interests. The movement sought to separate AfricanAmericans from the mainstream and build a self-sufficient race (Herton, 1996). The Civil Rights Movement has had a long history in the United States. The movement,though mostly fought through non-violence, opened the door to social and legal acceptance forAfrican Americans. It also exposed the existence and price of racism in American history. TheCivil Rights Movement refers to the political struggles and the need for reformation for AfricanAmericans between 1945 and 1970. The movement‘s purpose was to end discriminationexperienced by disadvantaged groups in America. The key players in the movement were the
  • 42. 30Black church and its focal leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although the movement caused thedeath of Dr. King, it provided marginalized groups access to civil rights (―Biographical Profiles,‖2010).The Black Family and Community During slavery, it was not uncommon for slaves to be separated from family members.As slavery ended, many longed to reunite and find displaced members of their families.According to DuBois (1903/2003), the separation of male slaves from their households leftsingle mothers the burden of leadership in a paternalistic society. African American family andcommunity considered strong family bonds, great respect for elders, and the acceptance of othersas a major part of their value system. The family structure gradually deteriorated due to povertyand the lack of education. Chessson‘s (2009) study was conducted to gain more insight on how pre-collegiate andcollegiate experiences of African-American males affect their pursuit of higher education. Thestudy focused on the impact of critical variables such as high school counselors, teachers, studentinvolvement, faculty members, and mentors played in the college success of African-Americanmales. Emerging themes included participation and precollegiate leadership programs, relatingand associating with other successful African-American males, building report and socialnetworks. Segregation became a social tool that brought the African American community together.The African American community has been pivotal in the development of the African Americanculture (Woodson, 1933/2005). Although African American communities suffer with poorhousing, inadequate schools, and less law enforcement protection, the Black church was itsnucleus. DuBois (1903/2003) confirmed that the religious growth of millions of male slaves
  • 43. 31contributed to the rise of the Baptist and Methodist faiths. It appears that the nature of theAfrican American struggle has set Black churches as a cornerstone of spirituality for AfricanAmericans who experience racism and inequality. Mitchell (2010) explored the influence of community, institutions, and personalbackground had on African American administrators serving at Western Interstate Commissionfor Higher Education (WICHE). The role of ethnicity as it related to career development,recruitment and retainment of African American administrators divulged several themes thatwere critical to African American leaders such as job opportunity, strong support groups,community, and family upbringing. The Rise of African American Leadership and National Leaders Strong and effective leadership is imperative to any organization that desires to remaincompetitive in a global society. Research cannot deny that disparities among racial groups exist.Berry (2001) asserts that organizational and societal factors such as income, education, andoccupation, health, and environment impact the quality of life for an individual. The researcherfurther argues that leaders who are democratic, nurturing, and culturally sensitive create aclimate that is conducive for racial diversity in leadership (Berry, 2001). In spite of fierce opposition, there were those of the African American community whowould rise from the ashes. Although the United States has had a history of racial discriminationand inequality, these barriers did not silence the voice of pivotal African American leaders.Through a militant and a persistent faith, Black leaders began to rise and define leadership stylesthat served as guides in how the African community would respond to social injustices inmainstream society (DuBois, 1903/2003; Woodson, 1933/2005). Boswell (2010) conducted a study to determine the lack of African-American male
  • 44. 32educators in the teaching profession from grades K to 12. The study revealed that AfricanAmerican males who always had the desire to teach early in life came from the influence of closefamily ties and teachers. Other participants entered the teaching profession because of the needfor employment and job stability. Regardless of the reasons for choosing teaching as aprofession, a passion to touch the lives of students was ignited. The recommendation was thatAfrican American males should give the teaching profession serious consideration. Walker (2007) explored how the lived experiences of 12 African-American communitycollege leaders exercised their leadership and service to their campuses. The study revealed thatparticipant actively sought to climb the educational ladder, utilized social and academicknowledge to enhance their leadership skills, were active in public organizations, and workedclosely with a mentor for career advancement. Findings revealed that African-American maleleadership was relevant in that they promoted equity, improved academic performance forminorities, destroyed negative stereotyping, and served as role models to African-American maleyouth. Berry (2008) explored the lived experiences of three African-American femaleelementary principles and their leadership style that helped create and sustain academicexcellence among minority students. The study divulged spirituality as the foundation for theparticipants‘ career achievement as educational administrators. Each participant exercised theirleadership philosophy in the form of service to their respective campuses with the expresspurpose of promoting social, emotional, and academic success. The service of the participants ofthe study deemed them not only as leaders of their campuses but as motherly figures tounderrepresented populations. Their leadership was demonstrative of the love for God andhumanity. Recommendations included: studies on the example of spiritual males, various ethnic
  • 45. 33groups, and secondary principles. Leadership Styles of African American Men During the Antebellum, Civil War, Reconstruction, and Civil Rights Eras, AfricanAmerican male leaders took different approaches as to how they would respond to the harshtreatment of the American society. Some leaders chose the militant or non-violence approach,while others promoted nationalism.Frederick Douglass In ―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), Fredrick Douglass was an activist, who spoke-outagainst racism and discrimination. Douglass was born around 1817 and was acclaimed as thefirst African American leader in United States history. Frederick Douglass was raised by a singlemother around 1817; he never knew his father. Through his literary work, he characterized hislife as a slave, as one filled with hard work, family detachment, and incredulous inhumanity.Despite the push to withhold education from slaves, Frederick Douglass practically educatedhimself. His resilience not only spread through his quest for education, but through his longingfor freedom as well (―Biographical Profiles,‖ 2010). Upon several attempts to escape, he disguised himself as an American sailor, and marrieda free African American woman from the South while in New York. Douglass finally purchasedhis freedom and traveled to England to expose the cruelty of slavery through speaking andwriting. Douglass‘ political activism awarded him the title of the unofficial spokesperson for theAfrican American community. During the Civil War, he was asked by President Lincoln to helprecruit Black soldiers into the army. His courage to speak-out against racism and discriminationagainst Black soldiers influenced the decisions of Lincoln, who provided better treatment ontheir behalf. Douglass displayed a charismatic and servant leadership style in that he was a
  • 46. 34powerful orator who spoke for the rights of people of color, as well as women. FrederickDouglass continued to fight for the rights of his people until his death in 1895 (―BiographicalProfiles,‖ 2010).Henry Highland Garnet In direct opposition to Frederick Douglass‘ leadership style, was his contemporary,Henry Highland Garnet. In ―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), Henry Garnet was born in 1815-1882to the Garnet family. Garnet‘s parents were slaves but eventually escaped to Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania where they were later separated. Garnet, considered an activist and great orator aswell, advocated slave rebellion and emancipation through militant abolitionism. He urged Blacksto take action against social injustice through politics and claim their own destiny, even if itmeant by force. Garnet‘s form of leadership style caused tension between him and Douglass,which developed into political debates. Garnet also formed the idea of Black emigration out ofAmerica and into Mexico, Liberia, and the West Indies. Although Garnet gained some politicalinfluence in America, the movement lost momentum. He died and was buried in Liberia(―Biographical Profiles,‖ 2010).Marcus Garvey According to ―Marcus Garvey Biography‖ (2010), Garvey was born in 1887 in St.Anna‘s Bay, Jamaica. His leadership style began as a result of the influence of Africannationalism, which contested that African Americans should establish their own states andpolitical power by leaving America in place of safer havens. Garvey‘s father had a tremendousinfluence on him. Upon leaving the printing business in Jamaica, Garvey came to America. Theracial tension that Garvey experienced inspired him to join the fight by speaking openly againstracism; his passion for equality ignited a spark in the African American community. In 1914, he
  • 47. 35formed two organizations and a newspaper that spread throughout the world regarding theinjustices experienced by Blacks. Garvey advocated for the Black Nationalism and the returnback to Africa. He encouraged African Americans to enterprise and build social and politicalclout (―Marcus Garvey Biography,‖ 2010). After a bad business deal, Garvey was imprisoned then shipped back to Jamaica. Garveyhad a strong spiritual connection with God. He was married twice and fathered two sons. Hislegacy included various Black symbols, a forerunner of liberation and nationalism amongAfrican American youth (―Marcus Garvey Biography,‖ 2010). The two most influential African American male educational leaders of the late 19th andearly 20th Centuries were Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois. According to the―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), both men graduated from HBCUs and were highly respectedamong the African American community. Washington‘s influence afforded him the job as theprincipal of Tuskegee Institute while W. E. B. DuBois‘ scholarship on the lived experiences ofAfrican Americans in the United States gained national attention.Booker T. Washington Booker T. Washington was raised by a single mother. His father was a slave owner of anearby plantation. While growing-up, Washington desired education so much that he worked asa janitor for room and board. After receiving his degree, he began teaching at HamptonUniversity (―Biographical Profiles,‖ 2010). DuBois (2003) described Washington‘s leadership style as the politics of accommodation,which suggested that African Americans should not rush to demand their rights fresh out ofslavery, but should demonstrate their usefulness to White America through strong work ethics.While Washington publicly endorsed White supremacy, he secretly funded activities which
  • 48. 36spoke against it. Washington‘s charisma was so convincing that White Northerners andSoutherners named him the official spokesperson for the Black community (―BiographicalProfiles,‖ 2010). This title opened political opportunities and power for Washington amongWhite political meetings. His subservient behavior, however, was ridiculed by W. E. B. DuBois.These two prolific leaders were polar opposites on how to address inequality and whichcurriculum would best serve the African American community. According to Woolfolk (1986), DuBois favored a Liberal Arts curriculum for thefreedman, while Washington advocated a curriculum which would train students forindustrialism (Woodson, 2005). In the ―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), Booker T. Washingtonadvocated that African Americans could acquire constitutional rights by their own effortsthrough industry rather than politics. Washington refrained from creating friction and unrestamong the African American community, which earned him the name ―The GreatAccommodator.‖ According to DuBois (1903/2003) and Kritsonis (2002), the hardships oflynching, segregation, and the Jim Crow Laws, compelled Washington to secretly help financeactivists fight against equality. Washington‘s legacy includes educational programs for ruralextension work and the development of the National Negro Business League. In 1901, Booker T.Washington received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Harvard University.William Edward Burghardt DuBois In ―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), William Edward Burghardt DuBois lived from 1868 to1963 and was deemed the most important Black intellect of the 20th Century. DuBois earned hisB.A. degree at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and became the first Black to receive aPhD at Harvard University. DuBois was very controversial in the injustices and unequaltreatment of African Americans. He advocated for African Americans and spoke-out against
  • 49. 37racism and inequality through intellect and liberal education. His life was a mixture ofscholarship, protest activity, and polemics. All of DuBois‘ efforts channeled toward gainingequal treatment for Blacks in mainstream America and presenting evidence to refute myths aboutracial inferiority. He shared in the establishment of the National Advancement Association forColored People (NAACP) in 1906 (―Biographical Profiles,‖ 2010; DuBois, 1903/2003;Kritsonis, 2002; Woodson, 1933/2005). According to ―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), DuBois demonstrated his agitation towardWhites through his harsh criticism of their practices against Blacks. Racial protests followingWorld War I focused on anti-lynching legislation, spear-headed by DuBois and the NAACP.DuBois began moving toward a Nationalist approach, in which African Americans couldposition themselves to alter their political, schools, economical, and social outlook. DuBoisbecame a member of the Socialist Party from 1910-1912. His legacy includes several books thatreflected his disappointment with the American system which seemed to work against people ofcolor, while working toward the advantage of the majority race. Despite the inequality of thesystem, DuBois used his keen intellect and literary skill to rally the African Americancommunity to fight for rights (―Biographical Profiles,‖ 2010; DuBois, 1903/2003; Kritsonis,2002).Malcolm X In the ―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), Malcolm X was a civil rights leader and a majorspokesman for Black Nationalism during his time. Malcolm was born in 1925. Malcolm‘s fatherfollowed the leadership style of Marcus Garvey. Because of the families desire to challengeracism and discrimination, Malcolm‘s father was murdered, therefore leaving Malcolm‘s motherto raise eight children. She later became mentally ill and the children were divided among family
  • 50. 38members. Most of Malcolm‘s adolescence was unstable. In the ―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), Malcolm eventually dropped-out of school by theage of 15 and moved into the workforce. Lacking a sense of direction and mentoring, he turnedto a life of crime, which confined him to ten years in prison. Malcolm demonstrated resiliencethrough a relationship with God and educated himself through the American dictionary. Hisfamily supported him while in prison and exposed him to the works of the Nation of Islam andthe prophet Elijah Mohammad, the leader of the Black Muslims. The Muslim doctrine taughthate and demonization of White Americans. After serving his prison sentence, Malcolm marriedand fathered six daughters. He eventually became a follower and new spokesman for the Nationof Islam. His leadership style was militant and called for equality through violence, if necessary. Due to unrest within the organization, Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and organizedtwo organizations of his own. He later traveled to Mecca, Africa, and Europe, where heexperienced a transformation. He returned to America and leaned more toward the view of Dr.Martin Luther King and worked with White and Black organizations that shared the same cause.Malcolm X continued to fight for civil rights and equality until his assassination in 1965(―Biographical Profiles,‖ 2010).Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King‘s view of how to address racism and inequality was in contrast toMalcolm X. Although King resented racism and the mistreatment of Blacks, he chose to fightinjustices through a non-violence strategy. Born in 1929, King was raised in a stable familyenvironment, unlike Malcolm X. King attended public schools and earned a Doctorate degree inTheology from Boston University in 1955. King later became a minister and married CorettaScott, who bore him five children. In 1954, King carried the legacy of W. E. B. DuBois, when he
  • 51. 39became an active member, and later national spokesman for the NAACP. Boycotts againstsegregation went before the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that segregated busing wasunconstitutional. King became an overnight success and eminent leader of the Civil RightsMovement (―Biographical Profiles,‖ 2010). While his life was in constant danger, King‘sresilience, dependence on God, and unwavering courage provided him with the strength toendure. According to the ―Biographical Profiles‖ (2010), Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Hislegacy includes a Nobel Peace Prize and schools and streets across the nations that bear hisname. His life and struggle are written in history books on how he became the greatest catalyst ofchange for African Americans. Educational Leaders of African American HBCUsBlack Faculty in Higher Education According to a study by Allen (2000), in addition to the negative disposition of AfricanAmerican male youth in public education, African American faculty are underrepresented acrossthe board among most U.S. colleges and universities. Allen‘s data confirmed that AfricanAmerican faculty was systematically and significantly disadvantaged in measures such asopportunity structure, resources, appointed positions, and advancement opportunities. Wiley (2001) purports that African Americans are systematically and significantlydisadvantaged, which could lead to potential meltdown in the recruitment and retention ofAfrican American faculty and future leaders. This presents a problem when considering theinflux of African American males and females attending mainstream universities and communitycolleges (Allen, 2000; Jackson, 2001). Allen (2000) and King and Watts (2004) further purport that the underrepresentation ofAfrican American faculty at the post-secondary level is a persistent problem in the American
  • 52. 40education system. Allen‘s study showed that African Americans represented 4% of theprofessorate and associate professorates in the system, while their White counterpartsrepresented 87% of tenured professors. African Americans comprised a larger scale ofinstructors at 7% while White instructors represented 82% of the faculty pool. Allen, King, andWatts‘ research on the underrepresentation of African American faculty and leadership positionspoint to contributing factors such as racism, inequality, and discrimination in higher education. Jackson (2008) confirms that previous studies have suggested that African Americanmales lag behind their White peers in the academic workforce. The study found that humancapital and merit-based performance were favorable for White males but unfavorable for AfricanAmerican males. The findings suggest the need for further investigation of hiring practices ofpublic institutions in higher education. At the professorate level, African American faculty are sometimes treated with lessrespect than their White counterparts and is expected to perform with minimal support from therespective university (Hobson, 2004). With the increased pressure for mainstream colleges anduniversities to diversify its staff ethnically and racially, these institutions still fall behind inhiring faculty of color. In an article on hiring practices and conditions for hiring, the hiringpractices of PWIs for faculty of color were based on job descriptions stating the need of acandidate of color, special hiring, and the utilization of racial groups to recruit and hirecandidates of color. The argument further exposed White institutional leaders and departmentchairs‘ belief in the idea of the ―narrow‖ pipeline. This notion implies the high demand and thelack of potential candidates justify the marginality of African Americans (Smith et al., 2004).African American Male Administrators in Higher Education The representation of African American male educational leaders at HBCUs is critical to
  • 53. 41the development of future leadership because their numbers are few, especially at PWIs. Thepresence of African American male leadership can have a significant impact on young AfricanAmerican males who enter college without such examples (Jackson, 2001). A growing body of research shows that African American male leadership is severelyunderrepresented compared to the population of educational leadership across the nation(Guillory, 2001; Jackson, 2001; Wiley, 2001). In a dissertation that explored similar challengesexperienced by African American women in executive positions at HBCUs, the results revealedthat while relatively few women hold such positions, they have successfully overcome suchbarriers (Green, 2009). Although African American males who attain their advanced degreeshave ascended to leadership positions, they are still operating in a climate that subtly impliesBlacks are inferior to Whites. Factors that contributed to African American males‘ dissatisfactionin working at Predominately White Institutions included tokenism, isolation, lack of support, andvoicelessness (Jansen, 2005). An ethnographical study was conducted that examined the interim sections of an African-American male leader who was a pioneer of education and first Black president of an HBCU formore than 30 years, Mordecai Wyatt Jackson. The study featured Jackson‘s fight for civil rights,speeches against colonialism in Africa and Asia, his impact on students/alumni, the African-American community, and other African-American male leaders (Edge, 2008).A Brief History of HBCU Educational Leaders Scholarly literature on African American males and the myriad of problems they face isevident; however, the inception of HBCUs have provided the opportunity to place AfricanAmerican males in positions of leadership. The Freedman‘s Bureau paved the road for publiceducation for African American youth. It was the one singleness of effort by the government to
  • 54. 42ameliorate racial tension in the nation. With the help of White philanthropy, government support,and financial savings of the Black community, African Americans gained access to education.Their education began through the formation of state supported colleges which focused oneducating young Black youth in preparation for the transition from slavery to freedom (DuBois,1903/2003). An HBCU in southwest Texas was established on August 14, 1876 under the statelegislature in response to the neglect and deprivation of education for Black youth.Representative William H. Holland helped establish the legislative body that would create AltaVista College for Colored Youth. The school was placed under the control of a school systemand was managed by the first African American male leaders who were called ―principals‖ at thetime. Principals of the school were appointed by the system‘s School Board (Jackson, 2007;Woolfolk, 1962). The first principal was Mr. L.W. Minor from Mississippi. His administration wasfollowed by two brothers, E.H. Anderson and L.C. Anderson. L.C. Anderson demonstratededucational leadership by using his political influence and spirit of advocacy toward Blackeducation. His affiliation with the State Colored Teachers Association of Texas helped establishan Alumni Association. Professor Edward L. Blackshear succeeded the Anderson‘s and wasnoted for introducing the college‘s first curriculum, the construction of new buildings for thecampus, and an interscholastic athletics program in 1901. Although the university underwentmany challenges such as lack of funding and inadequate facilities, the strong leadership ofadditional leaders such as Dr. Osborne and W.R. Banks (student and personal mentee of Dr.DuBois) kept the school open for service to the community. W.R. Banks was instrumental in thefight for educational equality and social justice for African Americans in Texas (Jackson, 2007;
  • 55. 43Woolfolk, 1962). Professor Banks instituted many of the ideals of Dr. DuBois and established educationalconferences that were research-based, since this university contributed to a large number ofAfrican American teachers in Texas. This new concept of incorporating research and teachingelevated these men and women of the faculty as community leaders. Dr. E.B. Evans succeededProfessor Banks and became the last principal and first president. Dr. Jessie Drew became theuniversity‘s second president, who was replaced by Dr. Alvin I. Thomas as the third president. Inaddition to overseeing an extensive building program and the first Naval Reserve OfficerTraining Program at an historical Black public institution, Dr. Thomas advocated for the TexasConstitutional Amendment in recognizing the university as one of the three first classinstitutions. Dr. Thomas also coined the popular lexicon ―Prairie View Produces ProductivePeople‖ (Jackson, 2007). Succeeding Dr. A.I. Thomas was the University‘s fourth president, Dr. Percy A. Pierre.Dr. Pierre brought new ideas such as decentralization of administration in contrast to the school‘sprevious leader‘s centralized administrative style. Dr. Pierre established good public relationswithin and outside the university. President Pierre was succeed by General Julius Becton, athree-star general and the first graduate to serve as president of the university. Acting as the fifthpresident, General Becton leadership put the university back in good financial standing. TheBecton‘s were actively involved in the school, local, and surrounding communities (Jackson,2007). In 1994, Dr. Charles A. Hines became the sixth president of the university. PresidentHines improved the university, and was later replaced by Mr. Willie Tempton. Mr. Temptonserved as interim president until the administration of Dr. George C. Wright, the seventh and
  • 56. 44current president (Jackson, 2007). Dr. Wright graduated with a Master of Arts degree at the University of Kentucky and adoctorate at Duke University. He has held many leadership positions such as Vice-President ofAcademics and Provost at the University of Texas Arlington. Dr. Wright has served as aneducator and publisher of several books. He is an active leader in his community (―PromotingScholarship from within the Black Diaspora,‖ 2010). Leadership Demands In an article by Palmer and Gasman (2008), the use of social capital assisted in thepromotion and academic success for African American male students, when PWI‘s limited theirparticipation. Barker‘s (2009) investigation of African-American male presidents atPredominantly White Institutions focused on how African-American male educational leadersadd value to the practice through the utilization of shared knowledge, expertise, and experiencethat impacted decision-making concerning student performance and the nature of the presidency.The study revealed that African American presidents played a significant role in the promotionof diversity and openness, personal freedom, and a shared vision of the future of highereducation. Because the participants helped shape the mission, philosophy, school culture andclimate of the school, their contact with students developed independence and arousedintellectual curiosity. While African American male leaders experience their set of challenges at PWIs,obstacles at HBCUs are somewhat different. HBCUs are confronted with the responsibility ofrecruiting African American students in order to increase and maintain enrollment. In Stupak(2008), competent leadership is critical in the recruitment and retaining of quality students whomake a significant contribution to society. Educational leaders of HBCUs must be savvy in the
  • 57. 45recruitment of strong African American leaders who are capacity builders for improvedmanagement that demonstrate the ability to strategically plan. Educational leaders must possess the ability to effectively address enrollmentmanagement and retention, funding, and be ethically sound in budget management. In addition,administrators must grapple with providing support for incoming students in the areas offinancial aid and academic support when students are deficient in these areas. Stupak (2008)concludes that the biggest challenges in recruiting African American male leadership are putting-up with bureaucracy, raising private dollars, developing alumni support, and marketing theinstitution. Lucas (2010) initiated a historical project that focused on the educational leadership ofpioneers at an HBCU. The study uncovered the dynamics of servant leadership among African-American male presidents in pursuit of establishing servant institutions. The study divulged thedynamic influence of the participants by way of partnerships with religious and civilorganizations in support of student achievement, the creation of an organizational structure thatsupports the growth and needs of the institution, and teaching future generations the value ofcivic engagement. Howard (2007) investigated the career choice factors that influenced African-Americanmales to become public school teachers. The sample contained 122 African-American maleteachers and administrators employed in the public school system. The results from the studyshowed that all intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as influencing and shaping the lives ofstudents, the importance of serving and contributing to society, salary, opportunities for careeradvancements and fringe benefits had an impact on African-American male career choices.Knowing these findings could help local, state, political and national leaders in education
  • 58. 46designed better recruiting and retention programs for African-American males. The Significance of Mentorship for African American Males According to a study by Foster (2005), mentorship programs were strong predictors ofsuccess for African American males in public and higher education. The study featured the effectof mentoring programs on the success of African American males in PWIs. Foster‘s study (2005)also revealed that African American male faculty experienced isolation and felt that the school‘smentoring program was not fulfilling its purpose in developing a strong mentor/menteerelationship and extinguishing the issue of race. Based upon the findings, the need for furtherstudy on the practice and roles of universities mentorship programs is needed. A study by Benson (2010) was conducted to determine the importance and impact onstudent success marked by the historical roles of African-American teachers as counselors,disciplinarians, advocates, and role models, based upon a number of predictors (i.e., test scores,social activity, and matriculation into college). The findings revealed that African Americanteachers viewed their historical roles as paramount in the nurturing, development, andempowerment of African-American students, as well as, the visibility of their presence assuccessful examples in their respective schools. The study also found that student academicperformance and social involvement improved because of the historical roles filled by AfricanAmerican teachers. Richards (2007) conducted a study that addressed the educational failure of African-American males at the collegiate level. Circumstances of life and the participants livedexperiences were investigated to determine the contributing factors to their success. The findingsrevealed that overcoming community barriers, engagement with mentors, and being successful asa leader increased participant confidence to pursue higher levels of education.
  • 59. 47 Fraser‘s (2009) study on the lived experiences of four African-American maleeducational leaders found that although African-American males (especially the youth) werepersistently featured negatively in society, the media, and various research studies. However,relatively few studies focused on the success of African-American males, especially within theacademic arena. The study revealed three common themes: support systems, spirituality, andovercoming obstacles. Fraser also discovered that growing up within the culture of supportivefamily members, teachers, and mentors benefited the participants significantly. Bacon (2002) explored the personal experiences of African-American male leaders ineducational leadership positions that could possibly form the development of leadershipprograms to train future educational leaders. The study revealed the pressing need for mentorshipby successful African-American males, the need to understand history and struggle of AfricanAmerican race, the need for a strong self-concept, and the need for support systems for African-American males. Scott (2011) explored the experiences and perceptions of 10 African-American maleleaders and educational attainment. The study focused on the impact of familial and professionalrelationships, the role of resilience, and the importance of self-efficacy in the pursuit of goals.The findings revealed that the participants of the study had a strong self-identity, developedcritical social network support, and possessed inspiration which were key factors to theparticipants‘ success. The common themes that divulged include: resilience over faulty mindset,rising above mediocrity, social network support, mentors, faith, historical responsibility andinspiration were key factors to the participants success. Most of the participants in the studycredited a teacher, parent, here, or mentor as helping to shape their educational career goals. Blackwood (2010) examined the existence of mentorship among mid-level female
  • 60. 48administrators and community college system. The study compared the impact of mentoring onthose who were being mentored and those were not. The findings revealed that mentoring had asignificant and positive impact on female administrators and leaders. Common themes included:the influence of family, mobility/retention strategies, mentors, and the participants willingness tobe a mentored. Critical Race Theory Critical race theory (CRT) grew out of the need for people of color to exposediscrimination and racism woven through the tapestry of the American society. Historically,people of color have been overlooked in their struggle against racism, prejudice, anddiscrimination for many centuries. Their cry for freedom and equality hardly aroused empathyfrom the dominant culture. Bell (1995), a catalyst for CRT, argued that racism has been aconstant deeply embedded within the American culture, though subtle in recognition (Ladson-Billings, 1999). CRT indicates that relatively few individuals of the dominant race have empathy for themarginal race, therefore, leaving African American males as targets for racism. Injustices withinthese systems have created racial tension in the past and present moments in time. (Ladson-Billings, 1999). CRT challenges the status quo by weighing discrimination and inequality by thedominant race against people of color who experienced such dehumanization because of theirrace. CRT attempts to give voice to people who have suffered injustices within the dominantculture and seeks to eradicate discrimination due to race. CRT aims to expose differences in sex,class, and equity that potentially inhibit the potential of these groups (Lynn, Yosso, Soloranzo, &Parker, 2002).
  • 61. 49 Glenn (2003) argues that African American male leaders must help young AfricanAmerican youth resist the nation‘s negative view of ―Blackness‖ through stereotypes,definitions, and social constructs. African American educational leaders can help young AfricanAmerican males to off-set negative imaging by replacing negative models with positive andpurpose-driven initiatives (Glenn, 2003). Campbell (2010) compared the impact of racism at PWIs on African American studentsto their educational experience at an HBCU. The findings indicated that African Americanstudents who were constantly bombarded with their racial status experienced more psychologicaland racial issues. In contrast to African American students‘ experiences at PWIs, HBCUs servedas a buffer against the negative effects of racial discrimination and low self-esteem. Davis (2002) uncovered the differences between male and female educational leaders atpublic institutions. The study was conducted to determine whether a leader‘s racial backgroundhad an impact on the organizational climate of the school. The study revealed that people fromdifferent cultural backgrounds communicate, learn, and socialize differently from others and thatschool principals have the capacity to positively impact change in complex school organizations. Resiliency Theory According to Van Breda (2001), Resiliency Theory grew out of the need to move awayfrom deficit models of vulnerability and move toward more protective models of strength.Researchers identify the characteristics of resilience as having the ability to cope in the face ofadversity. Resilience is compassionate, flexible, keeps one in touch with life, and provides theability to bounce back under pressure. Resilience theory is rooted in studies of children who wereresilient in spite of negative social environments (Van Breda, 2001). Resilience is the ability to remain competent in the face of adversity. Resilience is
  • 62. 50described as possessing the ability to bend without breaking and if broken, having the power tospring-back. Resilience involves the utilization of skills, abilities, knowledge, and insight thatdevelops over a period of time, as people struggle to surmount adversity and meet challenges. Itis an on-going kind of energy that is used upon current struggles (Reivich & Shatte, 2002; VanBreda, 2001). Van Breda (2001) argues that protective factors such as personal, familial, social, andinstitutional safeguards serve as the elixir by which resilience is produced. Without suchprotection, people who have been victimized through discrimination and injustice become evenmore alienated from the reality of the situation they have constructed within their minds. In themind of the victim, the essence of the experience and the certainty of the experiences potentialharm are real. Therefore, possessing a strong sense of self, having a degree of social mobility andstrong social networks that evolve around family, can help minimize uncertainty that wouldotherwise limit the capacity to overcome barriers. Resilience is activated by external factors thatpose vulnerability upon the individual (Van Breda, 2001). Polk (1997) constructed a set of patterns that categorize individual resilience. Thedispositional pattern involves an individual‘s positive ego of self, which includes a heightenedconfidence in one‘s ability to overcome obstacles. These individuals have developed the abilityto rise above stress through a sense of self-reliance in decision-making. People who have astrong sense of self may possess good health and physical attraction, which may add to theirresilience. Polk (1997) explains that relational pattern involves a person‘s relationships within andoutside of the broader community. For individuals who are victimized by society, thedevelopment of relationships is critical to their degree of resilience. Trusting relationships allows
  • 63. 51the person to feel safe and free from fear and anxiety. They are able to find refuge among otherswho share or are sympathetic to their experiences. These relationships can be intimate, as in thecase of a loving and supportive spouse, or a close friend or relative who acts as a mentor to thevictim of a particular situation. Polk (1997) further describes resilience as the ability to thrive, mature, and increasecompetence in the face of adversity by drawing upon external and internal factors. Contextually,resilience relies on such factors and causes the individual to become more apt to control theirinternal locus of control, rather than their environment. Resilience is multi-dimensional anddraws its strength upon internal and external stimuli. In essence, resilience grows and developsthrough successful overcoming of insurmountable obstacles. Therefore, the more triumphantexperiences the individual gains, the stronger the motivation to tap into the resilience state. Resiliency theory aims to take in consideration the overcoming of racial andenvironmental barriers that scholarly literature tends to overlook. Lack of attention is also givento protective factors that are shared by the oppressed. Strong indicators of resilience amongAfrican Americans have been cultural identity and racial socialization (Van Breda, 2001). Kennedy‘s (2008) study focused on an African-American female superintendent of alarge school district in the southern states. The study sought to examine how the superintendentovercame barriers during her journey to the superintendency, how her leadership developed, andwhat political, educational, and demographic factors framed her leadership behavior. The studyrevealed common themes such as socialization, determined work ethics, persistence in goalattainment, strong religious belief, and a genuine concern for student achievement. The studyalso attributed resilience to the participant‘s ability to overcome childhood and adulthoodbarriers and yet achieved her goal of the highest administrative office in public education K-12.
  • 64. 52 Gritter (2010) focused on the untold power and influence of southern Blacks and theirinfluence on politics. Black southerners were able to utilize their intellect and politics to fight theinjustices of the south and Jim Crow laws. African American men and women of that time tookrisks and fought during the Civil Rights movement for better public services, improved livingconditions, and the ascension of leadership positions that challenged the assumption of AfricanAmerican inferiority. The persistence of this historical group in the push toward the increase ofAfrican American voters played a role in the election of American‘s first African Americanpresident. Jordan-Taylor‘s (2011) project examined the lived experiences of nine southern educatorswho enrolled in outside institutions of higher learning due to segregation in the south thatexcluded African Americans from attending Predominantly White Institutions. The participants‘years of schooling in segregated primary and secondary levels was examined as well. Thefindings suggested that despite the lack of funding and resources, these educators made-up thedifference through their encouragement and commitment to their students. The knowledge andskills they acquired from northern institutions allowed these Black educators to provide acutting-edge learning experience for Black schools and colleges across the nation. Daniel‘s (2006) study gave voice to three African American male educational leaders at acounty school district. The participants shared their lived experiences of how they arrived at theircurrent status as educational leaders in their profession. The study revealed the participant‘sexperience with segregation and racism during their journey toward leadership. Despite thechallenges that African Americans had to endure, the participants were able to persevere throughfaith, persistence in the attainment of their career goals.
  • 65. 53 Risk Factors that Threaten African American Male Youth As stated earlier, African American males have had a history of resisting oppression, andsucceeding in-spite of the odds. Although some African American males have been resilient inovercoming barriers to success, many have not. According to Roderick‘s (2003) study, theoverrepresentation of African American males in the areas of Special Education, disciplinereferrals, low performance on standardized tests, and high drop-out rates have become a growingconcern. The study revealed that African American males declined academically and wereviewed more negatively by their teachers in the ninth grade than African American females. The implication is that unless the nation‘s schools serve the African American malepopulation with the intention of establishing trust and empathy, the fight to restore youngAfrican American males as contributors to the educational system will look dismal. In additionto social and political factors that have served as barriers to success, Noguera (2003) argues thatrelated forces such as culture and the environment pose serious problems for African Americanmales as well. In reviewing the literature, a growing body of research (Ladson-Billings, 1999; Noguera,2003; Roderick, 2003) has identified risk factors that negatively impact African American males,and ultimately, the pool of potential future leaders. Witherspoon (2011) examined the factors thatcontributed to the recruitment and retainment of African American students and leadership stylesof the academic environment that assist in the nurturing and promotion of African Americancollege growth. Some emergent themes were: support, generational differences, and socialatmosphere. Recommendations included the need to empower African American males to pursueeducation and have a positive outlook in coping with challenges. Studies on the lived experiences, contributions, and influence of successful African
  • 66. 54American male senior educational leaders at an HBCU in Southwest Texas were not discovered.While present literature has placed a significant focus on the underrepresentation of AfricanAmerican females in executive positions in higher education (Jackson, 2001), there is much to belearned about the nature and relevance of African American male leadership at institutions ofhigher learning. The researcher sought to add to the body of literature by providing voice toseven African American senior male educational leaders who have developed leadershipcharacteristics and qualities through adversities, yet were successful in their professions. The researcher hoped to understand the meaning of leadership and its influence on theschool community through the perceptions of the seven participants. The ascertainment of thisinformation may help the researcher to extrapolate strategies that could help young Black maleyouth overcome negative factors and choose better alternatives in the attainment of their goalsthrough successful mentorship. The study was guided by the following theories. CRT will be the lens through which theresearcher will examine race-related experiences described by the participants, to determine ifthe theory was consistent with the literature and their stories. Resilience theory will seek todescribe what the participants had to overcome and how they stayed the course in the attainmentof their goals. Qualitative studies emerge over time as they unravel to capture the essence of a phenomenon.Qualitative researchers suggest a flexible, open format in contrast to an inflexible, structuredquantitative approach to research (Creswell, 2008; Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006; Moustakas, 1994).
  • 67. Chapter III Methodology While social mobility has not been privy to African Americans have not been privy tosocial mobility without a struggle, the fight has been even more difficult for African Americanmales. Risk factors such as social, political, and educational inequality continue to serve asbarriers for African American male students, professors, and administrators (Roderick, 2003;Smith et al., 2004; Tillman, 2004). These barriers have contributed to and continue to contribute to stifling some AfricanAmerican males‘ desire to rise above these challenges and serve in a leadership capacity(Tillman, 2004). Given the history and lack of any literature that features the lives of successfulAfrican American male educational leaders, the researcher wanted to know how she coulddevelop greater insight on how African American males overcome such barriers. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to conduct a phenomenological investigation that gavevoice to seven African American male leaders. The study examined the emergence ofeducational leadership and its impact on African American males as perceived, experienced andexercised by African American male administrators of a Historically Black College andUniversity (HBCU) in Southwest Texas. The following research questions guided the study:1. What was the evolution of leadership over the past three decades of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwest Historically Black College and University?2. What critical moments in history have impacted the educational leadership style(s) of seven African-American male educational leaders from a Southwest Historically Black College and 55
  • 68. 56 University?3. Which leaders from the past have left an impression on seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?4. In the face of social, political, or racial adversities, what influenced the decisions of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?5. What is the essence of the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?6. How has the leadership of seven senior African American male educational leaders influenced students, policy, the development of programs, strategies, and curriculum from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University? Chapter three described the qualitative methodology used for the study and gave therationale for the methodological selection. The research design and the role of the researcherwere detailed in this chapter as well. Methodology According to Creswell (2007), within the framework of a phenomenological study: The researcher brings his or her perspective and realities into the study in order to position themselves, while connecting and deepening their understanding of the problem position themselves, while connecting and deepening their understanding of the problem from various participants. (pp. 11-21) The approach to the study involved one of five qualitative approaches to research whichwas called phenomenology. The design of the study began with the history and validity ofqualitative research and was concluded with the phenomenological research design.
  • 69. 57 The researcher chose a hermeneutic phenomenology as the qualitative design for thestudy based upon the work of Fraenkel and Wallen (2006), which involves the researcher―investigating various reactions to, or perceptions of, a particular phenomenon. The researcherseeks to gain some insight into the world of her participants to describe their perceptions andreactions‖ (p. 436). The researcher did not choose the narrative approach for this study becausethe researcher‘s purpose was not to develop stories about the participant‘s life but to describe the―essence‖ of the participant‘s lived experiences (Creswell, 2007). The grounded theory approachwas not suitable for this study because the researcher was not developing a theory grounded indata from the field (Creswell, 2007). Ethnography was eliminated because the researcher did notdescribe how a culture-sharing group works. A case study was unsuitable for this study becausethe researcher was not studying one or more cases of an event, program, or individual. Fraenkel and Wallen (2006) describe methodology as a process that involves principlesand procedures by which the researcher approaches problems and seeks answers to thephenomenon in question. The components are as follows:1. The natural setting is the direct source of data, and the researcher is the key instrument in qualitative research.2. Qualitative data are collected in the form of words or pictures rather than numbers.3. Qualitative researchers are concerned with process as well as product.4. Qualitative researchers tend to analyze their data inductively and,5. How people make sense out of their lives is a major concern to qualitative researchers. (p. 430-431) The researcher conducted the study within a six month time-frame. Two months were setaside to gain participant consent, revise the interview instrument, and conduct the interview
  • 70. 58process. Another two months was dedicated to transcribing the audio/visual tapes of seveninterview sessions. The remaining two months were used to analyze and establish datacomplexity used for triangulation purposes. The final two months involved organizing andanalyzing the data collected. The researcher completed the study by reporting the results offindings and making recommendations for further study. Research Design The research design for this study was hermeneutic phenomenology. According toCreswell (2007), phenomenological study ―describes the meaning for several individuals of theirlived experiences of a concept or a phenomenon. Phenomenologist‘s focus on describing what allparticipants have in common as they experience a phenomenon‖ (pp. 57-58). Manen (1990)describes hermeneutic phenomenology as ―different from almost every other science in that itattempts to gain insightful descriptions of the way we experience the world pre-reflectively,without taxonomizing, classifying, or abstracting it‖ (p. 9). A qualitative model was used for this study which included demographic data,interviews, observations, and participant vitas. Demographic information was collected,examined, and triangulated to capture the background of each participant‘s lived experience. The interviewing process was organized into three stages. Seidman (2006) suggests aseries of stages for qualitative phenomenological interviewing. Interview one focused on the lifehistory of the participant. Interview two described the details of the experience, and interviewthree reflected on the meaning the participants divulged from the experience with thephenomenon. Approaches to qualitative research have evolved since the 1990s and currently involvefive accepted designs. The object of a phenomenological qualitative research approach is to
  • 71. 59move from individual experiences with a certain phenomenon to a collective or global outlookregarding the phenomenon (Creswell, 2007). Hermeneutic Phenomenological research design begins with a phenomenon or humanexperience to be studied. The researcher then collects data on the individuals who haveexperienced this phenomenon (while bracketing out his or her assumptions) and thus, develops adetailed description of the participant‘s experiences in the form of textural and structuraldescriptions (Creswell, 2007; Manen, 1990; Moustakas, 1994). These descriptions are then coded using common themes to capture the essence of thephenomenon. Units or themes help capture the essences of the phenomenon. The essence of theexperience is then captured and transcribed into a narrative report which may include tables,charts, or dialogue (Creswell, 2007, Moustakas, 1994; & Manen, 1990). The researcher used the principles of qualitative and phenomenological methodologyspecifically. The researcher described and explained the experiences and influence of sevenAfrican American male leaders of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) whoovercame societal and personal adversities during the pursuit of their careers as educationalleaders. Three major databases were searched in attempt to discover a study focusing on AfricanAmerican male leader and their impact at an HBCU with 30 years of experience. The searchrevealed no such studies. This study was unique in that it sought to describe the contributionsand influence of African American male educational leaders at an HBCU. The demonstration ofeffective leadership and resilience in overcoming barriers, has allowed these seven men tobecome role models and pivotal leaders in their communities. Through the usage of hermeneutic phenomenology, this study allowed the voices of
  • 72. 60seven African American male leaders to share the history of their legacy. The re-telling of theirstories and personal experiences in educational leadership at the oldest state supported HBCU inTexas added to the body of literature that was significantly void of successful experiences byAfrican American male leaders in higher education. Subjects of the Study Seven participants were selected based upon criterion sampling. Criterion samplingstrategies of qualitative inquiry typology by Miles and Hubbner, as cited in Creswell (2008),define criterion sampling as ―all cases that meet some criterion; useful for quality assurance‖(p. 127). The following criteria were used to determine the participants for the study: AfricanAmerican male, educational leaders or teachers who became leaders at a Southwestern HBCU inTexas, served the university for 30 or more years, and currently serves as an educational leader atthe same Southwestern HBCU. Successful African American male leaders would include theattainment of a doctoral degree, stabilization of employment at the same institution, held or isholding an educational leadership position at the university used in the study. According to Moustakas (1994), qualitative research rests on ethical standards thatinvolve establishing agreements, gaining informed consent, protecting confidentiality, anddeveloping safeguard procedures on behalf of each participant. A letter was given and usedthroughout the entire study in order to maintain the participants‘ confidentiality. Participantswere advised of their right to discontinue the study if they feel the need to do so. Instrumentation The study required the use of four forms of data: demographic information, interviewquestions, observations, and vitas. In qualitative research methodology, the researcher acts as the
  • 73. 61primary instrument in the data collection process (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2007). The sevenparticipants of the study completed a demographic instrument that included familial, educational,and occupational information [see Appendix A]. Each participant was asked to complete ademographic instrument prior to scheduling interviews. The instrument includes 30 questionsand took approximately 30 minutes to complete. The researcher scheduled three face-to-face in-depth interview sessions with eachparticipant [see Appendix B] comprised of open-ended and semi-structured interview questions.The same questions were asked of each participant, and when necessary, a follow-up question forclarification to a previous response. According to Seidman (2006), in-depth phenomenological interviews combine lifeexperience with focused in-depth probing designed to recreate the phenomenon the participantshave experienced. In-depth phenomenological interviews are described as open-endedquestioning that guides the building and exploring process of the participant‘s experiences. Theobjective is to help the participant reconstruct the phenomenon of the study. Open-ended questions allow more freedom for responses and create follow-upopportunities for the researcher. In qualitative research, open-ended questions are designed togive voice to participants of a study without the bias of the researcher or literature review. Thecharacteristics of open-ended questions include pre-determined wording and questions,participants are asked the same questions in the same order, and all questions are completelyopen-ended in structure (Creswell, 2008; Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006). Fraenkel and Wallen (2006) describe experience or behavioral interview type as what theparticipant is now experiencing with the phenomenon or has experienced in the past. For thepurpose of the study, interview questions were experience or behavioral in nature. The researcher
  • 74. 62interviewed African American male educational leaders who shared their past and presentexperiences and behaviors which led to their success. Each interview session was audio taped with the participant‘s consent. The researcherused an interview protocol [see Appendix C] that included the research questions and space towrite notes or responses. The audio tapes were later transcribed by the researcher. An observational protocol [see Appendix D] was created by the researcher for thepurpose of recording information on the service of the participants. The participants wereobserved in their office environment. Observations helped the researcher establish thecomplexity of African American male leadership while assisting in data triangulation. Creswell(2008) defines observations as ―the process of gathering open-ended, firsthand information byobserving people and places at a research site‖ (p. 220). During the observation process, theresearcher participated in observation activities that involved contribution and leadershipartifacts within the office of the seven participants. According to Fraenkel and Wallen (2007), a researcher may act as an outsider or non-participant while conducting an observation. The researcher served as an on-looker. Participantsmay have full, partial, or no knowledge of the observation and its purpose. The focus of theobservation may be narrow (focusing on one element) or broad (focusing on many elements) inscope. The participants were observed one day, for a thirty- minute duration. The purpose of theobservation was to capture dialogue from an artifact that may answer various research questionsof the study. Hammersley and Atkinson, (as cited in Creswell 2008), define a gatekeeper as ―anindividual who has an official or unofficial role at the site, provides entrance to the site, helpsresearchers locate people, and assist in the identification of places to study‖ (p. 219). The
  • 75. 63researcher gained access to the observation site through a gate-keeper, who served as theparticipant‘s administrative assistant or secretary. These individuals were helpful incommunicating with the participants on times, locations, and activities in which the participantscould be observed. The observations included artifacts such as photos, letters of excellence in leadershipfrom supervisors, peers, and former students, plaques, awards/programs honoring theparticipants, and public documents were video-taped at the participants‘ office or home. Inaddition, each participant was asked to provide an updated vita that included work history,publications, and honors. Once the six month study began, the researcher delivered the consent forms and theinterview questions. Creswell (2007) and Guba and Lincoln (1985) discuss advocacy/participatory worldview as an inquiry approach that includes social issues (i.e., racism,oppression, inequality) that help frame the research questions. According to Kemmis andWilkinson (as cited in Creswell, 2007), advocacy/participatory studies are collaborative becausethe participants are engaged in helping the researcher uncover the phenomenon in question. According to Creswell (2007), researchers ―may ask participants to help with designingthe questions, collecting and analyzing the data, and shaping the final report of the research. Inthis way, the ―voice‖ of the participants becomes heard throughout the research process‖ (p. 20). The participation of the participants brought a degree of expertise in the field ofeducational leadership based upon years of leadership experience in higher education. Accordingto Fraenkel and Wallen (2006), expert opinions derive from people who are experts in their fieldand have a wealth of knowledge about a certain topic, depending on their credentials, studies, orexperiences. The researcher and the participants who desired to do so, met to discuss the data
  • 76. 64once it was retrieved. Validity and Reliability of the Data While conducting the actual study, the researcher collaborated with the seven participantsof the study in reviewing the interview instrument to check for ambiguity, repetition, orrelevancy of the questions. The researcher then modified or adjusted the instrument (Creswell,2008). The interview questions were revised (See Appendix H) and interview sessions werescheduled with the participants of the study. Seven African American male educational leadersthat are gainfully employed at the location of the study completed three comprehensive interviewsessions. Moustakas (1994) suggests that researchers can validate their study through examination,synthesis, or revision of statements obtained by the participants. The researcher allowed eachparticipant to carefully review their individual transcribed interview responses based upon thedescription of their experience. The participants were allowed to make additions or subtractionsthey felt were necessary. The researcher then revised the participant‘s suggestions in order toexpand the qualities and meaning of leadership from an African American male administrator‘sperspective. According to Fraenkel and Wallen (2006), ―qualitative researchers use a number oftechniques, therefore, to check their perceptions to ensure that they are not being misinformed-that they are, in fact, seeing (and hearing) what they think they are‖ (p. 462). To add validity andreliability to a study, a researcher may collect a variety of instruments for checking and/ortriangulation: ask one or more participants to review the accuracy of the research (memberchecking), consult an outsider of the study to read and assess the report, use audio/videotapes,and observe the setting or individuals over a period of time (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006).
  • 77. 65 Procedures After approval from the IRB (see Appendix E), the researcher met briefly with the sevenparticipants to discuss the study and explained their role as outlined in the consent forms [seeAppendix F and G] should they agree to participate. The researcher distributed the consent formswhich included permission to conduct the study and video/audio-tape the interview, ademographic protocol, and a copy of their curriculum vita. Each participant reviewed and signedthe consent form, completed the demographic survey, and provided a copy of their vita. Theinterviews and observations were audio/video recorded based-upon consent from theparticipants. Interviews are critical to qualitative research and may require participants to revealsubstantial information about their lived experiences, which may cause participants to becomevulnerable during the interview process. Therefore, Fraenkel and Wallen (2006) believe that ―itis ethically desirable in this instance for interviewers to require participants to sign an informedconsent form‖ (p. 462). According to Fraenkel and Wallen (2006), demographic questions are ―routine sorts ofquestions about the background characteristics of the respondents, which includes questionsabout education, previous occupation, age, income, and the like‖ (p. 457). After three weeks, theresearcher collected the consent forms, demographic instrument, interview protocol, and vitafrom each participant. Upon the first interview session, the demographic surveys were collected by theresearcher who later organized the data into individual profiles that provided the background ofeach participant‘s journey toward leadership. The demographic surveys were broken intofamilial, educational, and occupational categories. Each participant‘s profile contained only the
  • 78. 66information they chose to answer according to the questions on the demographic survey. The researcher conducted the interviews sessions from December 2010 to February of2011. For participants in which it was applicable, the researcher called or stopped by the gate-keeper‘s office to set-up a brief meeting with the participant to discuss a date for interviews.After mutual consent on a designated time, the researcher scheduled three 60 to 90 minute or a120 minute to 180 minute interview(s), depending on the participants schedule and time. The majority of the interviews were conducted at a mutually agreed location. Theresearcher recorded all interview responses from the revised interview instrument (see AppendixH) in a pre-designed interview protocol that helped the researcher organize and recordinformation shared by the participant. The pre-designed protocol included the interviewquestions and room for responses. A pre-interview protocol allowed the researcher to organizethoughts on the interview process, concluding remarks, and appreciation of the participants time(Creswell, 2007). The first interview set the historical context of the participant‘s experience. The secondinterview reconstructed the experiences, and the third interview called for the participant toreflect and describe what the experience meant to them. During the initial interview, theresearcher sought to put the participants experience in context by allowing the participants toshare as much as possible about the phenomenon and its impact on their past and present state.The participants were allowed to go as far back into their past lives to their present position at thestudy site within the 120 to 180 minute time-frame of the interview. Since the participants areeducational leaders, the researcher asked the participants to re-construct experiences about theirfamily, community, mentors, education, barriers, and contributions that helped frame their lives(Seidman, 2006).
  • 79. 67 The second interview phase concentrated on the social context of the participantsexperience as educational administrators by asking the participants to provide details about theirjourney to educational leadership. The researcher set these experiences in social context byasking participants to describe relationships with family, mentors, and community thatinfluenced their decisions to become educational leaders. Participants were asked to describememorable experiences in their rise to leadership in order to elicit the details of the experiences(Seidman, 2006). The third interview phase reflected on the meaning of the experiences for each participantand how those experiences form the type of leaders they were in the past, are at the present, andwill be in the future. The combination of examining past events that guided the participant to thepresent status, followed by detailed descriptions of their present experiences, set the context forthe manner in which participants have perceived the impact of their mentors who inspired themand their influence on African American males in the school community in which they interact.The three interview stages helped participants in the decisions of selecting experiencesmeaningful to them, chronicling these experiences, and drawing meaning from their experiences(Seidman, 2006). Although the researcher allowed 60 to 90 minutes for each of the three interviewsessions, five of the seven participants chose to answer all interview questions in one setting.According to Schuman (as cited in Seidman, 2006), interviews conducted within an hour may betoo short or make the process time-focused which may diminish the quality of the interview.Therefore 120-180 minutes allowed each participant the time to feel that the information theyshared was valuable to the study. After each interview session, the researcher made a list of follow-up questions for the
  • 80. 68next interview for participants who chose to spread their interviews over a three week period.Once all interview sessions were completed, the researcher collected, organized, and codifiedeach interview with the seven participants. The audio tapes were transcribed and the video-tapewas used to capture the essence of each participants lived experiences/contributions throughletters and pictures with dignitaries, awards and plaques for demonstration for outstandingservice as teachers and leaders, proclamations, and letters from former students. Once the interview sessions were completed, the researcher transcribed the data verbatimby using Dragon dictation software. Three weeks later, the researcher returned the transcriptionsto each participant to review, add or delete comments, and check for accuracy. Once thetranscriptions were returned with revisions, the researcher began writing each participantsresponse to the six research questions in a narrative format. Once the interviews weretranscribed, the researcher began analyzing each participant‘s response by isolating eachinterview question, working from a narrow to broad perspective, and capturing common ideals,words, or experiences among the seven participants. The responses to the demographic instrument were analyzed based upon the commonthemes that emerged. After all the interviews were completed, the researcher scheduledobservation sessions at each participant‘s office/home. The observations were conducted tocreated dialogue regarding experiences, demonstrations, and contributions of the participant‘sleadership legacy. The seven African American male educational leaders of the study were observed by theresearcher in and around their respective office environments. Each participant was observed oneday for a 30 minute period. The researcher observed the participants‘ leadership influence/contributions through artifacts in the participants‘ environment. The researcher assumed the role
  • 81. 69of an outsider who video-taped and observed the participants‘ pictures and artifacts at theobservation site (Creswell, 2007). After the observations were completed, the researcher thankedthe participants for their time and the data collected. Field notes include what the researcher sees, hear, and feel as they are collecting andreflecting on data during the interview or observation process. Descriptive field notes includedobservations about the participants‘ responses to the interviews and observations. Reflective fieldnotes included what the researcher was thinking as observations and interviews were conducted.Although the field notes were not reported in the data, they aided the researcher in reflecting onthe sense of pride the participants displayed as they re-lived a history of accomplishment foroutstanding service to the university. Creswell (2007) suggests data collection may also include document research such asarchival materials, biographies, or participant journals. Artifacts such as family and careerphotos, letters of recognition, copies of certificates/awards, and audio-visuals were used to helpcapture the essence of the seven participants lived experiences as educational leaders. In addition to observations of significant accomplishments and awards, the researcherfurther triangulated the data by collecting a curriculum vita from the seven participants. Theparticipants‘ vita was analyzed by extracting information that confirmed positions/contributionsor was not included during the interview session. Once the data was collected, the researcherorganized the interview and demographic responses, observations, and the participants‘ vitas fordata analysis purposes. Data Analysis Creswell (2007) describes the qualitative data analysis process as a spiral which includesa multiple of analytical circles rather than a linear fixed approach. Creswell describes inductive
  • 82. 70data analysis as the following: The researcher works back and forth between themes and the database until they establish a comprehensive set of themes. It may also involve collaborating with the participants interactively, so that they have a chance to shape the themes or abstractions that emerge from the process. (pp. 38-39) The data analysis process began with organizing the voluminous amount of datacollected. The researcher transcribed the participant‘s response from each interview session.These two forms of organizing the data assisted the researcher in creating text units such aswords, sentences, or a story. According to Seidman (2006), researchers reduce in-depth interviewdata inductively, ―with an open attitude and seeking what emerges as important or of interest tothe text‖ (p. 117). The next phase of data analysis included the researcher scanning all interview responses,field notes, artifacts, vitas, and demographic instruments to capture key concepts for commonthemes. Table 1 includes the six research questions that guided the study and the data collectioninstruments. The letters ―IQ‖ represent each interview question as they align with each researchquestion. An X represents data used for triangulation. The research questions were answered inthe following manner: Research question one was answered by interview question one of the interview instruments. The observations, artifacts, and vitas were used for triangulation and verification purposes. Research question two was answered by interview questions two. Research question three was answered by interview question four. Research question four was answered by interview question three.
  • 83. 71 Research question five was answered by interview questions seven and eight. Research question six was answered by interview question six. The information from the participants‘ observations, vitas, and artifacts were used for triangulation purposes.Table 1Data CollectionQuestion No. Interview Instrument Observations of Artifacts VitaResearch Question 1 IQ 1 X XResearch Question 2 IQ 2Research Question 3 IQ 4Research Question 4 IQ 3Research Question 5 IQ 7 & 8Research Question 6 IQ 5& 6 X XNote. Research questions will be answered by the interview instrument (IQ). The X represents data that will be usedfor triangulation. Demographic information and a Vita will also be collected. The analysis of the data was guided by Critical Race, Resilience, and mentorshiptheories. The process began by bracketing or suspending the researcher‘s personal biasconcerning leadership. The researcher read and horizontalized the transcribed interviewresponses and observations by describing how the participants had experienced leadership. From Polkinghorn‘s view, as cited in Creswell (2007), ―horizontalization includeshighlighting ―significant statements‖ sentences, or quotes that provide an understanding of howthe participant experienced the phenomenon‖ (p. 61). The researcher then took the statementsand developed ―textural and structural‖ descriptions which described what and how eachparticipant experienced life as an educational leader. To capture the essence of the experience,the researcher then combined the textural and structural descriptions into detailed paragraphs
  • 84. 72which describes to the reader what and how the participants experienced the phenomenon(Creswell, 2007; Moustakas, 1994). Triangulation was employed to validate the findings. The researcher used secondary data,such as observations, demographic information, artifacts, and vitas. Creswell (2008) suggeststhat secondary data observations, expert opinion, and artifacts assist in the triangulation of datadesigned to validate the accuracy and credibility of the research report. Fraenkel and Wallen(2006) state that ―triangulation involves checking what one hears and sees by comparing one‘ssources of information—do they agree?‖ (p. 521). Once the data was analyzed, the results werereported through a combination of narration and tables. Summary Chapter three described the methodology for this study by defining the research design,participant selection and description, data collection method, and analysis. In addition, chapterthree provided the reader with a restatement of the purpose of the study, research questions, andthe role of the researcher.
  • 85. Chapter IV Data Analysis Chapter four contains the narration of the historical, social, and reflective aspects ofleadership among seven African American male educational leaders and how they overcamebarriers in the attainment of their career goals. The seven participants currently serve at anHBCU as administrators, educators, or both. The study was positioned at, one of the oldest public Historically Black College andUniversity (HBCU) in Texas. It began as a land grant college, after the Board of Directorspurchased the lands of the Alta Vista Plantation, with an agricultural/mechanical and teacherpreparation educational curriculum. The institution was established as a school for coloredYouth.‖ In 1879, Texas Legislature approved that the university was to prepare and train teachers(Dethloff, 1975; Jackson, 2007; Woolfolk, 1986). Through turbulent years of financial hardship during its formative years, the universityovercame through the leadership of outstanding African American principals, who were latergranted the title of ―president‖ (Jackson, 2007; Woolfolk, 1986). Currently, the institution sits onover 1,300 acres with an enrollment of more than 8,000 students. Students come from all overthe nation, and even from foreign countries to attend this HBCU. Since the university opened itsdoors in 1876, around 46,000 degrees have been earned by students who have attended theuniversity (Dethloff, 1975; Jackson, 2007; Woolfolk, 1986). The institution‘s mission is to be an institution dedicated to excellence in teaching,research, and service. The university addresses issue and proposes solutions through programsand services that respond to the needs of the students and the community while preparingundergraduate students in their fields of study, providing advanced education through masters 73
  • 86. 74programs, and by further advancing students in doctoral programs (Dethloff, 1975; Jackson,2007; Woolfolk, 1986). The data in chapter four was presented in four parts. The first part was comprised ofindividual profiles, including family history, education, employment, scholarlyworks/publications, presentations, grants, awards/honors, and offices held; the second partincluded the narrative responses of each participant. The interview responses were presented byresearch and interview questions; the third part contained researcher observations for the purposeof triangulation. Observations included artifacts which were found in each participant‘s office;the fourth part concluded with a summary aligning the theoretical frameworks (Critical RaceTheory, Resiliency Theory, and Mentorship) with participant responses. The Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to conduct a phenomenological investigation that gavevoice to seven African American male leaders. The study examined the emergence ofeducational leadership and its impact on African American males as perceived, experienced andexercised by African American administrators of an HBCU in Southwest Texas. The study was guided by the following qualitative research questions:1. What was the evolution of leadership over the past three decades of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?2. What critical moments in history have impacted the educational leadership styles(s) of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?3. Which leaders from the past have left an impression on seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?
  • 87. 754. In the face of social, political, or racial adversities, what influenced the decisions of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?5. What is the essence of the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?6. How has the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders influenced student, policy, development of programs, strategies, and curriculum from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University? Data Analysis The data analysis process began with uploading all audio-taped interviews into theresearcher‘s computer. An individual file was created for each participant with the letter Arepresenting participant1, letter B for participant 2, letter C for participant 3, letter D forparticipant 4, letter E for participant 5, letter F for participant 6, and letter G for participant 7. Asimilar file was created for the participants‘ observations of artifacts as well. The data analysis process involved an extensive amount of time with the data andnumerous comparisons of the participants‘ responses to each research question. Since qualitativeresearch depends heavily on the researcher‘s viewpoint, numerous techniques, such astriangulation, reflective journals, expert opinion, external auditing, audio/visual taping, andextended observations over a period of time assure validity and reliability (Fraenkel and Wallen,2006). The researcher began by separating each participant‘s response to each interviewquestion which directly linked to a corresponding research question. This process was used forthe remaining seven interview questions, which totaled 56 individual responses that addressed
  • 88. 76the eight questions of inquiry. Each participant‘s response to each interview question wasanalyzed extensively, omitting irrelevant information while extracting the most vivid responsesthat would capture the essence of the phenomenology in question. This process continued foreach interview question until all responses were exhausted. After the responses were analyzed, the researcher then categorized the participants‘responses into a collective group of common themes, since no emergent themes divulged. Oncecommon themes were identified, the researcher used narration and tables to present the interviewdata. The demographic survey was used as an introduction to the background history of each ofthe seven participants. Observations of artifacts for contributions were used for validatingvarious facts stated in the interview responses, demographic survey, and curriculum vita of eachparticipant. Therefore, the researcher triangulated the data as previously mentioned, askedparticipants to review the accuracy of the report, and consulted an outsider to conduct an audit onthe report. The Participants The participants completed and returned the demographic survey that contained familial,educational, and occupational information, which was developed into an individual profile foreach participant. The data was then organized and compiled in Table 2. The survey revealed thatout of the seven participants, six were married and one widowed. Four out of the sevenparticipants came from a middle class family; two grew up at the lower class status and oneparticipant made no response to the question. In the attainment of their undergraduate degree,five out of the seven participants attended a public HBCU in various states, while one attended apublic Predominately White Institution (PWI), and another a private Historically Black Collegeand University (HBCU).
  • 89. 77Table 2Demographic Information Economic First Marital Status as Undergraduate PhD Position in Current Job Years atParticipant Status Youth University University Education Title PVAMU Vice Lower Public Research A Married Public PWI President and 33 Class PWI Assistant Dean Private Certification B Widowed X Public HBCU Instructor 55 PWI Director Lower Public Assistant C Married Public HBCU Professor 34 Class PWI Professor Middle Public Teaching D Married Public HBCU Professor 34 Class PWI Assistant Head of Dean Middle Public E Married Private HBCU Biology Emeritus and 58 Class PWI Department Professor Middle Public Distinguished F Married Public HBCU Instructor 44 Class PWI Professor Instructor/ Middle Public Distinguished G Married Public HBCU Army 36 Class PWI Professor OfficerNote. X denotes that the participant had no response for the question; PWI= Predominantly White Institution;HBCU= Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Respectively, six out of seven participants completed their terminal degrees at a PWI, andonly one participant selected a private PWI. Six of the seven participants began their careers in
  • 90. 78education in the teaching field, and one began as an administrator and leader at the institution.Three out of seven participants currently serve as instructors, two as distinguished professors,one is the Vice President of Research and Dean, and one holds the title as Dean Emeritus andprofessor. Two of the seven participants have served the institution from 55 to 58 years, one for44 years, and four between 33-36 years. Research Participants: Individual/Participant Profiles The seven participants of the study were administered a demographic survey after thecompletion of the form granting their consent to participate in the study. The participants wereasked to complete the demographic survey which included familial, educational, andoccupational information. The participants were asked to bring the survey back during theinterview session(s). All seven participants returned the demographic instrument containing theinformation they chose to answer. The following narrative gives an account of the writtenresponses which established the background information of each participant.Participant A Family history. Participant A is married with three children. He grew up with his parentsand his great aunt. His mother attended school through the tenth grade and his father attendedschool through the eighth grade. He grew up in a rural area and considers his family to have beenlower class. He received support from his local community including his: parents, grandparents,siblings, church, and teachers. The support he received for college and his involvement in thefight for equality was in the form of prayers, money, and acts of encouragement Education. Participant A received his undergraduate degree from Stephen F. AustinState University, which is a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). His major field of study wasbiology and his minor field of study was political science. He received a scholarship to attend
  • 91. 79Stephen F. Austin State University. He earned his Master‘s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. His major fieldof study was biology and his minor field of study was in secondary education. He chose thisuniversity for his Masters because of the proximity to his community. He earned his PhD from Purdue University, which is a public PWI. He chose this type ofuniversity because it had the program of his choice and the university participated in researchthat was of interest to him. Employment. Participant A first began teaching as a high school biology teacher. Hepursued a career in education because he felt that it was his calling. His first leadership positionin education was in the Houston Teacher Association as Consultation Committee Chair.Currently, he is the Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate School. He has served asVice President for ten years and as Dean for less than one year. He has a total of thirty-threeyears of experience in higher education all of which have been served at the same university. Awards and honors. Participant A has been recognized for his accomplishments overthe years. A few of his awards include the following: The Thurgood Marshall College FundDevelopment Officer Award (2006), The Distinguished Service Award from The Council ofHistorically Black Graduate Schools (1999), the Service Award from The Texas LeadershipInstitute, Inc. (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002), and the University Outstanding Leadership Award(1993). Offices held. Participant A has been a participant of many different committees, boards,and councils. He is currently Chair of the Science and Engineering Alliance Steering Committee,a member of the Texas Medical Center Council of Research Directors, a member of the Board ofDirectors, Councilor of the Texas A&M Research Foundation, and a member of the Capital
  • 92. 80Campaign Steering Committee, University Co-Chair of the University Industry Cluster and amember of the Board of Directors of the Texas Society for Biomedical Research. Since 1974 he has served in a multitude of other positions including: President andSecretary of the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools, a member of the Department ofEducational Leadership and Counseling Tenure and Promotions Committee, and participant inthe Texas Academic Skills Program Standards Setting Conference.Participant B Family history. Participant B is widowed and from that union has two children. He isalso a proud grandfather and great-grandfather. Education. Participant B earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from SouthernUniversity, a public HBCU, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His major field of study was industrialeducation. He chose Southern University because he received an athletic scholarship. He earned his Master of Science Degree from Bradley University, a private PWI, inPeoria, Illinois. He chose Bradley University because it was the best in the country for his major. He earned his PhD from Syracuse University, which is a private PWI, in Syracuse, NewYork. He also served in the United States Army for three years. Employment. Participant B first began working as Head/instructor of the Department ofAudio Visual Education and Photography. He went into the field of education because he feels asthough it was his calling. He also served the university as Track Public Address Announcer,Chief Clerk of the Course, Chief Finish Judge, and a member of the Sports Official Associationduring the time of the State Interscholastic League. Currently, he is the Director of TeacherCertification and Professor of Educational Research in the Department of EducationalLeadership and Counseling.
  • 93. 81 Offices held. Participant B has served in a variety of different positions over the past 55years including: Chairman of the Commencement Committee, Chairman of the TeacherEducation Admission Committee, Member of the Faculty Senate, Member of the GraduateCouncil, Department Head of Curriculum and Foundation, and Educational Media andTechnology, Dean, Director of the Learning Resources Center, Chairman of the SouthwesternAthletic Conference Hall of Fame Selection Committee, University Commencement Marshall.He has also served as a member of the Waller Independent School Districts‘ Board of Trusteesfor 10 ½ years. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of a Federal Credit Union. Awards and honors. In 2010, Participant B was awarded ―The Scroll of Honor‖ fromthe Omega Psi Phi Fraternity for outstanding achievement during their Fantastic 40th anniversarycelebration. In 1992, he was honored by the University Judiciary Appeals Panel for more than 15years of service and effective assurance that all students received proper procedure and dueprocess. Numerous letters from former students were retrieved which acknowledged and thankedParticipant B for being a great teacher and role model. His office is surrounded by 30 or moreelephant figurines, which is the mammal he feels that best represents his leadership style...powerunder control. He notes that each elephant was chosen by each student as a symbol of what hemeans to them. He is the namesake of a street on campus. In 2008, he was inducted into theWilliam Parker Leadership Academy Hall of Fame. In the spring of 2011, Participant B wasselected as a member of the inaugural class of the Chancellor‘s Academy of Teacher Educators,which acknowledged his excellence in teaching. His observation concluded with a spiritual wallplaque that he uses as a guide in his decision-making process.Participant C Family history. Participant C is married with seven children. He grew up with his
  • 94. 82 parents. His mother attended school through the sixth grade and his father through thefifth grade. He grew up in a rural community and considers his family to have been lower class.He was influenced most by his father and his high school agriculture teacher. He received a lot ofsupport growing up from his close-knit family. Education. Participant C earned his undergraduate degree from the University ofArkansas at Pine Bluff which is a public HBCU. His major field of study was agriculturaleconomics and his minor field of study was agriculture. He chose this university because it wasthe best available at the time. He earned his Master‘s degree at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, a publicPWI. His major field of study was agricultural economics and his minor field of study waseconomics. He chose this university because it offered his field of study. He also earned his PhD from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. He selectedthe university because it had a PhD program for his field of study. Employment. Participant C‘s first position in education was as Assistant Professor atSouthern University-Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He pursued a career in education because he feltas though it was his calling. His first leadership position in education was as Department Head.His experience serving at institutions of higher learning totals 39 years. He has worked at fourinstitutions of higher learning, part-time at two universities and full-time at two universities. He has spent the last thirty-four years serving at the university of the study. His currentposition is Professor of Agricultural Economics. He has served in that position for one and a halfyears. Scholarly work/ publications. Participant C has also published many documents overthe years. Among his publications are ―Biotechnology in Agriculture: The Promise Amidst
  • 95. 83Challenges,‖ in volume 16 of the Agribusiness Review for Latin America and Mexico and ―AnAssessment of Community and Entrepreneurial Development Work at 1890 Land GrantInstitutions at Tuskegee University-A Discussion‖ in the American Journal of AgriculturalEconomics. Presentations. Participant C has been involved in many presentations throughout thecountry. In Milwaukee, WI, he presented ―Mainstreaming Blacks into the AgriculturalEconomics Profession,‖ in 2009. He also presented ―Issues and Hurdles Associated withMotivating Students to move on to Graduate Schools at 1862 and Other Private Institutions‖ in2005, in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2007, he presented at the Annual Staff Training Workshop inHouston, Texas on ―Enhancing Workplace Productivity.‖ Grants. Participant C has been involved in funded research and educational activitiessince 1986. His personal projects over the past 15 years have totaled $2.5 million. The ResearchCenter Projects he has been involved in have raked in approximately $5.4 million in the past 3years. He has been actively involved in many successful USDA/ Capacity Building Grants suchas: ―Project Link: Phase I,‖ ―Project Link: Phase II,‖ ―Advanced Networks: AdvancingAgricultural Science via the Superhighway II,‖ ―Teen Network,‖ and ―Minority Access toProfessional Status.‖ He has also been involved in many planning grants like the ―Center ofExcellence in World Food Distribution Training.‖ Offices held. Participant C has also been involved in many organizations throughout hiscareer. He was Chair of the Experimental Station Committee of Policy, served on manycommittees of the American Agricultural Economics Association, and a participant of USAIDand went on various missions in Cameroon, Mali, West Africa, Jamaica, and Mexico.
  • 96. 84Participant D Family history. Participant D is married with four children. He grew up with his motherand father. Both parents attended high school. He lived in a rural community in a middle classfamily. His parents were very supportive of his education. They provided all the materialsnecessary for his success: encouragement, Boy Scout uniforms, musical instruments, food, andgood clothes. The church also helped to shape his career path. Education. Participant D earned his undergraduate degree from a public HBCU in Texas.His major field of study was Electrical Engineering. He chose this institution because it wasclose to his home. He earned his Master‘s degree from the University of Missouri, a public PWI. His majorfield of study was Electrical Engineering. He chose this university because of the proximity tohis job. He also earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri. Hetook night classes at this university while he was working. Employment. Participant D first began teaching as a Teaching Assistant in Graduateschool. He pursued a career in education because he felt as though it was his calling. His firstleadership position in education was as Department Head of Electrical Engineering. He hasworked at two institutions of higher learning. Participant D has worked at the same university forthe past 34 years. Currently, he is serving as a professor. Presentations. Participant D presented on ―Project Based Learning for a Digital CircuitsDesign Sequence at HBCUs” in 2007 at the ASEE annual conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, and―Radiation Effects on Non-Volatile Memories” in 2006 at the NASA Office of Logic Design inWashington, D.C. during the MAPLD International Conference.
  • 97. 85 Awards and honors. Participant D received the White House Initiative Award forExcellence in Science and Technology in 1988, by the U.S. Department of Education inWashington, D.C. He also earned the Outstanding Faculty and Staff Award at the 29th NationalAlumni Association Convention in 2003.Participant E Family history. Participant E is married with three children. He grew up with his parentsand his aunt. He was raised in a rural area and considers his family to have been middle class. Hereceived excellent support from his family as a youth. The most influential individuals in his lifewere his father and his aunt. His father attended school through the ninth grade and his auntearned her bachelor‘s degree. He feels as though the community in which he grew up served as amotivational factor which helped shape his career path. Education. Participant E received his undergraduate degree from Fisk University, whichis a private HBCU. His major field of study was biology and his minor field of study was inchemistry. He chose this university for his undergraduate degree because it had a good reputationand it offered what he wanted. He earned his Master‘s degree from Indiana University, which is also a public PWI. Hismajor field of study was Biology and his minor field of study was chemistry. He chose thisinstitution because it met his needs and had a good reputation. He earned his PhD from the University of Iowa, which is a public PWI. He chose thisuniversity because it was the only one available to him at the time. Employment. Participant E first began his career in education at the university of thestudy, as the Head of the Biology Department. He pursued a career in education because he feltas though it was his calling. He has served in a leadership position in higher education for 58
  • 98. 86years, at the same university. His current job titles are Dean Emeritus and Professor of Biology. Scholarly work/publications. Participant E co-authored ―Premedical Advising in Texas‖in the Manual for Premedical Students. He also assisted in the planning and design of the NewScience Building, which was a multimillion dollar project. Awards and honors. Participant E has received many honors throughout his career. Hewas the recipient of: the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award for Teaching Excellence, theUniversity National Alumni Association Faculty Recognition Award, the University TopAchievement Award for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the University DistinguishedProfessor Award. Also, the University System Board of Regents appointed him Dean Emeritusof the College of Arts and Sciences. Participant E was even featured in Who‘s Who in the Southand Southwest; American Men and Women of Science. Offices held. Participant E has been involved with many organizations. He has been amember of: the Baylor College of Medicine Advisory Committee, the National Naval ROTCScholarship Selection Committee, the Core Curriculum Advisory Committee for the TexasHigher Education Coordinating Board, and the Office of Civil Rights Issues. He was also theChairman of the Premedical Advisory Committee for 27 years.Participant F Family history. Participant F is married with one child. He grew up with his parents in arural area. His family owned land on which they grew cotton. He considers his family to havebeen middle class. His mother attended school through the ninth grade. He believes his fatherattended school through the sixth or seventh grade. He was most influenced by his father and oneof his high school teachers. Participant F‘s father schooled him and his siblings up until high
  • 99. 87school. His father continued to push for his children to continue on to higher education. Whilepursuing higher education, he was supported by his wife. Education. Participant F earned his undergraduate and Master‘s degree from theUniversity, a public HBCU. He chose this university for his undergraduate degree because manyof his family members had gone there. He decided to stay at the University for his Master‘sdegree because he was already familiar with all the professors and was unable to attend anotheruniversity. Participant F earned his PhD from the University of Houston, a public PWI. He chose topursue a doctoral degree after gaining encouragement from A.D. Stewart of the University. Hechose the University of Houston because it was closer to his home. Employment. Participant F first began teaching as a teacher of basic math at BeaumontISD in 1962. He pursued a career in education because he felt that it was his calling. His firstleadership position in education was as Department Head. He has continued to serve in highereducation for 44 years all at the same university. His current job title, which he has been servingas for 5 years, is Distinguished Professor of Math. Scholarly work/publications. Participant F‘s master thesis was entitled A Solution of aFirst Order Differential Equation. His dissertation title was A Problem of the Effects of TeachingMathematics Via Individualized Instruction and the Traditional Method to College FreshmanLiberal Arts Majors. Some of his technical papers included: ―An Experiment to Determine theViscosity of Newtonian Liquids‖ (1986), ―Convergence of the Bessell‘s Differential Equation‖(1990), and ―A Mechanical Study of Satellite and Planetary Motion in Cosmic Space‖ (1991) toname a few. Special programs. Participant F has developed and assisted in the development of many
  • 100. 88programs throughout his career. At the university, he coordinated the establishment of threeresearch laboratories and the National Science Foundation Scholarship Program. Awards and honors. Participant F has been recognized for his accomplishments over theyears. A few of his awards include: the international N.I.O.S.D. Excellence Award, the GeneralDynamics Teacher of the Year Award, the University Choice Award- Male Faculty of the Year,the Most Effective Recruiter Achiever Award for the Enrichment Program, and the CampusMentor Award. Offices held. Participant F has been involved in many different positions. Among manyothers, he was the Chairman of the Mathematics Department, a member of the Master DegreeThesis Committee, a Mathematics Coordinator of E.C.I., a Mathematics Director of M.I.T.E., aCoordinator and Instructor for the Federal Aviation Administration Institute, and a Coordinatorof Engineering Mathematics.Participant G Family history. Participant G is married with two children. He grew up with his parentsand siblings in a rural community. He considers his family to have been middle class. His fatherpursued higher education and went on to earn his Master‘s degree. He received very strongfamily support at a young age and throughout his career. As a youth, he was most encouraged bysuccessful university coaches and professors. Education. Participant G earned his bachelor‘s degree from a public HBCU. His majorfield of study was Agricultural Education and his minor field of study was biology. He chose thisuniversity because he believed it was the best available. He earned his Masters and PhD from the University of Florida, which is a public PWI.He was recruited to this university and awarded the Rockefeller Fellowship. His major field of
  • 101. 89study was microbiology/ molecular biology. Employment. Participant G first began a career in education as a high school scienceteacher. He made up his mind to pursue education while in high school because he felt it was hiscalling. His first leadership position in education was as the director of an adult education center.Throughout his career he has served at two institutions of higher learning. His current title isDistinguished Professor of Biology. He has served in this position for 36 years. Scholarly work/publications. Participant G is currently using the Human GenomeProject databases to study gene expression. He does his research without research support funds.He has had many publications over the years which have been used in annual meetings across thenation. Presentations. Participant G participated in the Texas Legislature‘s Panel on the Needfor Increased Medical Education for Minorities as an invited panelist. In a State Capitol hearingroom, he presented data that reversed the State‘s position on the expansion of medical educationin Texas. The report of the Texas Higher Education Board and the panel‘s report lead to a 20%increase of entering class sizes of all Texas medical schools and the establishment of a total offour more medical schools. Grants. Participant G has raised money through grants for the Department of Biologythat totals $4,747,137. The money has contributed to research studies, training programs,laboratory equipment, scholarships, and the Biology Development Fund. Awards and honors. In 2000, Participant G earned the rank of Distinguished Professorof Biology. He was chosen in 1991 and 1992 as the Premedical Advisor of the Year by RegionIII of the Student National Medical Association. In 1993, the Board of Directors of Region III ofthe Student National Medical Association began an award in his honor to the top advisor in the
  • 102. 90region. Offices held. Participant G has been involved in many positions throughout his career.He established a reputation for his leadership in preparing 501 students to become qualifiedmatriculates in the health profession. His success as Department Chair is evidenced by theincreased number of Bachelor of Science graduates in Biology. He also established the BenjaminBanneker Honors College and later replaced the biology component with the Biology HonorsProgram. He was also Chairman of the University Academic Scholarship Committee, whichamong other responsibilities, set policy for the state funded program. Participant G has served throughout the nation as a paid reviewer for grant applications(2003, 2004, and 2006) and as a judge for undergraduate research poster sessions (2006, 2008).He also participated as an invited panelist member throughout the nation on 9 differentoccasions. Currently, he is a leader in the recruiting program which has successfully increasedthe enrollment of biology majors. Participant G was also in the United States Army. He retired after 9 years of service withan honorable discharge in 1969 so that he could attend graduate school at the University ofFlorida. Participant Observations The researcher conducted a 30 minute observation of artifacts within the offices of theparticipants of the study. The purpose of the observation was to capture some of thecontributions, honors, and awards that are a part of their legacy and triangulation of the data.Participant A Contributions/ awards.  Participant A had been involved with Science Applications International (SAIC),
  • 103. 91 a project with the Department of Defense. Due to his involvement in this project, the university has received several million dollars in contract work in computer technology and infrastructure work to help small companies throughout the nation expand.  Participant A served as a representative at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. The meeting provided the opportunity for administrators of state agencies to address problems that the agencies may eventually face.  In 2001, he was the speaker for the Mentorship Protégé Program. He was an ambassador to share what his university could offer about training and research. His involvement helped develop the research and service portfolio for the university.  In 1994, he served as the president and member of the Executive Committee of the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools. This network, which was established in the 60s, was designed to help answer questions that deans of colleges may encounter. ETS were supportive in graduate education to deans.  Participant A is most proud of the award he won for outstanding leadership. He is most proud of this award because he was recognized for his leadership at his own workplace.Participant B Contributions/ awards.  Participant B is a member of two national organizations for education. He was initiated as a member in the Phi Delta Kappa Chapter in 1971 at the University of Syracuse. He was initiated as a member of the society of Mu Epsilon in 1987.
  • 104. 92 Participant B earned his PhD from the University of Syracuse in photography. He has pictures of his work from various retreats and features interesting objects and nature. In 1980-1981, he was the subject of a biographical record in the seventeenth edition of Who’s Who in the South and Southwest because of his outstanding achievement. In 1991, after 55 years of total service, he was given the Service Award to honor him for his 35 years of contributions. In 1992, he was inducted into the Southwest Athletic Conference Hall of Fame for making significant contributions to SWAC as an administrator. He served as Athletic Director of the Year, Chairman of the Faculty Representatives, and Chairman of the Athletic Council. Also in 1992, he served as the chairman of the University Judiciary Appeals Panel. In this position, he served effectively and assured that all students received proper procedure and due process. In 2008, he was inducted into the William Parker Leadership Academy Hall of Fame. Participant B also has a lifetime membership with the Omega Psi Phi fraternity for having fulfilled the prerequisites and for making a contribution to the development of the fraternity. In April 2010, at the Fantastic 40th Anniversary Celebration, he was inducted as ―Scroll of Honor‖ in recognition of his outstanding achievement. In his office, he displays a gift of over 30 elephant figurines, which he received
  • 105. 93 from former students who appreciated his leadership. The gift originated from an outgrowth of his interest in the animals due to their size and intellect. It was fascinating to him that the elephant is one of the largest mammals in the animal kingdom, and if they so choose they could be the most destructive in the kingdom. He appreciates the humility, intellect, and wisdom elephants have. He transfers the elephants as an example of leadership; a leader may have significant power, but that power should never be abused.  Participant B also frequently refers back to a plaque in his office which speaks of God granting him the serenity, courage, and wisdom to make the right decisions as a leader.Participant C Contributions/ awards.  Since 1982, Participant C has served on the committee of the Black Agricultural Economists Association. He was appointed chair in 1992, and was recently one of the featured speakers at a conference for the association in Denver, Colorado.  In 1984, the United Stated Department of Agriculture awarded him the Certificate of Merit for completing the cooperative state research service survey and research methods seminar. In 2004, the USDA also awarded him the Certificate of Appreciation for serving on the ―Orientation Task Group‖ for a national scholars‘ training orientation.  Participant C has received many awards for dedication to the field of agriculture. The American Association of Agricultural Economics recognized him as an Outstanding Black Agricultural Economist in 1990. The same association then
  • 106. 94 awarded him with the Legacy Award in 2004. He also received the University of Texas Excellence Award.  In 1990, he was also awarded by Secretary of State, George S. Bryant, Jr. as a member of the Family Farm Advisory Council.  His leadership has benefitted those outside of the United States. In 1997, he was awarded for working with the exchange program at the university which trained students from the University of Mexico. In 2004, he was instrumental in signing the ―Memorandum of Understanding‖ between his university and the Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica with goat research.  In 2002, he was recognized for assistance and leadership as an instructor and advisor of the Research Apprentice Program (R.A.P.)Participant D Contributions/ awards.  Participant D registered as a professional engineer in the state of Texas in 1977. He earned his Master‘s and PhD from the University of Missouri.  He received the White House Initiative Award for Excellence in Science and Technology in 1988, by the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.  In 1994, he received the Outstanding Administrator Award from the College of Engineering.  In his office, Participant D proudly displays a plaque called ―Embracing the Future‖ which was featured as a top producer of African American Engineers. He was given the plaque in 1997 for assisting in the developing and racing of the solar car. The solar car was built and designed by the engineering students.
  • 107. 95  Participant D also displays in his office a picture of the University IEEE Organization. The photo shows Participant D with over 20 of the organization‘s top students. The majority of the students in the photo have gone on to become cooperate CEO‘s and supervisors at Exxon Mobile.  In 2003, Participant D was also awarded by the National Alumni Association the Outstanding Faculty and Staff award for his outstanding leadership, service, accomplishments, and contributions to higher education. In 2004, he served as Interim Dean in the Department of Civil Engineering and was awarded for his dedicated service and support of the STI Program.Participant E Contributions/ awards.  In 1979, Participant E was selected as Piper Professor of the Year by Theta Chi Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Only 10 Piper Professor Awards are given across the state for teaching excellence; Participant E was one of them.  Participant E is a member of the oldest Black fraternity (founded in 1904), Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He was named a Henry Minton Fellow.  In 1997, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award for 45 years of outstanding and meritorious service to the education of students in the Department of Biology and the College of Arts and Sciences.  In 2000, Participant E received a lot of recognition for his contributions as a leader. He was presented an award from the Division of Social Science recognizing him as dean, professor, scholar, mentor, and friend. He was also presented an award from the state governor during his retirement for 48 years of service at the university. He was presented a proclamation by the National
  • 108. 96 Alumni Association, recognizing his educational journey, dedication, and distinguished service. He was honored as an outstanding scientist, academician, and humanitarian. In that same year, the House of State Representatives presented him with a ―Resolution‖ congratulating him on his dedication, service, and leadership in his field as evidenced by his numerous honors, distinctions, and memberships in various organizations and committees. He was a featured commencement speaker for the summer graduate commencement at and also earned the title Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts.  In 2002, Participant E was presented with a medallion as ―Distinguished Professor.‖  Currently he serves as a board member of a local credit union.Participant F Contributions/ awards.  In 2004-2005, he was awarded the prestigious Etta Zuber Falconer Excellence in Mathematics Teaching Award, by the National Science Foundation for writing a grant proposal for $2.8 million for the STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program.  In 2008, he was featured in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities- Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP), which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  Participant F, a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, utilizes the fundamentals of math, along with lectures, to build the confidence of his students. Over the years, he has created his own enterprise that promotes mathematical products and seminars.
  • 109. 97Participant G Contributions/ awards.  Participant G has a list of students who have graduated and gone to medical school from 2000-2011, and it reads as follows: the University of Texas Medical Branch, Tulane University, Baylor College of Medicine, Boston University College of Medicine, Brown University Program and Medicine, Howard University, Indiana University, John Hopkins School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Michigan State University of Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Oklahoma State School of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Russia Medical, Temple University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, The University of California, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, and there are more. Narrative Responses The next section will be comprised of narrative responses from each participant. Eachparticipant was asked to provide the history of how they came into leadership, who had a majorinfluence on their lives, and to describe the essence of their leadership journey. The responseswill be presented in the order of each research question. Participants answered eight interviewquestions. The interview questions were:1. When and how did your journey toward leadership begin?2. Throughout your life, what social, educational, or political risk factors did you experience as potential road-blocks in the pursuit of your career goals and how did you overcome them?3. What do you contribute to most of your ability to overcome barriers throughout your career as an educational leader?
  • 110. 984. During your life as a young man, who were the leaders that inspired you, what qualities did they possess and how did these qualities influence your leadership?5. How do you think African American male educational leadership adds value to the mainstream of society?6. Provide examples of how your legacy has impacted the lives of students/former students by implementation of leadership programs, strategies, curriculum, and theories targeted toward African American males. Describe policies, political office, or positions of power that assisted seven educational leaders in becoming change agents of local, state, or national policy.7. Describe what it means to be an African American male in leadership position that helped pave the way for African American males.8. What keeps the seven African American male educational leaders continuing their life of service at an HBCU? As the first question was asked, participants were set at ease as they were encouraged togo back as far into the past as they would like concerning their leadership development. Theresearcher took notes and listened attentively, while placing herself in the experience as theparticipants spoke. According to Manen (1990), the narrative power of a story is that sometimesit can be more compelling, more moving, more physically and emotionally stirring than lived-lifeitself. Each participant spoke about the beginning of their leadership experience as if they weretraveling back in time (p. 129). The participants often smiled and moved their eyes as if they were excavating themoment from the depth of their memories. The participants spoke with ease, as one possessingexpertise with the phenomenon in question.
  • 111. 99Research Question 1What was the evolution of leadership over the past three decades of seven African Americanmale educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University? Interview Question 1When and how did your journey toward leadership begin?Participant A I believe my journey toward leadership actually started when I was probably inelementary school. I think some of my teachers recognized that I had a gift for teaching. I wasactually, I guess, a kind of peer tutor. I didn‘t know what I was doing back then in those days; Iwas just doing what I was asked to do. When I think about it though, that‘s how they utilized thegift that I had to support other students. I think that was when my journey toward leadershipbegan. At the time it might have been hindsight, but I recognized it as being one of those thingsthat I kind of felt immediately, and it encouraged me to continue the pursuit of education. It alsohelped me to understand that there were many types of leadership. Helping others is a way ofshowing leadership. While in high school, I can‘t remember which grade levels, my friend and I would rotatefrom being president and vice president of the class. Of course, those were elected positions bythe student body. So again, that was based on people encouraging me along the way to alwaysuse my talents. My peers recognized that I had something to offer. They were the ones whoactually elected me to those positions. I served for couple of years as the associate superintendent of Sunday school at mychurch. I also, after Dr. King was killed, belonged to an organization called the King‘s Men. We
  • 112. 100actually raised money for scholarships. We did community kind of outreach work and I ran forposition on the school board when I was an undergraduate in college. So, even though I was notactive in the college arena, since I lived at home, I became very active in some of the civil rightsactivities going on in the city. Even in grad school, when I went to graduate school for the Master‘s degree, I worked asan assistant in one of the labs. I was given a project that I had to take care of with which I had totake the lead. That particular project was one on the Big Trees of Texas Project. And of course, Ihad a team, in which we would go out and photograph trees and take measurements to try to pulltogether this booklet that my professor was working on. My supervisors entrusted me to do that. At the university level, I had just received a grant that needed an executive director, sothey looked at my resume, my transcript, and asked if I wanted to have that project. And ofcourse, that‘s when I began working at the university. I started out in administration as anexecutive director of the Southern Consortium of Colleges for teacher education. Then one year, I recognized that the college of education needed a person to teachresearch methods class. They didn‘t have anybody to teach it, and since I was fully funded by agrant, I volunteered to teach the research methods class. So, that‘s how I got involved in actuallyteaching at the university. I thought that, first of all, I didn‘t plan my career. What I tell people all the time is thatyou need to be flexible and to position yourself to take advantage of opportunities when theycome up or become available. I never planned to be a vice president, and I never planned to be adean. I did want to be a professor so that‘s where I wanted to be, but the other things thathappened to me have been blessings; and I was prepared for them. So, when the opportunitiescame along, I was ready.
  • 113. 101 Participant A‘s leadership journey began in the time of segregation and as early as gradeschool. He seemed to have had intuitive teachers that recognized and allowed him to use hisskills in serving his peers. The notion that school officials acknowledged his ability to lead byexample gave him a glimpse of what it means to be a leader, and thus inspired him to pursueeducation as a career. Opportunities to lead at the secondary level became available as well. Participant A‘stalent and ability to lead was recognized by his peers as well, who elected him as vice presidentand later president in high school. He was always searching for the chance to serve, which wasdemonstrated in his community involvement during the Civil Rights Movement. Participant Aalso served as a spiritual leader of Sunday school. At the collegiate level, his supervisors hadconfidence in his leadership, where he secured an administrative/teacher position.Participant B I suppose it began when I started participating as an athlete in school. It was inelementary school … physical education, when I started playing sports. I found that myteammates asked me to do certain things, or be in charge of certain things. They would say suchthings as, ―let me be on your team.‖ I guess you would call that the quality of a leader, whenothers want to be with you. That was where I first started noticing myself. My leadership continued as I went through high school because I continued to find thoseopportunities. I was always an officer in my class, class president, on the debate team, and in mylaw class, prosecutor or defense attorney. I was president of my class. I always held an office.From the university to my current profession, I‘ve had opportunities to serve in capacities suchas school board committees, chairs of committees, department heads, even my current position asthe Director of the Certification Program, which is a leadership role in administration.
  • 114. 102 Participant B began his leadership experience in a segregated elementary school duringphysical education class. He was considered a leader as an athlete which was encouraged by histeammates who looked to him for leadership. This was the tipping point, the veil that was liftedto introduce a leader to him, based upon his influence on others. During high school, ParticipantB continued to rise as a leader by serving as the president of his high school class. At the collegelevel he has always held an office from committee chairs to department heads.Participant C I would say that my leadership journey began in high school. When I was growing up inthe rural, segregated South, I participated in a program which was called the ―New Farmers ofAmerica‖ (NFA). As part of that we went through leadership training, we were taught leadershipskills and given opportunities to participate in leadership training. I had opportunities to serve asan officer in our local NFA chapter. Eventually, I also served as class officer in my class. As ajunior in high school, I served as vice president and then president during my senior year. I wasalso president of my local NFA chapter my senior year in high school. So, this was the start ofthe beginning of my leadership training and leadership opportunities as I got into college andbeyond. Participant C began his journey toward leadership at the secondary level. He wasaffiliated and participated in leadership programs that assisted in his development duringsegregation. Like Participants A and B, Participant C‘s leadership qualities were also recognizedby his peers who elected him as an executive officer during his high school years.Participant D Most of my interaction was with family, and I think leadership kind of started from thisinteraction. It‘s kind of interesting as I am reminded of my formative years, and how I used to
  • 115. 103play school with my cousins. Really, we actually had school. I don‘t know how old I was at thetime, but I set -up school at my house in the country, and my cousins would come over. Therewere four girls, so I set- up school and started teaching, believe it or not. I don‘t know how old Iwas at the time, but I am reminded of my introduction to teaching at a young age. So that‘s sortof the teaching aspect. My great-grandfather was instrumental in my pursuit of education because he developedone of the first Black schools here in Waller County; I think it was called Rock West School. So,if you take this into consideration, I guess education ran deep in my bloodline. A number of thesons and daughters were school teachers and principals, so this legacy was passed down to hisgrandchildren to be teachers, and eventually down to me. The reason I mention the teaching offamily is because all of a sudden by trying to teach them you are developing leadership skills andthis development may come from the church. Going back to my high school years, being in a class with all Black students, you prettywell know what you‘re doing or you know the subject, so you help others, and they begin to lookup to you and respect you. I think my junior year in high school I started playing football. Hereagain, things that put you out there. I was a young, shy man, very shy, but then you are almostforced into doing things and you just keep moving ahead. After one year in college, I was elected president of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical andElectronics Engineering). I was a Boy Scout and eventually became a Boy Scout leader. I waspitcher there and here again; I think a lot of people, even though I didn‘t go out of my way, choseme as the leader. Participant D‘s leadership began as an extension of family members that served aseducators. The legacy of educators runs deep, as far back as his grandfather, who opened his own
  • 116. 104school for Negro children. During Participant B‘s formative years, he developed a knack forteaching by setting up his school also, which consisted of his cousins. In high school, his peerschose him as a leader academically and on the football field. His opportunity to lead in highereducation began as the president of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).Participant E Unfortunately, my mother died when I was eight years old, so my aunt, who was myfather‘s sister, came to live with us. She was a teacher, and she really inspired me to be a teacherwithout a direct influence. I started my career as a teacher. At that time, I had no aspirations for an administrativeposition. But sometimes these positions are thrust upon you. So, my first introduction toadministration was in 1973. The president of the institution was Dr. A.I. Thomas. So, he said hewould send out a notice to the faculty and staff notifying them of my appointment as chairman ofthe Natural Science Division and Head of the Biology Department. I had originally agreed on theposition as head of the Biology Department. There was a brief period in 1989, when Dr. Percy Pierre stepped down as the president ofthe university; I served as the interim Vice President for Academic Affairs from June of 1989, toDecember of 1989. During my tenure as an administrator, I did not seek any of the positions.Apparently, somebody recognized leadership skills within me and felt that I could make acontribution. Therefore, I seized upon the opportunity to serve, and whatever I participated in, Ialways gave it my best. Participant E began his career as a teacher during the time of Jim Crow laws. He wasinfluenced by his aunt who served as an educator. In 1973, he arrived at the university ready toteach the sciences. He had no desire to work as an administrator, like most of his cohorts. The
  • 117. 105president of the University at the time recognized his leadership qualities and appointed him toserve in a major administrative position without any formal training. Serving at an HBCUprovided Participant E the opportunity to develop and exercise his leadership abilities.Participant F Well, I think I was born a leader really. As a little boy, my parents never had to ask me toget up, or chop the wood, to do this or do that, or make me do anything. Automatically, I wasjust a free spirit, I would get up and go and work. I always wanted to do the best at whatever I setmy mind to accomplish; it was just a natural thing. My leadership began as a math instructor, where I taught modern mathematics for PTOorganizations and ran seminars in Beaumont. And then from there, I came back to teach at myalma mater. Through hard work and determination, I became recognized as being one of the topmath teachers at the university. Participant F considers himself a born leader, dating back to his childhood years. He wasself-motivated and required little direction from his parents. His disposition was to be the best atwhatever he set his mind to accomplish. He‘s teaching and leadership opportunity began as ahigh school mathematics instructor, while organizing/teaching math programs for schoolorganizations.Participant G My journey toward leadership began in college when I was exposed to one person inparticular, Coach William (Billy) Nicks. As a young boy, Coach Nicks would allow me to watchthe team practice. I had a great amount of respect for him and the way he led that team. There was also President E.B. Evans, who had a profound impact on me. He had astudent, although I never knew him, named Dr. Frederick Douglass Patterson who became
  • 118. 106famous. Dr. Patterson eventually became the president of Tuskegee University. He was the firstfaculty member at Tuskegee with a doctoral degree. He held two doctorate degrees, one in theveterinary medicine and the other in education. And I had the opportunity to be exposed to thesetypes of individuals at an early age, from elementary school, to high school, and then college. Iremember during my first teaching position, how my supervisors were excellent examples forme. Participant G began his leadership journey as an adolescent growing up on the campus ofthe university during segregation. During his elementary, high school, and collegiate years hehad the opportunity to be exposed to local and national leaders that were outstanding models ofeducational excellence.Research Question 2What critical moments in history have impacted the educational leadership styles(s) of sevenAfrican American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College andUniversity? Interview Question 2What social, educational, or political risk factors did you view as potential road-blocks in thepursuit of your career goals?Participant A Growing up, I can recall the separate water fountains. I can recall having to ride in theback of the bus. We had a city bus there. Of course, we didn‘t have a car. Most of the time wewent to visit, we would always ride the Trailways bus. And of course, we had to ride in the backof the bus. We always had to make sure we carried food. When we were on trips, we couldn‘talways and didn‘t know when we would have places to stop.
  • 119. 107 The schools were segregated. I experienced, like many students did, receiving textbooksthat were secondhand textbooks. The textbook had names of folks you sure didn‘t recognize. Wealso of course, were bussed, I mean our junior high school was across town, and of course, wepassed other junior high schools to go to our junior high school. That was a part of life also.There was nothing to compare it to because you didn‘t know any other way of life. But peoplearound the community started talking about it (our condition) which actually started earlier. Youstart hearing people make statements about things that are not right, and you start understandingthat this really isn‘t right. So, you start looking at the differences in how people were treated. When the public schools were integrated, I was in college. I couldn‘t understand why theBlack administrators, the counselors, and the senior English teachers at the high school, weregiven positions of lesser authority and prestige. In the district where most schools wereintegrated, the head football coach became an assistant coach. The senior English teacherbecame, I think a ninth grade or some other English teacher. The Black principal became theassistant principal. I didn‘t understand why they did not say something. Because I had beeninvolved in some civil rights activities in college, I was not allowed to complete my studentteaching assignment in government; however, I was given credit for the course anyway. There were some instances that I was aware of, where people were brutalized by policeofficers, especially the chief of police in this particular town. It appeared, in hindsight, becauseof race and these things may have happened to other people, but they were never talked about.So growing up you knew that there were certain places that you didn‘t want to be, and youwouldn‘t be safe in those places. So this may have created some of the precautions I have abouthow I approach certain things today So, watching the unveiling of the Civil Rights Movement inthe fight against racism and injustice motivated and caused me to take some risks.
  • 120. 108 In my community, a guy by the name of Mr. Weaver formed an NAACP chapter, and Ibecame active with that group. Most of the leaders, the folks I recognize as leaders, wereinvolved in the struggle. The fact that in Texas you didn‘t have the right to strike or to collective bargain, in whichI was involved, was a potential roadblock. I guess I just never recognized any other potentialroadblocks. Participant A remembered the sting of the Jim Crow Laws which dictated where he couldsit on public transportation, which schools he could attend, and where he could or could not eat.Although the laws were just inflicted upon a group of people because of their race, it wassomething that was accepted as a part of life. As the Black community began to acknowledge thelaws were unfair, Participant A did not allow the laws to deter his spirit of freedom. He foughtback by becoming a part of Dr. King‘s nonviolent movement in his own community. Participant A didn‘t view the Jim Crow Laws and desegregation as barriers but as anopportunity to stand up and take risks on what he believed was just. He admits that theseexperiences influenced him to use an authoritarian form of leadership style, but over the years,his leadership style has become more situational and democratic in nature.Participant B Well, the Jim Crow Law itself was an unconstitutional law that said certain things about ahuman and I grew up with that law. That law said that you were not equal to other people. So, itwas known to be a Jim Crow Law, a law of segregation, but it afforded an opportunity for you todevelop your potentials. So, the law also made provisions for you. That‘s how Black schoolswere established. The law had a requirement to educate Black youth. The Jim Crow Lawsmandated that you have opportunities to develop even though the law itself was designed for you
  • 121. 109not to develop. Probably the greatest influence that the movement had for African Americans was thefact that a Black man was heading a movement that was addressing the conscience of a countryand the evils of some of the behaviors of the people who made decisions in this country. The factthat it was a man, a male, it influenced many Black males to take an opportunity to participate inmanhood, to participate in standing for something that they felt was just and right. I don‘t think I saw things as a block, I think I saw things as a challenge. There are manythings around me socially, economically and politically … they had factors, but I didn‘t let thosethings influence me. Sometimes such risk factors can influence one to take actions that areunacceptable. Because those elements that we just spoke to can cause the individual to have acriminal history, jail terms and things because they have allowed those factors to interfere withwhat was right. So those things that I saw, I saw them as opportunities to develop in a positiveway. I think that I‘ve changed, but not changed from leadership. Change has occurred in that Iwas able to demonstrate a leadership style. And my leadership style has been, because of myphilosophy of respect of individuals for their worth, having the ability to encourage individualsto participate in the process of inquiry. I think I‘ve always had that. And I do that more now, butI believe I‘ve done it all along. So, I really think my leadership style is probably the same now asit was when I first began. It was certain that the Jim Crow Laws were unconstitutional and had negativeimplications for certain groups of people, but the laws didn‘t prevent an individual fromdeveloping their potential by arguing the necessary knowledge for that chosen discipline. He didn‘t see the law as a roadblock but a challenge, an opportunity to develop
  • 122. 110positively. He uses the same leadership style now as he did back then. He‘s always strived toinfluence those around him through respect and encouragement. His leadership was shaped bythese experiences in it that he didn‘t feel that the system owed him anything; he was going to usehis knowledge and skills to succeed.Participant C The thing that was, and still is to an extent, I grew up in the rural South and so, comingup, the field of opportunities was limited. As I was growing up, I saw church leaders and pastorsas role models and secondly, school administrators and principals. This was an aspiration to me.The church became the foundation upon which everything I aspired to do. These were men ofstature and pillars in the Black community that I wanted to emulate. The stature that they had inthe community was great, but it was limited. It was always limited. So, there was an impact fromthe segregation in Jim Crow laws. Well, communities were segregated. We had Black leadership in the Black community.We had Black neighborhoods and Black businesses, even in the small towns. You could easilyidentify leadership started with the churches. The churches were always a powerful force in thecommunity. Those individuals were the outgoing people, the people with resources. So they werelooked up to as leaders in the Black community. After the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The school started to integrate, manyof the teachers of the predominantly Black schools had to change positions and Black principalsbecame vice principals in the newly formed combined schools and communities. So for me, this impacted my outlook as I saw opportunities being taken away. Myoriginal goal was to teach at the high school level, but then my career objectives changed and Icontinued to progress through college. I always thought that I would go as far as the Masters
  • 123. 111degree, and the PhD was never considered until I was in graduate school. Once I reachedgraduate school and was around many PhDs on a daily basis, I was inspired and therefore,changed my degree aspirations. As we moved through the Civil Rights Movement, beyond desegregation, we saw a shiftin the power. Integration was well intended, it was good. It created new opportunities for us, butthe sum total I‘m not sure if it really did. What I didn‘t see though, was the same opportunity for me at the predominantly whiteschools. I was never recruited or offered opportunities even though I had a PhD and wasqualified to work. I was never pursued, or really felt that the opportunities were there for me atthe major universities. My leadership style was heavily influenced by my daddy who had a fifth-gradeeducation. He‘d say to lead by example, and articulate what you expect and what we‘re trying toaccomplish. Because his thing was, one, here‘s what we want to do and why, and here‘s what weneed to do to get there. So I learned the process that if I‘m going to be a leader, I‘m only as good as the peoplearound me. If I empower them to do a better job, a rising tide lifts all boats, so we all move up. When I was an assistant professor, what I saw was encouragement from my first dean. Heset a tone for me. I‘m not frightened by you.‖ He always had the patience to say, ―Okay, youmade a mistake. It‘s okay to make a mistake; it was a good, honest mistake. Let‘s go ahead andcorrect it. He would always take the time to explain, and I liked that because this was the waymy father had taught us. He would say we‘re going to do this; here is why we‘re going to do this.Here‘s the timeline we are trying to do this in. I learned that a long time ago that there are a lot ofpeople smarter than I am. So, over the years I‘ve learned that if I empower them, they will knock
  • 124. 112down walls for me. They get work done for me. I don‘t know where I learned that principle, butit‘s an easy principle and it works. I would say, now I use more delegation to get participation and empowerment. And Ilearned to—early on it was probably more autocratic, but now it‘s more, participatory—lead byexample. I realize that I need them as much as they need me; we need each other. So, empowerpeople to do their part better. They do their work better without commands. What I learned earlier was, from a social standpoint, I needed to connect with the rightpeople. I needed to surround myself with people of like minds, goals and aspirations, and shareideas. What I was taught is, you become like the people you associate with. So, if you‘re aspiringto be a leader, or anything, it helps a lot to socialize with people of a like mind. I learned that,probably, in high school. It played out extremely well for me as a college student because what Ihad to do was to change friends. The same thing works in the educational arena. I was always taught that, when I was astudent, school was my business. Treat this seriously. It‘s not a plaything. Your future is at stake.Get the best possible education you can, while you can, while you‘re here. Political risks … Politics at all levels … Politics on the job. Politics as we know politics.Be careful in aligning yourself with certain people. It can be risky. I‘ve taken risks in somecases; won some and lost some. You have to take calculated risks. If you stand on an issue that‘spolitical in nature, be prepared for the consequences if things don‘t go as planned. It‘s not theend of the world; it just may be a minor setback. But you have to calculate those. Well, even now, we‘ve made a lot of progress, but there‘s still a lot of work to be donewith this whole issue of race. As African Americans, we were taught back in the day to get aneducation, but that was still not enough ... opportunities still won‘t be equal. So you basically
  • 125. 113have to out work your competition, and be twice as good. The idea was that as African-Americans, average wasn‘t good enough, and I think that standard is still true today. It‘s not alevel playing field; it still isn‘t a level playing field. But, you‘ve got to understand that going intoit. So, you got to understand going in that you‘re not starting off at the same starting line. Youcan overcome some of that, but you‘ve got to be willing to work extra hard to overcome theinequality. The Jim Crow Laws enabled the Black community to enterprise and attain leadershippositions; therefore these men and women became powerful models of success for Participant C.Integration slowly began to take those same opportunities away, especially in the public schoolsystems where African American administrators/teachers were sent to teach at a public Whiteschool with lesser positions. These experiences shaped his leadership experience when he saw the doors ofopportunity closing and decided to pursue his advanced degrees in education. So, ultimately hebecame a novice leader that utilized an autocratic style, but later discovered that the democraticmethod got more tasks accomplished.Participant D During my formative years, racism was prevalent, but I was never exposed to it. Peoplewould talk about events at school, such as the gangs in Chicago, Little Rock, Arkansas, and whathappened there. Even though we heard about the racial turmoil of the nation, we were shelteredwithin our communities and them in theirs. We lived in our communities and had Blackbusinesses at that time. When we shopped at stores, my parents experienced racism, but theynever complained about it or put anyone down. We just accepted it as a way of life. If there‘ssomething blocking my path, I believed that I could still get there some kind of way. Racism was
  • 126. 114one of those factors. There are a lot of factors that can stop a person from getting to the building.One has to work around the obstacles in order to reach their destination. I never recognized thechallenges of racism, I knew I would reach my goals one way or another. Well, instead of sayinga way to get around, I always found a way to work with obstacles that may come about. I alwaysfelt that I could work with anyone. I came to the university in 1965, and I remember when Dr. King was killed. But thestudents were in such shock about what had happened to Dr. King that they weren‘t about tostand for anything. I really don‘t need things like that to empower me. I‘m already set as far aswhom I am. When you‘re young, different experiences can have some influence but once youreach a certain age, especially during my time, you‘re pretty independent in and making my owndecisions. I consider my values and what I‘m doing above what everyone else thinks anddictates. To have an overwhelming influence, I take all this in … it helps me to becomeinspirational. But, at the same time if a person already possesses strong values, this advicesimply enhances the values they already have. I keep a firm foot on the ground. I guess that is the way I am because I can demonstrateleadership theoretically or through application. Serving at the university has helped me torecognize my vision for student success as a form of survival. I am here to educate these youngpeople, and as long as I can keep that focus, then I will be all right. Realizing that the nation was in turmoil and segregation was a way of life, Participant Dfelt sheltered through the Black community. They overcame the negativity of the laws bycreating their own world and living within the confines of the laws, which helped establish hisleadership values through his examples and mentors. Even though he experienced racism, henever recognized it as an obstacle because he had faith that he could overcome and reach his
  • 127. 115goal. His leadership was already established by my mentors and not the problems of the time.Participant E In the era in which I grew- up, if you were aspiring to be a leader, you were aspiring to bea leader in the context of a Jim Crow and not a world situation. For example: If one represented acertain race, one could not aspire to be the president of Exxon Mobil. Most leadership positionsfor Black males or females were in the teaching profession. I hate to see Blacks not going intoteaching now because there is a real need, particularly for Black males to be teachers. We needthose role models. The Jim Crow Era afforded myriads of male role models as teachers since career optionswere limited. If you were educated, you taught. Opportunities in business were limited as well.They needed to have other experiences or other jobs. Reason number one, why I didn‘t see many road blocks, is we owned our property. Igrew up on a farm and had everything we wanted. We had two cars and a truck. And when Ireflect on going to school in South Carolina, we had White folks who lived on our place, andworked on our farm. I never thought anything about it until later in life, but the school buspicked-up the White students on our place, while the Black kids had to get to school the best waythey could. We always had a car so the transportation arrangement was no problem. In some ways, I think that the integration we fought for as a race hurt us. What happenedwas that the white public schools took the best Black teachers and placed them wherepredominately White students were taught. When those teachers are gone, it‘s then that yourealize how good they were. But having grown up in a Jim Crow situation I might have been ableto do better if I were given a chance. Before these critical moments in my life, I believed in participation. So, it has not
  • 128. 116changed. I don‘t believe in an autocratic leadership style; I believe in participatory democracy. Ididn‘t see any major obstacle to keep me from getting to the point I wanted to be. The Jim Crow Laws afforded the opportunity for African Americans to become leaderswithin their race and environments. Because opportunities in other fields were limited, manyAfrican American males pursued education. Politically, the Civil Rights Movement united the Black community in the fight forequality because it proved to the world that African Americans had a degree of political andeconomical power. The integration that was fought for hurt African American maleseducationally because excellent teachers were transferred to public White schools, which causedthe demise of Black schools. Participant E overcame by having financial means which provided independence fromthe way of life the laws had created for African Americans. It did not impact his leadershipdevelopment because he always believed in participation and democracy.Participant F I didn‘t see the segregation and the laws of that time as an obstacle. I‘ve just always beenfree, even as a little boy. When we rode the bus to school, I was the head man on the bus. I had aseat on the segregated bus, so I never felt as if I were second-class. When I got to the university,since I couldn‘t go to the White school, it wasn‘t a roadblock for me. African American males may or may not have been given the opportunities that someother young men were given. But, one of the things I feel that was awesome was that we had theHBCUs. And although it may have appeared that we weren‘t getting a quality education, in mostcases were getting a better education, because we had teachers that cared about us through theengineering programs and so forth.
  • 129. 117 The movement put African American males in positions that they may or may not havehad the opportunity to have. It proved that they had what it took to be successful. Opportunitieswere given to African Americans which opened doors to help others among their race. As aresult of the Civil Rights Movement, the doors opened and gave us an opportunity to prove ourcapability of handling situations that faced us. The negative part of the movement was that somepeople probably would not have put us in positions we had the capabilities of fulfilling. Youcan‘t get around some type of prejudices. You‘re going to run across that. It was just a part oflife and couldn‘t be helped. These moments in history did not alter my leadership style. It has become more and moreinfluential. It‘s not like I‘m building anything new. I‘m just keeping the machine running. Theway I lead has already gained momentum. The Civil Rights Movement provided opportunities for African American males to leadand demonstrate to the world they could solve the problems set before them. Although the JimCrow Laws were all around them, segregation served as a protective shield against the negativedesign of the law. Participant F acknowledged that racism was simply a part of life. He overcamethe negativity of the law because of his positive and caring role models and teachers thatreinforced his self-concept that he had value.Participant G As far as the laws were concerned during segregation and the Jim Crow Laws, it wassomething we had to deal with. We understood these laws. The laws were designed to benefitcertain interest groups. Although we knew the laws were biased and were written to benefitcertain interest groups, we didn‘t allow it to make us feel inferior, second-class citizen, orinhumane. Growing up in the Black community had given us such a strong foundation, that we
  • 130. 118felt as if we were not inferior but superior to our counterparts. And so, the Black female was given more opportunities versus the Black man. If therewere lay-offs during that time, it had very little effect on the African American female. If a Blackman were to go to a bank and request to borrow money, he would be denied. But if his wife, onthe other hand, went to that same banker and asked for money, all she would be asked is, ―Howmuch?‖ So, the Black man was sort of at the bottom of the totem pole of society. So, having knowledge and being educated were factors that helped me to overcome, andhaving strong mentors and role models that demonstrated excellence in their field was a sourceof inspiration for me. So, yes, there were laws, and we knew those laws. We were intelligentenough to abide by them, yet not allow the laws to subjugate us to inferiority. The Civil Rights Movement had a great impact. It allowed African American males todemonstrate their leadership, but it also brought about opposition as well. Again, Dr. King usedhis logic and reasoning in understanding how to move the African American community towardequality. So, the movement did give us power and an opportunity to lead. So the impact was toopen a big debate within the so-called Black community or the Black culture. You see theproblem with the Civil Rights Movement was that there was only one leader. One of the things that was needed was education, and you had to have economics. Youhad to have money, and you had to have knowledge. If you have one without the other, you don‘thave anything. The Civil Rights Movement liberated the African American community as awhole, but it also liberated White women. Living through those times, I haven‘t changed my leadership philosophy. I learned a lotabout the principles of leadership that I didn‘t know ahead of time. I look back and see that whenI was a leader in the Boy Scouts troop, I did not know the leadership principles. So, if you ask
  • 131. 119me today what my leadership style is, I‘d say my leadership style, while chairing the FacultySenate, was and still is one that is open and transparent. Your leadership style has to includeeverybody. Segregation was something they had to deal with. Although the laws were biased, he andother African Americans were able to abide by the laws while shunning the label as the inferiorrace. He overcame through effective decision making in how to navigate through an unjustjudicial system. Access to outstanding role models in the community and his own knowledgehelped him to overcome, which all aided in his leadership philosophy of openness andtransparency.Research Question 3Which leaders from the past have left an impression on seven African American maleeducational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University? Interview Question 4During your life as a young man, who were the leaders that inspired you, what qualities did theypossess and how did these qualities influence your leadership?Participant A You know again, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We‘ll just start in my hometown first. Therewere the principals of the school that inspired me. My mentors were my minister; the pastor ofmy church inspired me, as well. Certainly my father and mother did because they would alwayssay that since they never finished high school, they wanted all their kids to do so. I was alsoinspired by worldwide events that involved Presidents Kennedy, Eisenhower, and, later, RonaldReagan. This was true especially when the Berlin Wall came down. So, I recognized that by not standing on the sidelines, and saying something when
  • 132. 120something should be said or when something should be done … well, those are the kinds ofpeople that always inspired me. I think I probably subscribe to a very eclectic leadership style. It often depends on thesituation you‘re in. I know we all have a predominant leadership style. Mine is probably one thattries to bring about consensus, but that doesn‘t always work. So, I think that the people thatinspired me were people who provided leadership in such a way that got the job done. Most of the things I‘ve tried, I‘ve achieved. I think some of those have beenaccomplished, but, for the most part, I think they‘re continuing. I don‘t think they‘re ending.That‘s probably why I don‘t see barriers. It may not be my time schedule that I want things tohappen, but we‘re still getting there. But you know, I can‘t think of anything that I‘ve tried toinitiate or try to start that has been stopped. Some things have been slowed down, but they havenot been stopped. Participant A was inspired by many different individuals including: Dr. Martin LutherKing, Jr., principles, pastors, his family, world leaders, and even various presidents of the UnitedStates. He looked up to those people because he saw quality leadership. These people wereefficient, direct, and did exactly what they set out to do. He has tried to adopt these practices intohis own leadership. He addresses his leadership from a situational perspective. Participant A feels as though he has been successful in regards to the goals he has set forhimself. He was never at a standstill on his road to success because of any barriers. They mayhave temporarily slowed him, but they never got in his way.Participant B Throughout your life, you‘ve learned from you brother, from your father, from yourmother, your community, your neighbor, your spiritual leaders, and your playmates. There is a
  • 133. 121laundry list of males who inspired me, and they are all from the categories I just mentioned:coaches, physical teachers, principals, and spiritual leaders, and just gentlemen in thecommunity. I look at presidents of my university, and presidents who were my fraternity brothers.One of the leaders was Dr. Benjamin Mays of Morehouse College. I looked upon Morehouse,which had been one of the leading institutions, and Benjamin Mays was president. Basically, they all had the same demeanor and philosophy, but if I were to choose a wordto describe them…they all had integrity. They had the quality of self-discipline. Individuals whobelieved in what they said they would do, and they would do what they would say. Those werethe kinds of people that I gravitated to. For me, it goes back to the people who were yourmentors and those you respected and wanted to be like. I wanted to behave like S.W. Austin, Dr.E.C. Harrison, and my deans. Their demeanor seemed to be so fair and just. That‘s how I‘ve been able to recognize, and I‘m very spiritual in that way, too, because Ibelieve, spiritually, (that‘s not true with everybody because everybody doesn‘t believe in asupreme being or beings) that there‘s going to come a time when, whomever it is, is going toopen the book and is going to say, ―I just want to see just what you‘ve done.‖ That‘s what Ibelieve, so I want to do what is correct to the best of my ability. Participant B has been inspired by his family, friends, and other members of thecommunity. The male role models (coaches, teachers, principals, pastors) of his communityinfluenced him to become a productive and polite member of society. He looked up to these menbecause they all emitted an air of integrity and self-discipline. He had those individuals as hisrole models which led him towards a path of fair and just leadership.
  • 134. 122Participant C You know, until I was in college, I had limited exposure. I was inspired in college when Istarted to learn about Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy, Julian Bond, Andy Young, andpeople like that. This was after I got to college. I was also inspired by, what I call, some of themega-church leaders. The ones at the time that I knew of, but never really met, were the bishops. From college, I started to read about and hear about, and watch on television and listen tothe radio about Martin Luther King and the movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and themarches. I really became inspired when he had the March on Washington, you know, the ―IHave a Dream‖ speech. So, through college and on into graduate school, I met people like Jesse Jackson. Weused to sit around and talk. I remember Jesse Jackson in his younger days. We went to the sameschool. He had gone there as an undergraduate, but he would come back and speak to thestudents. We would gather around in a room, sit on the floor, actually. We wore dashikis and bigafros and all that stuff back then. These were in the early days when he was forming P.U.S.H. Itwas the P.U.S.H. Organization. Essentially, what it meant to me was that, okay, you can‘t beat them with guns and clubs.You can‘t beat them with that. They‘ve got you outmanned. But, pursue education. Pursue inyour sphere of influence. To me, I was in education. So, I wanted to stay in education so I couldmaybe get out and get back and make a difference in the lives of the next generations that werecoming up. You see, I was fortunate to come up with parents at home. My father was not educated,but you know he was a God-fearing man. He brought us up fearing God, and he taught us towork for what you want. Work hard and don‘t burn your bridges, that sort of thing and you‘ll be
  • 135. 123okay. This was the sort of foundation which I came out of. Well, the thing that I saw was good, righteous, upstanding, family values, educated men.That‘s what I wanted to be. And, I remember watching Martin Luther King. We‘d sit there awe-struck listening to him speak. You know, he was an educated man; he was a family man. But, hewas willing to sacrifice all of that to help bring others along. What he was saying was that, Godhad granted you these abilities to pursue education; He‘s given you the ability to pursue. If youcan, go ahead and do it. But, remember, also, others less fortunate. See what you can do to bringthem along in whatever sphere of influence that you have. And, that‘s what I‘ve tried to do,which is what I‘m still trying to do, particularly with the young males. We have a real challenge. So, I wanted to do that, but at the same time, be in a position to influence others, the nextgenerations; the generations that came after me. So, I‘ve tried to be a role model and examplesetter. The message that I‘ve tried to convey is okay, I‘m an example of what can be. I wasn‘tborn with special talents. I wasn‘t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I wasn‘t born privilegedat all. But, I was privileged in that I had God-given abilities. He gave me a sound body and mindand abilities. Now, what worked for me was that I could do school work. Now here‘s what I tryto do with my students, and perhaps the young men more so than the young women. I alwayssay, ―Don‘t waste this opportunity. Take advantage of it while you‘re young. Don‘t waste today.Tomorrow is not promised. Don‘t waste 3, 4, or 5 years in school, and come back in 10 or 15years and talk about what you could have or should have done. You‘re here now. This is notdifficult, and it goes extremely fast. This time here is precious. You‘re building for your futureright now. So get a degree, and don‘t make excuses because they don‘t fly. Whatever excuse youhave, it doesn‘t fly.‖ I try to get them to understand that if they busy themselves with schoolwork, they won‘t
  • 136. 124have as much idle time to concern themselves about those things. I encourage them to take morehours to keep themselves busy, and accelerate themselves to the finish line. It‘s worked withquite a few. I also encourage students to step up and get involved. Get involved in something—schoolwork, fraternities, sororities, student government organizations. You want to be able tocontribute back to your society. You learn leadership skills when you participate inorganizations, but you should join organizations that are beneficial to you and not ones that arejust social gatherings that have no meaning. Participant C was inspired by his God-fearing father. His father taught him the values ofspirituality, hard work, and recognizing and taking opportunities. He witnessed in his father andother males he looked up to a devotion to God, dedication to family, and an appreciation foreducation. He also looked up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was inspired by the sacrifices hecontinually made to fight for the cause. He adopted King‘s ideals to fight by way of educationand knowledge rather than through violent means. Participant C has continued to pass on thismessage by encouraging youth to continue and complete their pursuit of education. Participant Clives his life as a role model to demonstrate the ability for African American males to succeedwith their God-given abilities.Participant D As I stated earlier, while growing up in the country, I was exposed to Sam Tucker, aBlack cowboy. At a young age, I would have liked to have patterned my life after his. He had acouple of sons. One of his sons was a few years older than me. I used to go to his ranch and visit.He was a strong Black man. I remember how they used to milk the cows, and as my mother,
  • 137. 125sister, and I would get milk, he would tell stories of how he grew up. He was just a strong person. His demeanor was so calm. He worked with White folksover him, and he had to do what they told him to do. Beyond that, he was just an outstandingperson. He wasn‘t a strong church going person ... not a big talker or anything like that; he wasso solid as a person. He took responsibility for his wife, worked at the ranch and took care of hispeople. Being a foreman, he had to do chopping, he got up early enough to sharpen hoes andsharpen his knives. He took care of his people. As a foreman, he made sure everyone workedtogether well at the ranch. He was hard-working. His style was not authoritative and you neverheard him holler at anyone. He would just go to work, and was always the first one up. My leadership has been effective because I always felt that I could work with anyone.There may a person on the job that no one can work with, but I can. If the person‘s demeanor isconsistently negative or positive, it‘s no problem … I can work with that. Participant D looked up to a community member who emitted a strong, calm, and humblecharacter. He was a leader who understood the importance of teamwork, leading by example,and looking after others in the community. Participant D also feels as though he can work withjust about anyone due to the transparency in which Mr. Tucker lived his life which compelled hisworkers to willingly submit to his demands.Participant E Dr. A.I. Thomas was the individual who inspired me to pursue leadership. I had noaspirations to be an administrator, but I rose to the occasion when my talents and abilities wereneeded. In life, people are observed whether you realize it or not. When one demonstratesleadership potential, the opportunity to lead may be thrust upon the individual. Yet, such actionswere viewed as opportunities, which is what happened in my case; I, undoubtedly, attribute my
  • 138. 126ascension into administration to Dr. Thomas. He had well-organized and well-defined goals. Similarly, I possessed the characteristicand ability to set goals. In order to be successful, one must persevere, to stick to the task. Once atask is started, it must be finished. Dr. Thomas emphasized these virtues while he served aspresident for sixteen years. I felt his style was autocratic and democratic. He wanted to give theimpression that he was democratic. He gave some people a task to perform, and they could do itwithout any problems. Yet, there were those whose performance he had to monitor closely toensure that the task had been completed. My leadership style was participatory, in that, the tasks that needed to be done had to becarried out by people. The same thing was true during my tenure as the dean of Arts andSciences. Participant E looked up to Dr. A.I. Thomas, who displayed both autocratic anddemocratic leadership. He considered him to be an organized, goal oriented leader, whoaccomplished the task at hand. Participant E has developed a participatory leadership style muchlike that of his mentor, Dr. A.I. Thomas. He is organized and possesses the ability to efficientlyand correctly complete tasks.Participant F Well, my inspiration to be a leader came from my dad. He was the embodiment of achampion. I had role models during high school and college that had a great impact on me.While attending the university as a student, I had three Black professors who became mymentors. Then, I had an outstanding example of leadership in the person of Dr. A.I. Thomas,who was the president of the university at the time. Dr. Stewart was one man who cared about his students. Whatever it took to help the
  • 139. 127students to be successful, he would do it. He would identify with the best teachers and pursuedthose that helped students. I learned a principle from Dr. Stewart, and that was to never putstudents under a teacher who didn‘t care. It doesn‘t take much to destroy students, but it doestake something to build them. He knew how to support the students and help them grow. Mymentors inspired me to put my students first. They were caring. You could touch them, they were approachable, and they were allabout the kids. They were go-getters. A.I. Thomas was a tiger. He had a vision. A.I. Thomas hadone of the greatest visions that I‘ve seen in the improvement of the school. He had the vision, thetoughness, and a willingness to go and get it. Hard work, dedication, and doing what I was supposed to do all helped me to overcomethose roadblocks. I‘ve probably had people get angry with me because I work too much. I wasjust a hard worker. And due to that, people who were my supervisors always recognized me. Participant F‘s father was a source of inspiration for him. Among other individuals whoserved as role models for him were professors and presidents of the university. He saw Dr. A.I.Thomas as an excellent example of a leader. He adopted many attributes of his many rolemodels. He learned to put his students first, hard work ethics, and dedication from observing hisrole models in action.Participant G Dr. Patterson was one of the leaders that I really admired. He decided to hire PresidentEvans after leaving, and began the veterinary school at Tuskegee University. With the help ofDr. Evans, the veterinary school at Tuskegee became a success and is still the leading producerof African-American veterinarians. Patterson then went on to become the president of HamptonUniversity and he organized the Negro College Fund.
  • 140. 128 Dr. Edward W. Martin was one of my professors of biology at the university. He wasanother mentor of mine. His students had a name for him. They called him ―teach‖ because hewas always teaching wherever he went. He had the kind of teaching style that I really admiredbecause he would allow us to demonstrate our leadership while he stood in the background andwatched. That‘s one thing that Dr. Evans was good at; he was good at bringing in quality leadersto the university. I was so impressed with the administrators and teachers at the university. Theireducational level was second to none. So, I was exposed to many great teachers and leaders whoinspired me to become an educator. First of all, they had the winning philosophy. I saw them as being individuals whocommanded respect. They didn‘t have a bunch of rumors about them doing unethical things. Therumors that you would hear about them were rumors about what they were doing for theirstudents and the impact they were making. The rumors were rumors of success. Those were thekinds of characteristics that influenced me. So, I learned the value of working with kids at an early age. I was also influential inhelping the Boy Scouts. While you‘re raising your kids, you have to spend a lot of time withthem, as was the case with my son. He has gone on to become a medical doctor because I tookthe time to nurture and guide him through the process of life. Participant G was inspired by many individuals including presidents at the universitylevel, instructors, teachers and administrators at the university. He described these individuals ashaving an effective leadership philosophy in which they commanded respect. He was drawn intotheir leadership because of the way they were able to impact the students.Research Question 4In the face of social, political, or racial adversities, what influenced the decisions of seven
  • 141. 129African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College andUniversity? Interview Question 3What do you contribute to most of your ability to overcome barriers throughout your career as aneducational leader?Participant A Whenever something comes up, I still kind of weigh the risks involved. Not to the pointwhere it may prevent me from doing something, but to the point where I don‘t go into somethingblind. There are certain things you have to do, whether the risk is high or low, because it‘ssomething you have to do. But you need to know the risks before you get involved. Some peopleare prone to ―risk avoidance‖ at all cost; I believe in managing the risk. Well, first of all, I think I‘ve been blessed with abilities to recognize that I do havestrengths and weaknesses. I also recognize that barriers are often self-imposed. I think that justbelieving that what you‘re doing is what you‘re supposed to be doing, and that‘s why you‘rehere. And if it doesn‘t work out, then that wasn‘t what you were supposed to do. I think justrecognizing that has probably helped me the most. I guess I don‘t see a lot of barriers. It may bea slight detour where it may cause you to slow down in pursuing something, but it‘s not a barrier. Participant A shared the importance of all leaders to take risks. He stated that one must beaware of the risks and go into the situation ready, in order to be a successful leader. Risks are anecessity but preparation and risk-management make all the difference in dealing with thoserisks. This is how he has tackled barriers throughout his life. He also recognizes that mostbarriers are self-imposed. In order to overcome any barriers, a positive frame of mind isnecessary.
  • 142. 130Participant B Well, I think it goes back to an earlier question about your leaders and mentors, peoplewho you admired. There may be a term called demands, but I don‘t see them as barriers. I seethem as demands to be successful. And, if you wish to be successful in this arena, these are thedemands you have to meet. If a young person is experiencing barriers, such as racism, then theyshould analyze the situation first. When you do an analysis, and when you evaluate the action inquestion, if they are racist, first, you must know what racism is. So, youngsters today, who arehaving issues, should first do an analysis because the issue could be the youngster. It‘s just that you learn what you should do, what you should be … you learn what iscorrect, and when you learn what is correct, it doesn‘t make a difference as to whether you wereblack, white or something else. If you learn what is correct, even though the law said I‘m notprivileged to mix with you, I‘m not denied the opportunity to know what you know. So whenyou are correct, you‘re just correct; leadership is a given. Just because I‘m Black, it doesn‘t mean that I don‘t have the leadership qualities andskills because they are not owned by anybody. Participant B contributes his success to his ability to know what needs to be done, andknow what to do to get it done. He has chosen a path which is followed by living his lifecorrectly. He did not see barriers as barriers. He instead saw the limitations he faced as demandsfor him to be successful. He feels that if one is operating on the confines of effective leadership,the color of his or her skin does not dictate whether they possess leadership qualities or not.Participant C I would say my faith in God … I don‘t talk about it a lot, but that‘s been the big stabilizerfor me. Going through many challenges, I could always know that going back to Bible scripture
  • 143. 131and reading my favorites would give me comfort in knowing that in the end, I‘m going to beokay. If there‘s a storm today, the sun is surely going to shine tomorrow. I‘m not sure if it‘s shifted my paradigm or philosophy; it just redirected me. It redirectedme to a different level, I think. The goal that I originally had in mind, I modified. So instead ofaiming for my original goal, which was to be the high school principal, I shifted and modifiedmy goals to move to the college level. When I saw the direction, the impact that segregation,now desegregation, was having, it made me change my thinking. My thinking was, that‘s notgoing to work for me. These jobs are not going to be there for me in the future. So, I thoughtmaybe I should set my sights on the college level. Participant C gave all the credit of overcoming to his faith in God. He understood that nomatter what challenges he faced, he would always come out okay. Desegregation caused him toutilize education as a tool to open doors of opportunity versus not pursuing advanced degrees.Participant D If you see things as barriers, then the next step is to see how the barriers can be broughtdown. But if you are trying to accomplish a goal, and you focus on the barrier, then you‘re notgoing to get there. There‘s no use in butting your head against the door. It just won‘t open. Youhave to pick another way to work with it. It‘s hard to answer why those experiences didn‘t stop me … I guess it‘s like going fromhere to that building outside. I can walk straight, or I can go around to get to the building, or Imay decide to fly. If there‘s something blocking my path, I believed that I could still get theresome kind of way. Racism was one of those factors. There are a lot of factors that can stop aperson from getting to the building. One has to work around the obstacles in order to reach theirdestination. I never recognized the challenges of racism; I knew I would reach my goals one way
  • 144. 132or another. Participant D shared that his key to success in overcoming barriers was to first recognizethose barriers and evaluate how to bring those barriers down. He worked around the negativesituations in order to reach the destination and goals.Participant E One has to keep a positive frame of mind. I‘ve never been a negative person. I speakpositively and look on the bright side of things. If you have confidence in your ability, then youwill work toward accomplishing your goal, but if not, then you are not going to put forth theeffort. My point of view is that one should think on the positive side. When I was in college, I went to Black schools and White students went to Whiteschools. I finished college in the 1950‘s and went to graduate school, but did not find thisarrangement to be a handicap; I discovered that it was strength. In fact, when I later attended Indiana University, I realized that I was as well prepared, orbetter prepared, than students who attended predominately White institutions. I later attended theUniversity of Iowa, where I earned my PhD. Again I was well prepared, or better prepared, thanthose attending the nation‘s top schools. While I was enrolled at Iowa, there was a young man who was a graduate of RiceUniversity. We were in a physiology class together. He dropped the class, but I stayed in it.Consequently, among the twenty-six people that enrolled in the class, only six completed thecourse. I knew I was only going to take that class once. I always had confidence in my abilitiesand felt that if someone else could do it, I could also. I reasoned that if we were all taking thecourse for the first time, my chances were just as good as anybody else‘s. Participant E expressed that he did not feel that segregation was a barrier. He realized that
  • 145. 133when he attended PWIs that he was just as prepared or more prepared than all the other studentswhen he went on to earn his advanced degrees. This was possible because of his positive frameof mind and his confidence in his abilities to reach his goals.Participant F My dedication to education has helped students to understand that they can‘t getanywhere without working hard and not half-stepping. That‘s my philosophy, which is to teachthem to be the best that they can be. I teach those ideas, and demonstrate to them what it takes tobe a great thinker. I tell them all the time to put God first in their lives. Now you have afoundation, and don‘t ever forget where we came from. Always work hard and keep your word.If you say you‘re going to do something, do it. I teach them to have a positive attitude, and that ifanybody else could do it, they could, too. Always believe in yourself because if you don‘tbelieve in yourself, you won‘t do it. These are some of the things that I‘ve taught and theyunderstand that. This is true not just for African-American males, but African-American females,too. They need to see a good role model as a man and not a pair of pants. It takes more than that.I also teach another thing: don‘t burn the bridges that you cross. When kids came to our university, we worked with them. The students needed that one-on-one teaching strategy. They were not afraid of us and felt comfortable around their ownpeople. That‘s what‘s happening to us in our HBCUs right now. We have lost something. Wedon‘t have that kind of enrichment of Black professors anymore. It‘s scary for our Black childrenand Black men that nobody cares. We have teachers that are not concerned about our students. Iput blood, sweat and tears into my students. I work night and day trying to help them. Participant F was able to overcome barriers because of his philosophy of success:dedication to excellence and hard work. This is the same message he tries to impress upon his
  • 146. 134students. He shares with his students that they can succeed and make their dreams become areality if they put God first, work hard, and remain confident in their abilities.Participant G I remember when I was in the Army, and I had to serve as the assistant defense attorneyfor an Army private that was charged with disobeying a superior officer. My counterpart, whowas a White Texan from Texas A&M, Kingsville, bragged about how he was going to win thecase and he said that I didn‘t stand a chance. This particular officer had challenged my ability,and I was going to accept that challenge regardless of what it took. To make a long story short, Iwon that case. So, having knowledge and being educated were factors that helped me to overcome, andhaving strong mentors and role models that demonstrated excellence in their field was a sourceof inspiration for me. So, yes, there were laws, and we knew those laws. We were intelligentenough to abide by them, yet not allow the laws to subjugate us to inferiority. Participant G recognized that his ability to overcome barriers was due to the examples setforth by his many role models who served as protective factors against racism and inferiority. Healso shared that his education and knowledge were influential in helping him overcomeadversities.Research Question 5What is the essence of the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders at aSouthwestern Historically Black College and University? Interview Question 7Describe what it means to be an African American male in leadership position that helped pavethe way for African American males.
  • 147. 135Participant A I see it as a big responsibility. I think being in a position to encourage younger Blackmales to do the best they can, and I‘m not sure if that‘s associated with my job or what that‘sassociated with, but I know I do the same thing here at the University. Because what I‘m trying to do is to make sure that the younger Black males get as manyexperiences as they can so they can take advantage of opportunities that come up. I‘m alwayssuggesting that they be open for opportunities. I just worry when I see Black males that are beingplaced in positions where they may not have that same kind of encouragement. One year, thanks to Dr. Parker, I was invited to make a commencement speech at aprison. It was a maximum-security unit close to Houston. I think that experience inspired me totry to talk to young Black males about life in general and about expectations. Even though yourfriends may not look at you as being cool or whatever, there are just things you don‘t want to do.Whenever I have a chance to talk to a young Black male, I relate these kinds of stories to them,so they can look around and see. A lot of them have placed themselves in such a position whereit‘s going to be very hard for them to overcome. And that‘s where their faith and mine has toreally kick in because I can‘t see how I can do anything to support some of the people havingmajor difficulties, even those in my family. All I can do for them is just pray and ask God to bewith them and carry them through. But this is where your faith really has to kick in. It‘s just thatI‘ve seen so many Black males who are not living up to what I think is their potential, andthey‘re doing things that will hinder them from any kind of ―success.‖ I do take mentoring veryseriously. I do talk to folk one-on-one whenever I see something that I can do, especially withyoung men I think I can work with. Participant A shared that it is a big responsibility to be an African American male in a
  • 148. 136leadership position. He described it to be his responsibility to encourage young Black males to dotheir best in order to succeed. He has worked his hardest to ensure that the younger generationsof Black youth have opportunities to experience leadership. His message to students is to takeadvantage of opportunities. He also serves as a mentor to young men discussing with them the expectations of beinga man. He has stepped in as a mentor because he has seen so many young African Americanmales who have placed themselves in some tough positions or who have the potential to succeedbut lack the guidance and support. His mentoring takes place whenever the opportunity arisesand is usually one-on-one. Participant A realizes that he can only do so much in his role as amentor, so he continually looks for guidance from God.Participant B I would probably sum it up, for me … if I can help somebody, let me do that. And if Ihave, let me be appreciative of what was given to me as a talent to help somebody. When a malesees me, I‘d like for him to see and desire to use many of those strategies that he sees within me.People disrespect people; and people respect people. So again, we have to set examples asleaders to inspire them to emulate the qualities of a leader, therefore, we must lead correctly.There are many people who are leaders, but their behavior is unacceptable. Therefore, AfricanAmerican males who are looking at those types of leaders need to be careful of what theychoose. Participant B revealed that the responsibility of being an African American male leader isto lead by example and to use their abilities to help others. He stressed the importance of correctbehaviors and actions so that the younger generations can adopt those quality characteristicsrather than follow the all-to-common wrong examples flaunted in society.
  • 149. 137Participant C I‘ve always, for a long time, thought about this issue. The Black man, and this is an issuewe were discussing previously, in my graduate school days, we talked about how we weretreated different, had different expectations, but at the same time, we had a responsibility to standstrong. What I mean is, it‘s always sort of been more fact than a myth that there is a double ortriple standard. Standards are not the same if you‘re a Black man. For sure, the standards forBlacks and Whites are not the same. In many instances, between Black males and Black females,it‘s not the same. I got passed over for the position in which I had more experience and betterqualifications. I didn‘t get the job. I didn‘t cry about it. I actually worked harder. And as it turnedout, in the long run, I did more, accomplished more, and probably got more notoriety, and,actually, had more power of influence being in what was perceived as a lesser position. So, I learned from that lesson that it‘s not really as much of the position that you‘re in;it‘s what you do with the one you have. The example I set was to do all I could to the best of myability wherever I was. I wasn‘t concerned about who was getting the credit. Participant C defined the role of an African American male in a leadership position as theability to ―stand strong‖ despite the obstacles that may stand in the way. He provided theexample of how he grew to be successful and was able to accomplish so much. The work forcedouble standard for African Americans required that he work even harder than White males. Thisled to him to accomplish more than he had anticipated.Participant D Serving as an African American educational leader means having the ability to impact thelives of people. The heart of my leadership has been the power to ―impact.‖ If you look at a
  • 150. 138medical doctor, while he may be the one who is making the impact, he can only touch one personat a time. But, as an educator, you have the potential to reach twenty, thirty, forty, or perhaps ahundred people at one time. So, impacting the lives of people … that is the key. That is whateducational leadership means to me. As an educator, you are impacting a person‘s life. It may not be instantly, but the seedsyou planted may not germinate until thirty or forty years later. When considering the power toimpact, can you see anything else that is more critical or important? The impact that I‘m havingon a person for the next 30 or 40 years is powerful. Participant D described the role of an African American male in leadership position asthe ability to impact lives. He shared that his role as an educator has allowed for him to impact amyriad of lives in a positive way. His influence has the power to touch an individual throughouttheir lifetime.Participant E I think we are here to make a contribution. You have to make some type of impact onsociety. And if you‘re going to do it, you give your best to the people with whom you areinteracting. The students are our clientele. If you made any impact, then you should certainlyinspire the student to pursue the profession to which they aspire. Participant E feels that the importance of being a leader is to make a contribution tosociety. His goal is to impact his students in such a way to spur them toward the acquisition oftheir goals.Participant F It feels great. It‘s a joy. It‘s outstanding, considering the impact that I‘ve had on youngpeople at the University and beyond. I have encouraged them to come to my alma mater. The
  • 151. 139journey has been great and as I sit back and reflect, I know I didn‘t cheat my students. They weresuccessful all across the country because they had the background knowledge. I thank God forthat and it‘s a blessing for me. Participant F expressed that it feels great to have impacted so many students both at theuniversity and across the nation. He recognized that he has impacted the students in that hedidn‘t cheat them out of their desires to be successful. He provided them with the backgroundknowledge they needed to achieve great things.Participant G ―I think it was an accomplishment.‖ Participant G simply stated that it is an accomplishment to be an African American malein a leadership position.Research Question 5What is the essence of the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders from aSouthwestern Historically Black College and University? Interview Question 8What keeps the seven African American male educational leaders continuing their life of serviceat an HBCU?Participant A ―I know that a large number of Black males are getting the mentoring they need; I see itevery day. However, if one is not receiving the kind of mentoring he needs, that is one toomany.‖ Participant A continues his service at the university because he wants to ensure that thestudents are getting the mentoring they need and the opportunities to succeed.
  • 152. 140Participant B I find pleasure in the changes that I see occur. I see changes both physically andtheoretically. It‘s stimulating … It‘s exciting. To me, it‘s like that … I‘ll use you as an examplein the way that you approach music. It‘s like … Why do you keep singing that same song? Yourresponse may be: It just relaxes me … It moves my spirit … It comforts me … It just makes mefeel that there isn‘t anything I can‘t do when I‘m singing this song or playing this instrument.Well, I just enjoy and find pleasure when I start with a new student that starts at point A. Iobserve their doubtful behavior of whether they can be successful in my class. There was acommercial at one time, it‘s been outdated since then, ―I can‘t believe I ate the whole thing.‖Well, sometimes I see my students in disbelief as if to say, ―I can‘t believe I did this.‖ And that‘sthe joy, or if I‘ve served on a committee, or I‘ve chaired something, and I recognize that I haveorchestrated this group to arrive at this conclusion … I feel good leadership made this happen. Itbrought them together. That gives me pleasure that I was able to do that. Participant B continues his service at the university because his role as an educator isexciting to witness the evolution of student knowledge from one point to the next. He takes pridein the changes he has helped facilitate within the students.Participant C There‘s still some unfinished business. I feel that I have an assignment from God to docertain things and he‘s not through with me yet. And with what I‘m doing currently, I have anopportunity to share that with some of these young people and to make a difference. The studentskeep me going. They are the reason I get up every day. These students—they are our future.They‘re going to be running things in just a few short years. What small difference can I make? I haven‘t been released from this assignment yet. I‘m having fun at it. I enjoy it. I wake
  • 153. 141up every morning at four o‘clock ready to do it all over again. I enjoy it now, probably, more sothan I did 30 years ago. I enjoy coming here every day. I don‘t regret it; every day is a good dayfor me. So I‘m going to keep doing it for a while. Yes, I could retire, or go do something elseless meaningful, but I don‘t want to do that. Participant C continues his service at the university because he feels as though it is hisGod-given assignment. His motivation to continue is also due to the satisfaction he feelsknowing he is impacting the future decision-makers of the nation.Participant D I feel there is a crisis right now with young people. It took ten, fifteen years to get us towhere we are, so it‘s going to take that long to solve the problem. You have to have something inplace ten, fifteen years from now that will take working with the parents in the community ifchange is to take place. Participant D continues his service at the university to positively impact the youth oftoday‘s mixed up culture. He has recognized a crisis within the community and is taking part inhelping to lift-up the nation‘s youth.Participant E We prepare students not just to be biologists; we prepare them for life. This is whateducation should be designed to do—to permit one to move on. If one is motivated, then he orshe will do what is necessary to be successful, even in a totally different area. If individuals canget the basics, then I think they can move on. So, to teach biology is to teach a way of life. Participant E continues his service at the university because he feels that it is his duty tohelp the students master their field of study and also learn ways to navigate through lifesuccessfully. His goal is to not only teach the curriculum but to teach and train the whole student.
  • 154. 142Participant F The kids … The kids are my motivation. I mean, I can walk in the classroom and when Isee these kids, I just get hyper. They give me a charge as they are learning and running to get toclass. I thought about administration, and the administrative duties, but teaching, for me, was farbetter. It was better because I got the opportunity to be actively involved in the lives of thestudents, in contrast to pushing a pencil and paper doing administrative work. Participant F continues his service to the university because of the students. They are hisnumber one motivation. He prefers teaching over administrative work because teaching offers amore personal impact on student success.Participant G “I love teaching.‖ Participant G continues his service at the university because he loves teaching andimparting timeless knowledge to the students he serves.Research Question 6How has the leadership of senior African American male educational leaders influencedstudents, policy, the development of programs, strategies, and curriculum? Interview Question 5How do you think African American male educational leadership adds value to the mainstreamof society?Participant A For society, in general, I think the African American population brings the ability to solveproblems that may come from a different perspective. How did we survive during the Jim Crowera? How did we survive when people thought we were less than human? I think just that
  • 155. 143―survival instinct‖ is something we can bring to the table. I‘m not downplaying the currenteconomic situation of our country, but over the years, we have survived. There are people whoare simply afraid. But, then there are those who have gone through worse times, and they stillmaintain their faith. They still maintain their families. They still look forward to the future. Now,if you‘ve never experienced that, if you‘ve never had that background, you may be thinking theworld is coming to an end. Participant A believes the African American community brings the ability to overcomebarriers from a different perspective. He feels the African American community offers a certain―survival instinct‖ in the world of leadership. This instinct is the tenacity to bounce back despitethe devastation of the laws inflicted upon them. He shared that even in the midst of racism andexperiencing unjust laws that the African American community was still able to maintain theirfaith and families.Participant B The importance of that is to serve as a role model. There is a disconnect in what I thinkthe young Black male today, based upon the period in time in which they are growing up, in thatthey have tried to redefine some basic things like respect, integrity, and honesty. I‘m not socertain that there are a significant number of males who are saying those basic things like, ―Thisis my house, so these are the rules of my house. That‘s your mom. These are the rules to respectyour mom.‖ I don‘t find that being an issue with many of the young Black males. They almostsay whatever they think or feel like saying irrespective of the environment in which they are in.And the society contributes to that. They may not agree with me, but much of that behavior isprogrammed. By programming I mean the society that you embrace, they market things like that.If you read the statistics, they‘ll tell you the number of Black Americans incarcerated. Well, then
  • 156. 144you look at what the reasons are for being there … They patterned some things that were notacceptable. They didn‘t have the other kinds of models to look to. Participant B expressed his concerns for the African American male youth of today whendescribing how they are caught up in the noose of the media and hip-hop culture. He feels asthough the African American community is not surviving when considering the incarcerationrates of African American males, the Black on Black crime rates, and high school drop-out ratesof African Americans. He also shared his views that African American male educational leaders add valuebecause they are serving as positive role models in a generation where basic principles (respect,dignity, honesty, etc.) have been redefined. He explained that positive African American rolemodels are essential to balance out the often negative influences prevalent in the media and insociety. He feels as though the new generations are marketing a certain behavior that is notreflective of the core values held by African American males three or four decades ago.Participant C Well, even now, we‘ve made a lot of progress, but there‘s still a lot of work to be donewith this whole issue of race. As African Americans, we were taught back in the day to get aneducation, but that was still not enough ... opportunities still won‘t be equal. So you basicallyhave to out work your competition, and be twice as good. The idea was that as AfricanAmericans, average wasn‘t good enough, and I think that standard is still true today. It‘s not alevel playing field; it still isn‘t a level playing field. But, you‘ve got to understand that going intoit. So, you got to understand going in that you‘re not starting off at the same starting line. Youcan overcome some of that, but you‘ve got to be willing to work extra hard to overcome theinequality. It‘s not going to come easy. It‘s not automatic. They‘re not going to hand it to you on
  • 157. 145a silver platter. Participant C shared that though he has witnessed a lot of progress in regards to racism,that there is still more to be done. He mentioned the unlevel playing field in education and thework force. He feels that the survival of African American males depends on strong work ethics.He explained that African American males must out-work and out-perform their Whitecounterparts in order to overcome barriers.Participant D The truth is, I am sure, is uncompromising discipline … That‘s probably the bestdescription of what African American male leaders offer. In my opinion, this quality kind ofsums up what President Obama represents: truthful, uncompromising discipline, which indicatesthat he knows what needs to be done. The President has people challenging him in manydifferent ways, yet he demonstrates the strong ability to listen to them. Even as President of theUnited States of America, Barack Obama is still denied the respect he deserves. Participant D described African American male leaders as possessing an uncompromisingdiscipline and truthfulness that is evidenced in President Obama. He further explained his viewof President Obama and his uncompromising discipline in how he does what needs to be doneregardless of those who challenge his authority or who disrespect him as the nation‘s leader.Participant E First of all, there is a great need for the representation of role models among all ethnicgroups. I believe that seeing various ethnic groups in leadership roles provides hope and thepossibility of being successful in life. If young adults have never witnessed someone from theirethnic background in certain positions of authority, then their aspirations could be limited. Forexample: witnessing President Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America
  • 158. 146was a historical event for African-Americans. When I was growing up, we would question theappointment of a ―Black president.‖ Well, we did not use ―Black,‖ but ―a Negro president.‖ Thatwas not something even remotely considered. Now, we have one; whether he serves one term ortwo terms, we know it is possible. This realization of what can happen has certainly inspiredstudents to have hope for the future. Participant E discussed his views that African American male educational leaders arenecessary in order to serve as role models for younger generations to provide them with hope andthe possibility for success. He also shared the powerful example of President Obama as thenation‘s number one leader. He stated that this has inspired students to believe that their dreamscan be attainable as well.Participant F When people of other groups recognize our accomplishments as African-Americans, theyare amazed. Schools don‘t teach Black history to White students, Asians, or whatever, so theydon‘t know that Black people have made significant contributions to society. President Obama has made an impact now, but the struggle to overcome had already beenestablished by Dr. King and others in what they had done for society. President Obama is sittingon the shoulders of all the great African Americans who have fought and died for the cause. Ilike him, but I can‘t give him the credit for where we‘ve come from as African-Americans. Itwas not his doing. Participant F discussed that African Americans have made great contributions to societythroughout history but that these are often overlooked. He believes that the void of Black historyin European American classrooms is to the detriment of the African American community. Heshared that when the majority race is exposed to the accomplishments and contributions of
  • 159. 147African Americans, they are simply amazed. He also mentioned President Obama and the impactthat he has had on African American males of today. He also stated however, that the struggle toovercome was already established by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others.Participant G The first thing that educational leaders must understand is that they‘re not bosses, they‘releaders. Leaders command they don‘t demand. As a leader, you have to clearly understand andbecome familiar with the people that you‘re working with and the people you‘re serving. Participant G described the important factors of being a leader as not only being familiarwith the people they are serving but to also have a firm understanding of those individuals.Research Question 6How has the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders influenced students,policy, the development of programs, strategies, and curriculum from a SouthwesternHistorically Black College and University? Interview Question 6Provide examples of how your legacy has impacted the lives of students/former students byimplementation of leadership programs, strategies, curriculum, and theories targeted towardAfrican American males. Describe policies, political office, or positions of power that assistedseven educational leaders in becoming change agents of local, state, or national policy.Participant A Well, I‘ll give one example: the Capital Campaign…. When we first started out, we set agoal to raise $50 million. Then there was a downturn in the economy, and we realized that wecould not raise $50 million, so we changed it to $30 million. We felt we could raise that amount.We actually raised $33 million. So, maybe the downturn of the public economy was a barrier.
  • 160. 148But again, the idea was to raise money for scholarships and endowed chairs, and we did that; andwe‘re still doing that. The path of the Capital Campaign is an example of how we will adjust tomake change in Graduate Studies and Research Administration. When I taught in public school, I was very active in the Houston Teachers Association. Infact, I was the Grievance Representative for Southwest Houston, so if the teachers had anydisagreements, they were supposed to come and talk to me before they went to the school boardor principal. I was on the Faculty Advisory Committee. We suggested policies for the school;and I was also on the district‘s Consultation Committee. We were not allowed the right to strikeor bargain collectively, so Houston gave teachers some participation in decisions affectingemployment by letting teacher representatives consult with the district on issues once a year. Iwas actually chair of that committee at one point in time. Participant A described his experience taking part with the Capital Campaign. He statedthat the campaign has raised millions of dollars for scholarships, endowed chairs for severalyears, in addition to making adjustments in the graduate studies and research administrationpolicies.Participant B In my case, individuals are privileged to write an acknowledgment in their researchpapers in my class. I have just hundreds of acknowledgments that express their appreciation forhelping me to conduct research correctly. I‘ve had individuals such as yourself and otherdoctoral students who have gone to other schools, and have called me back to tell me that theschool‘s doctoral program is just an extension of what I learned in your class. And that was myintent. And I‘ve had many to tell me that in their current doctoral programs, it was almost as if Iwere right there in their class.
  • 161. 149 I have been privileged to serve in many leadership roles: school boards, director of theCredit Union, Chairman of Commencement, and University Marshall. Those are leadershippositions that allow you to demonstrate the qualities of a person‘s character, a person whodemonstrates integrity, who has principles. For the 55 years that I‘ve been here, I‘ve been able to lead in some of the highest levelsof leadership because of the reputation that I have developed in high school and by men whoserved as my mentors. I‘ve been privileged to have a reputation of someone that knows how toget a job done as it relates to leadership. When you look at my legacy, when you look at mybackground, people have voted me into positions such as school board member three times. I hadto present myself to the public and the public said, ―I think this person would be good for thisposition.‖ Participant B described the impact he has had on several of his former students. Hediscussed how many of his students have acknowledged him in research papers, gone on tobecome doctoral candidates, and even returned to tell him that their advanced studies in researchmethods was just an extension of his class. He also shared the many positions he has held throughout his career. He has been electedto different school boards, the director of the city‘s local credit union, the Chairman ofCommencement and University Marshall. He stated that his reputation as an educational leader isthat he is known to get the job done.Participant C There is one program that I‘d like to talk about, that I‘m proud of and that I wasresponsible for, for a number of years. It started back in the early 80s in 1982. It was called theResearch Apprentice Program (RAP). Now, what the program was designed to do was to bring
  • 162. 150juniors and seniors in high school here to introduce them to the field of agriculture. We did morethan just the sciences; we wanted to teach them some of the fundamentals: science, chemistry,biology. We also exposed the students to role models and mentors. We exposed them at the highschool level. We exposed them through field trips, industries, and other places; we had a veryhigh success rate among those students who come through the program. A lot of PhDs, MDs and JDs have come to the program and are very, very successful.They didn‘t all do agriculture. They went into all fields. So, I could name you a whole list ofmedical doctors. I can name you a list of PhDs. I can name others, even the ones withoutdegrees, who are doing extremely well in their chosen professions. Even teachers have comethrough the program. So, I feel that that‘s something I‘ve had a hand in for a long time. I served in leadership positions in different organizations at the national and regionallevel. Probably one of the highest positions that I‘ve served, I served as chair of a committeecalled the Experimental Station Committee on Policy back in 2005-2006. During my tenure inthat position, it‘s a national position of all the research directors and experiment station directorsthroughout the country, all 50 states and territories, and over 100 members strong, I was incharge of some powerful people. One of the big things that I was proud of was that we had a lotto do with the formation of the 2008 Farm Bill. We set policies and programs that impactedagriculture. I was an integral part of that; in writing that. Participant C described his involvement in the Research Apprentice Program (RAP) sincehe started it in 1982. He designed the program to draw in high school students to introduce themto the field of agriculture. His goal was to expose the students to mentors and role models. He isvery proud of the program because many students who came through RAP became PhDs, MDs,and JDs.
  • 163. 151 He has also been a part of many different organizations throughout his career. In 2006-2007 he was the Chair of the Experimental Station Committee on Policy (ESCP). He is proud ofhis involvement as chair in this committee because it is a national position of all researchdirectors and experiment station directors over the entire United States.Participant D Well, one of my former students worked here on her master‘s in Electrical Engineeringand later completed her PhD. And now, she‘s a member of our faculty. Another student of minefinished his undergrad here, and then went on to obtain his PhD at Texas A&M. So, both of myformer students have earned a doctorate degree in engineering. I guess students are able toenvision themselves going as high in education as the attainment of a Ph.D. They know whatthey are doing, which is satisfying to me—knowing that I helped my student build a strongfoundation as an undergraduate student, so that they can go to another school for their Masters orPhD. As far as our policies, I guess over eighteen years, I can say that I helped in thedevelopment of curriculum. When I became department head in 1977, I pushed for theestablishment of seven engineering labs; I think there were only four at the time. And there wereother areas, such as helping to develop the curriculum for electrical engineering becauseengineering concepts were constantly changing. When I was serving as the interim dean, I presented the administration with the Mastersin Electrical Engineering with the possibility of designing a PhD in a few years. So, I introducedthe concept and the information on how to get the program started. Then the new dean took theidea from there and developed an awesome program. Well, I guess I can‘t take all of the credit,but I had major input.
  • 164. 152 Participant D described the successes of former students in that many went on to earntheir PhDs and some are now even faculty at the university. His contributions as the DepartmentHead of Engineering and Interim Dean include: establishing research labs and implementing thecurrent electrical engineering program, and having an input in the development of the Mastersand PhD programs in Electrical Engineering.Participant E Well, they are all great. In fifty-eight years I have touched a lot of students. I imagine, atthat time, I am sure there are at least 400 or 500 physicians that I have taught, and it‘s somethingto be proud of. At one time, every student that went to medical school had to take my class. I held no political office. As the department head, I was involved in curriculum changesin biology, which included faculty members. Administrators and faculty would convene todiscuss policy changes. My leadership style was participatory, in that, the tasks that needed to bedone had to be carried out by people. The same thing was true during my tenure as the dean ofArts and Sciences. I may have presented an idea regarding new courses, revisions, or curriculum,but the implementation was done with the approval of the faculty and staff. Participant E shared that his impact on students has been vast because at one point in timeevery medical school student was required to take at least one of his classes. For this reason, heestimated that he has touched around 500 physicians throughout the nation. While he was in theBiology Department, he was involved in curriculum changes. He did not take all the credit forthe changes because he said the faculty/staff were all integral to the development of thecurriculum.Participant F Golly ... I was ―Man of the Year.‖ I won that award three different times and received the
  • 165. 153university Choice Award by the students. During my lifetime, I‘ve touched about 40,000 to50,000 people and students across the nation. Just about all the kids in engineering wereinfluenced by me because they were required to take my class. I taught Basic Math in thesummer all the way up to Differential Equations and Advanced Math and Engineering. Thisnumber also included high schools across the state of Texas and other schools in the nation. Itold my wife, ―I‘m a superstar.‖ (he laughs). No, but it‘s just humbling to have touched so manylives. This new movement in getting Blacks and Afro-Americans into science and mathematicshad attracted major companies to what we were doing at the University. The people that had themoney were the big companies, like General Electric. Then we got money that was set up by Dr.A.E. Greaux back in the 70‘s. They would give out $100-$200,000 grants. We are still using theinterest from that money today to sponsor students for the ECI program. As a faculty, we havebeen able to write proposals and get grants for millions of dollars to sponsor programs and thestudents in the programs. Participant F estimated that he has touched the lives of 40,000 to 50,000 people acrossthe United States. He stated that almost all the students in engineering were required to take hisclass, so this has contributed to the large number of individuals he has impacted. He was alsoinstrumental in helping write million dollar grants for both the science and math programs at theuniversity. He took part in this for the students.Participant G I have a list of students who have graduated and gone to medical school from 2000-2011,and it reads as follows: the University of Texas Medical Branch, Tulane University, BaylorCollege of Medicine, Boston University College of Medicine, Brown University Program of
  • 166. 154Medicine, Howard University, Indiana University, John Hopkins School of Medicine, MeharryMedical College, Michigan State University of Medicine, New York College of OsteopathicMedicine, Ohio University, Oklahoma State School of Osteopathic Medicine, PhiladelphiaCollege of Osteopathic Medicine, Russia Medical, Temple University, Texas A&M University,Texas Tech University, The University of California, University of Cincinnati School ofMedicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, the list goes on and on. Participant G has alist of over 200 of his former students who have gone on to medical schools across the nation. Conceptual Frameworks The conceptual frameworks used for this study were based on the Critical Race Theory(CRT), Resiliency Theory, and Mentorship. CRT seeks to counter traditional theories andpractices that marginalize people of color. CRT attempts to give voice to the oppressed throughstories concerning experiences related to racial discrimination and inequality that have served ascontributing factors to their lack of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (Creswell, 2007). According to Delgado (1999) and Bell (1995), much of one‘s own reality is sociallyconstructed and that reliving the experience can be medicinal to the wounds caused byoppression and racism. Through the understanding of how race and discrimination negativelyimpact marginalized groups, oppressors are challenged to reflect on their practices and behaviortoward the oppressed. In Delgado‘s model of CRT, as cited by Lee (2009), the central tenants of CRT involvefive elements: the centrality of race and racism in society, the challenge to dominant ideology,the centrality of experimental knowledge, interdisciplinary, and the commitment to social justice.Lee (2009) asserts that race and racism are ideals that have historically identified andcharacterized the American society. Racism has had a negative impact on minorities individually
  • 167. 155and collectively. The researcher utilized the centrality of race component of the framework toexamine the impact of racism among seven African American male educational leaders, throughthe re-telling of their lived experiences. While CRT exposes racial and discriminatory practices through lived experiences of thevictim, Resilience Theory seeks to identify factors that contributed to the rise and success ofindividuals experiencing oppression (Zimmerman et al., 1999). According to Fergus andZimmerman (2005), researchers have developed three models of resilience: compensatory,protective, and challenge to analyze how promotive or protective factors help off-set theindividual from risk factors that have negative outcomes. For the purpose of the study, theresearcher utilized the protective-stabilizing model. The protective stabilizing model is appliedwhen protective factors help neutralize the impact of the risk and the negative outcome; when theprotective factor is absent, the greater the relationship between the level of risk and the negativeoutcome. The researcher examined protective factors that helped seven African American maleeducational leaders develop the resilience to overcome political, social, and cultural barriersthroughout their journey toward leadership. These frameworks sought to expose the participants‘fight against inequality and/or discrimination through the lens of CRT. Resilience may be acontributing factor to overcoming barriers and led to the success of seven African Americanmale educational leaders at a Southwestern HBCU in Texas (Daniel, 2006; Frazier, 2009). Mentorship according to Foster (2005), mentoring was a strong indicator of success forAfrican American males at every level of education. Public schools across the nation arechallenged in the area of effective mentorship programs that were designed to build strongrelationships the mentor and mentee, there by tearing-down racial barriers.
  • 168. 156 Summary Critical Race Theory guided the study and scientifically identified the participants‘ livedexperiences with racism, inequality and separatism as an outgrowth of unjust laws and practices(Delgado, 1999). Historically, the American society ignored or felt indifferent to the suffering ofAfrican American. CRT attempts to liberate individuals who have experienced such negative riskfactors by allowing them to voice what they experienced (Bell, 1995; Ladson-Billings, 1999). The seven participants of the study recalled moments in which they personallyexperienced the impact of the Jim Crow Laws or witnessed it through the media. Some wereactively involved in the Civil Rights Movement and helped form organizations within the Blackcommunity, experienced refusal of service in public facilities, the double standard in workexpectations, or witnessed the sting of integration when Black school teachers and administratorswere demoted in positions when they were transferred to public White schools. According toLadson –Billings (1999), judicial system has created racial tension among majority and minoritygroups from the past to the present. CRT was used to set the historical context of racism andinjustice. Resilience is described as the ability to cope with adversity through the movement towardprotective models of strength in contrast to negative models of weakness (Van Breda, 2001). It ischaracterized as the profession of flexibility, self-awareness, and determination in overcominglife‘s obstacles. The participants of the study demonstrated a strong degree of resiliency,bouncing back, through their strong self-concept that was formulated through the lives ofsignificant individuals during their formative, young adult and professional stages of their lives. Resilience, according to Reivich and Shatte (2002) is the ability to remain competent inthe face of adversity, bending without breaking, and having the power to spring back. Althoughthe practice of the study experienced critical moments in history that brought political, social,
  • 169. 157and economical duress for African-American, these men did not allow the power and influenceof the law to circumvent their determination toward the attainment of their career goals. Polk (1997) constructed categories of resilience that involved an individual‘s positiveself-ego, which involves the possession of a heightened confidence in one‘s ability to overcomebarriers. The individual, in a sense, find the inner strength to rise above stress through self-reliance and decision-making. The participants of the study all seemed to possess an innerstrength that remarkably denounced the impact of unjust laws in the eradication of opportunitiesto lead during segregation. Mentorship Contrary to the idea of ―every man for himself‖ or the ―self-made‖ man, the concept ofmentoring has served as a major cornerstone to the recognition, development, and execution ofleadership in the lives of seven participants of the study. Their exposure and interactions withsuccessful role-models and mentors became the driving force behind their eminent success aseducational leaders. the importance and impact on student success marked by the historical rolesof African-American teachers as counselors, disciplinarians, advocates, and role models, basedupon a number of predictors (i.e., test scores, social activity, and matriculation into college). Thefact that African American teachers viewed their historical roles as paramount in the nurturing,development, and empowerment through the visibility of successful examples, was confirmed bythe lived experiences of the participants of the study (Bacon, 2002; Benson, 2010); Scott, 2010).The experiences that were shared regarding the profound impact of parents, community, schoolofficials, and national leaders appeared to have added a new charge on behalf of true Leaders ...looking toward the future while looking back in order to navigate the next generation through thesocietal issues of their time.
  • 170. 158 Conclusion Although the seven participants experienced racism, inequality, and injustice in someform findings from the interviews showed that these educational leaders did not recognize thenegative risk factors as barriers but rather an opportunity to exercise their resiliency throughintellect, mental, toughness, and courage. A commonality among all the participants as it relatedto mentorship was the desire and drive to make an impact on the lives of African American maleyouth at the social and educational level.
  • 171. Chapter V Findings, Implications, and Recommendations As previously stated in the literature review, the plight of African American male youthhas become a growing concern within the educational system. High school dropout andincarceration rates continue to persist among this vulnerable group (Child‘s Aid Society, 2006).While they escaped the subtle traps that entangled some of their peers, African Americaneducators and leaders continue to fight in the struggle for equality and the elimination ofprejudice in society. As time brings a different set of challenges and problems to be solved, thestudy revealed there is still much work to be done as it relates to race relations in the South andthe fight for equal rights and responsibilities. Even within the nation‘s Predominantly White Institutions (PWI), the significance ofAfrican American leadership is still under scrutiny and treated as a phenomenon suitable only forpeople of their race and not the nation as a whole. This lack of trust and confidence in AfricanAmerican male leadership was perpetuated through the American society and its judicial system,especially before the Civil Rights Movement (DuBois, 1903-2003; Woodson, 1933-2005).Consequently, the negative intention of the Jim Crow Laws provided the opportunity for AfricanAmerican males to demonstrate their ability to the world. Although they are unsung heroes, therewere men and women who bought into the vision of civil rights for all people and they passedtheir values and examples to the next generation with the intention of creating a stronger racethat would eventually have to take up their weaponry and continue the fight for rights. After analysis of the data concerning social, political, and educational road blocks to thecareer paths of seven African American male leaders, the researcher discovered that theparticipants did not view the critical moments in African American history as risk factors. Theyrealized that while the Jim Crow Laws attempted to subjugate them as an inferior race, they 159
  • 172. 160developed a degree of resiliency through protective factors such as supportive parents and thesheltering, caring, and nurturing of Black students in higher education levels. The purpose of this study was to conduct a phenomenological investigation that gavevoice to seven African American male leaders. The study examined the emergence ofeducational leadership and its impact on African American males as perceived, experienced andexercised by African American male administrators of a Historically Black College andUniversity (HBCU) in Southwest Texas. The study was guided by the following researchquestions:1. What was the evolution of leadership over the past three decades of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?2. What critical moments in history have impacted the educational leadership styles(s) of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?3. Which leaders from the past have left an impression on seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?4. In the face of social, political, or racial adversities, what influenced the decisions of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?5. What is the essence of the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?6. How has the leadership of seven African American male educational leaders influenced students, policy, development of programs, strategies, and curriculum from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?
  • 173. 161 The Interview Process The interview process was conducted over a two month period. After the interviewinstruments were revised, the interview process began. There were 3 phases: (1) the historicalcontext, (2) the social context, and (3) the reflective context. Each participant‘s interview wasscheduled between 120 to 180 minutes. The seven participants were asked open ended semi-structured interview questions. The same questions were asked and if necessary, a follow-upquestion was asked for clarification to a previous response. According to Seidman (2006), in-depth phenomenological interviews combine lifeexperience with focused in-depth probing designed to recreate the phenomenon the participantshave experienced. In depth interviews were collected via audio-recorder over a 10 week period.The transcripts were analyzed repetitively to identify themes that the participants experiencedregarding their journey toward leadership as a whole. According to Manen (1990), ―Theme is theform of capturing the phenomenon one tries to understand. Theme describes an aspect of thestructure of lived experience‖ (p. 85). The transcriptions were tenaciously and aggressivelyanalyzed as the researcher moved from a broad perspective of the phenomenon of question tonarrower common themes (Creswell, 2007). Data Analysis As stated in Manen (1990), ―the language of human science writing discloses reflectively(―show‖ us) how phenomenology knowledge is held and what it is like to know thingspedagogically‖ (p. 131). The analysis yielded six common themes that were identified asprotective factors to the success of the seven participants of the study: (a) recognition of andopportunities for leadership, (b) recognition of the positive and negative impact of segregationand integration, (c) community, family, and national leaders as mentors, (d) negative risk factorswere not acknowledged as roadblocks, (e) African American males‘ impact and continued
  • 174. 162service to youth, and (f) influence inside and outside of the school community (See Figure 1). Common ThemesRecognition and Opportunities for Leadership The evolution of the leadership of all seven participants seems to have originated duringtheir formative years as early as elementary school. Six out of the seven participants pointed outthat significant individuals such as teachers, peers or administrators recognized their talents andleadership qualities and appointed or elected them into leadership positions. It was duringsegregation in Black schools that each participant was given the opportunity to recognizeexperiences and exercise their leadership ability. These men pursued education as a career path by influence or limited job opportunities.During their tenure at the University, as young men, they were given the opportunity to fillleadership positions at an HBCU. Some participants were thrust or allowed opportunities to fillpositions without full pay. They took on the responsibilities and title of a specific position yet didnot receive the pay for the position. Benson‘s (2010) study supports the researcher‘s findings on the importance and impact ofAfrican-American male educational leaders as role models to the success of students. LikeBenson‘s findings, the historical role of instructors, counselors, disciplinarians, and mentorswere paramount to the nurturing, development, and empowerment of the seven participants whilethey were students as well. Today, as these sit in a position of influence as their formerinstructors, each participant considered his role as an educator/leader was critical to the successof the students they taught or supervised on a daily basis.
  • 175. 163 (a) Recognition and Opportunities for Leadership (f) Influence (b) Recognized Inside and Negative and Outside of the Positive Impacts School of Segregation Community and Integration Protective Factors to Success (e) African (c) Community, American Males Family, and Continued National Service and Leaders as Impact Youth Mentors (d) Negative Risk Factors Not Acknowledged as RoadblocksFigure 1. Common themes. Boswell‘s (2010) study on the need and significance of African-American male educatorsin the teaching profession supports the researchers finding that African American men are highlyinfluential to the development of African American males. The majority of the participants wererecognized as leaders as early as elementary and high school and were given leadershipopportunities through the influence of their peers, teachers, coaches, and administrators.Sometimes it was the example of a family member or the encouragement of a teacher, coach, or
  • 176. 164community member that encouraged the participants of the study to become educators andeventually administrators. The participants‘ main reason for serving the extensive amount ofyears they have and are continuing to do, is based upon their passion and love to nurture,support, and guide the next generation of African-American leaders. Berry‘s (2008) study is consistent with the findings of the researcher in that although thestudy focused on African-American female administrators, the idea of spirituality and servantleadership served as conduits in helping students achieve social, emotional, and academicsuccess while attending college. While the participants of the study did not consider themselvesmotherly figures, they certainly seem to view themselves as positive and successful rolemodels/mentors to the population they served. The seven participants also expressed the desire tohave a positive impact and influence on the lives of their constituents as well. Bacon (2002) confirmed the researcher‘s findings that African-American males andeducational leadership positions can be helpful in the development of leadership programs thatcould train future educational leaders. Several of the participants of the researcher‘s study wereexposed to leadership training in secondary school, while others exercised of their mentorshipeither within a classroom setting or one-on-one with student assistance/personnel. Eachparticipant of the study considered themselves as a mentor and are actively serving andmentoring students across disciplines. Critical moments in history, such as the civil rightsmovement, divulged African-American leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, who served as aleader for the Black community at large. His movement extended the opportunity for African-American males to practice leadership through nonviolence training and demonstrated to societythat, contrary to negative stereotyping, African American men were intelligent and had thecapacity to make ethical/moral decisions.
  • 177. 165 Scott (2011) explored the experiences and perceptions of 10 African American maleleaders and their educational attainment. The study aligned with the researcher‘s findings on thevalue of family, community, school community, and national leaders as positive role models tothe success for African-American male youth. The majority of the participants of the researchersstudy also attributed their career success in the field of education to parents, teachers,administrators, and national leaders during pivotal moments in Black history. Jackson‘s (2008) phenomenological study on ―The importance of mentoring AfricanAmerican women administrators at historically Black institutions in the state of Mississippi,‖featured seven African American females versus seven African American males at differentcareer levels. The studies were different in that, while African American females were absent inleadership positions at HBCUs, most of the male participants of the study were either appointedor thrust into leadership positions.Recognized Negative and Positive Impacts of Segregation and Integration During the 1950s through the late 1960s, the Black nation was going through a periodwhich challenged them as a race. All seven participants agreed that the Jim Crow era hadaccomplished its mission of establishing a culture of inequality and separatism that eventuallybecame the norm. On the contrary, all seven of the participants agreed that segregation and thelaws became a protective factor by providing African American males the opportunity toexercise their leadership and manhood by solving political and social problems that the nation‘sleaders would not address. The Black community was infiltrated with Black role models andmentors who created a helmet for protection against the subjection of inferiority through thelaws. Although the aftermath of discrimination and inequality were experienced throughout
  • 178. 166their lives, the seven participants did not view such critical moments in history for AfricanAmericans as risk factors or barriers to their success. Five out of the seven participants agreedthat the struggles that they had to endure did not affect their philosophy of leadership because ithad already been established through their list of mentors and role models. Two out of the sevenparticipants noted that during the early stages of their leadership, they were autocratic in theirapproach to later developed as a more democratic and eclectic approach. The issues that werepresented during their lived experiences were viewed as challenges that could be defeatedthrough faith and belief that they could overcome, financial independence, knowledge, takingrisks for the sake of the cause, in dynamic examples who understood the mission to cultivate astrong African American nation. Gritter‘s (2010) study on southern Blacks and their influence on politics aligned with theresearcher‘s findings that while the seven participants of the study were subject to the laws ofsegregation, they used their knowledge and intellect to follow the laws until justice came, as didsouthern Blacks of the past. Two participants of the researcher‘s study were actually involved inthe marches/sit-ins during the Civil Rights era. While other participants were not directlyinvolved with civil rights activities, they assumed their historical roles and instructors andleaders dedicated to the education of African American youth. Jordan-Taylor‘s (2011) project examined the lived experiences of nine southern educatorsenrolled in northern universities and the demonstration of their commitment to returning to thesouth to better the educational experiences of African American students. The study supports theresearcher‘s finding that outstanding role models and examples of teachers/administrators thatthe participants of the study interacted with at an HBCU, ultimately lead to opportunities forleadership that they may not have been given the privilege at a PWI. Although the lack of
  • 179. 167funding and resources has been a challenge for HBCUs, yet it has not diminished the mission ofthe education and successful matriculation of African American youth into mainstream society. Segregation provided African American males and females the opportunity for leadershipin teaching and administration. Many of the participants who served in executive leadershippositions may not have had these opportunities working at PWIs during their journey towardleadership because of the social and political unrest of the time. Two participants alluded thatAfrican American females had more opportunities under the law. They believed that the law wasdesigned to benefit the females more. Society/mainstream gave African American females moreprivileges (loaning more money, less lay-offs, preferred candidates for jobs) than AfricanAmerican males.Community, Family, and National Leaders as Mentors The seven participants stated their mentors and role models were a kaleidoscope of localand national leaders at the familial, community, educational, spiritual and national level. Familymembers and educational leaders/teachers had the most significant impact on four out of theseven participants that mentioned family as a variable. Out of the seven participants, fiveidentified teachers and educational administrators as mentors and role models. The participantsexpressed how their mentors lead by example by way of integrity, discipline, teamwork, goalorientation, perseverance, education, and compassion. The lives of these men and women wereso compelling that the seven participants were inspired to imitate the qualities and characteristicsthey saw exercised by their mentors and role models, which became the foundation and later, thebedrock of their leadership. Fraser‘s (2009) study on the rise of four African-American males as educational leadersconfirmed the researcher‘s findings that family, community, and national leaders of the time
  • 180. 168were critical to the recognition, selection, and development of African American male leadershipwithin the school community. Fraser and the researcher found that having caring and nurturingteachers, family members, coaches, and mentors created a form of emotional stability that helpedcounter negative risk factors such as racism and injustice. While it did not divulge as a commontheme, participants from both studies found that spirituality played an important role in decision-making and overcoming societal barriers. Bacon (2002) confirmed the researcher‘s findings that African-American males andeducational leadership positions can be helpful in the development of leadership programs thatcould train future educational leaders. Several of the participants of the researcher‘s study wereexposed to leadership training in secondary school, while others exercised of their mentorshipeither within a classroom setting or one-on-one with student assistance/personnel. Eachparticipant of the study considered themselves as a mentor and are actively serving andmentoring students across disciplines. Critical moments in history, such as the civil rightsmovement, divulged African-American leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, who served as aleader for the Black community at large. His movement extended the opportunity for African-American males to practice leadership through nonviolence training and demonstrated to societythat, contrary to negative stereotyping, African American men were intelligent and had thecapacity to make ethical/moral decisions. Scott (2011) explored the experiences and perceptions of 10 African American maleleaders and their educational attainment. The study aligned with the researcher‘s findings on thevalue of family, community, school community, and national leaders as positive role models tothe success for African-American male youth. The majority of the participants of the researchersstudy also attributed their career success in the field of education to parents, teachers,
  • 181. 169administrators, and national leaders during pivotal moments in Black history. According to the participants of the researcher‘s study, African American communitieswere powerful and developed outstanding educational values when they embraced the sameideals as a collective group with 100% buy-in. Because of the tenacity and daunting courage tomake no compromise, a small Black community produced students who could compete and attimes surpass their White peers at the high school level. This phenomenon of the power of theAfrican American community was an outgrowth of African American teachers who continuedtheir education and became experts at the Masters level in the field of education duringsegregation. Five out of the seven participants compared the current state of the African Americancommunity to that of their youth and recognized the potential reasons for the drastic change. Oneparticipant felt strongly that the African American community lost some of its sense of directionwhen national leaders were assassinated. No alternative leader was in place that practiced King‘snon-violent movement. This caused the African American community to lack a sense ofdirection. Another participant concluded that after African Americans gained a degree of rightsand equality, though not complete, the struggle to fight for a just cause diminished. He believesthis slowed the momentum of continuing to gain knowledge, exercising and demandingexcellence from oneself and the value of community and church. Bashi (1991) asserted that mentorship in the business world was utilized as a tool to helpexecutives successfully navigate to leadership positions. Bashi also found that 75% of successfulexecutives had mentors. In addition, Jackson‘s (2008) study also revealed that mentors played acritical role in the acquisition of administrative positions. These findings are consistent with theresearcher‘s findings that all seven participants had a series of significant individuals who served
  • 182. 170as role models and mentors. Although all seven participants are actively engaged in mentoring African Americanmake youth, the degree, impact and results of their mentoring has not been quantified. Therefore,further investigation could be conducted. The need to better understand the impact of mentorshipand mentorship programs is emphasized by Foster‘s (2005) study on mentorship programs. Thestudy revealed that mentoring was a strong predictor of success for African American males;however, further study on the practices and roles of university‘s mentorship programs wasneeded.Negative Risk Factors Not Acknowledged as Roadblocks As it pertains to social, political, and racial barriers that had the potential to serve as aroadblock to the participant success, five out of the seven participants did not recognize barriersas a force to circumvent their career goals but as opportunities to exercise their faith, acquiretheir knowledge to meet the demands of unjust laws, the positive, and develop strong workethics. Two out of the seven mentioned the importance of role models and faith in God asprotective factors in overcoming barriers to success. Daniel‘s (2006) study on the journey toward leadership according to three AfricanAmerican male educational leaders supported the researcher‘s findings that although racism andJim Crow laws were prevalent during the lives of the seven participants as well, these men wereable to overcome these barriers due to their civil responsibility, positive outlook, strong workethics, and a strong belief that they could find solutions to overcome their challenges. Theadversities that the participants experienced had become a way of life, and they coped with thesituation to the best of their ability without losing sight of their goals. Kennedy‘s (2008) study on an African American female superintendent that served a
  • 183. 171large school district in the southern states aligned with the researchers findings that socializationwithin the Black community, strong work ethics, sound values, and persistence in achievingone‘s goals, which was reflected in the lives of the seven participants of the research study.Similar to Kennedy‘s study, the seven participants demonstrated resilience in the overcoming ofbarriers from their childhood to adulthood and yet achieve their career goals. Although Adell‘s (2004) study focused on the knowledge and experiences of AfricanAmerican female administrators and their leadership experiences, the findings were similar inthat African American males and females are subject to racism, discrimination, and inequality.Like African American female administrators, the African American male administrators of theresearcher‘s study overcame perceived societal barriers through their strong self-concept whichwas shaped by segregated communities and schools. The participants of the study had access toan array of positive role models and strong family connections.African American Males Continued Service to Impact Youth When asked about the importance of African American males as educational leaders tosociety, the commonality among the seven participants‘ responses was the ―survival instinct‖ inovercoming challenges. The participants describe such instinct as resiliency, role modeling forassurance of core values, education, double standard work ethics, uncompromising discipline,and effective people skills. Possessing the ability to overcome barriers from a different culturalperspective enabled Participant A to bounce back from the impact of unjust laws. Participants B,C and D felt that serving as role models helps to guide and preserve values that define manhood.Participant F postulated that the absence of African American history in mainstream schoolshave robbed society of the rich contribution and intellect of African Americans. In accordance with Barker (2009) investigation of African-American male presidents at
  • 184. 172the predominantly white institutions, from an HBCU perspective, the participants of both studiesadded significant value to the practice by helping to shape the vision, mission, philosophy ofproviding students with access to social and academic education. Through their influence, in thenature of their roles as instructors/administrators, these leaders have served as a compass for thevision of a better future for African-American male youth. The participants of the researcher‘sstudy who stepped down from their administrative roles and are back in the classroom reportedhaving more satisfaction and an even greater potential to touch the lives of students who need tosee examples of successful African-American male leaders. In Walker‘s (2007) exploration of the lived experiences on the leadership of 12 African-American community leaders and their service to their institutions was consistent with theresearcher‘s findings, in that the participants of both studies utilized social and academicknowledge to enhance their leadership skills in actively serving their institutions. Their exampleof successful ascension to leadership at an HBCU served as a buffer against negativestereotyping and allowed these men to serve as positive role models to the school community. Chesson‘s (2009) study supported the researcher‘s findings that interactions with schoolcounselors, teachers, student involvement, and mentor ship were critical in the leadershipdevelopment of the seven participants of the study as well. Several of the seven participantsmentioned exposure to leadership programs, which played a key role in their decision to becomeleaders. Building report and interactions with social networks helped them to recognize, define,and practice leadership during your formative years.Influence Inside and Outside of the School Community Over 30 years of experience in educational leadership in the area of the endowments andgrant proposals were represented by four out of the seven participants such as the ―Capital
  • 185. 173Campaign,‖ agriculture and biology grant proposals. These funds provide scholarships forstudents and fund programs and research projects. Seven out of the seven participants eitherdeveloped policy or curriculum at the university, state, or national level. All seven participants expressed their fulfillment in serving as mentors/role models totheir students. The medical profession/schools across the nation have accepted a myriad ofstudents because of the reputation established by two of the participants. The same is true of theengineering program. One of the seven participants of the study had the opportunity to impact hisson who now serves society as a medical doctor. Six out of the seven participants had formerstudents who started in their program and have earned degrees at the Master‘s and PhD level. Lucas‘ (2010) historical project on the educational leadership of pioneers at an HBUCsupported the researcher‘s findings with respect to service and partnerships with otherorganizations in support of student growth and the value of civic engagement. The sevenparticipants of the study have served the same University for 30 or more years and have madesignificant contributions such as establishing endowments, established national and internationalpartnerships, served fraternal organizations, and have paved the way for opportunities for formerand present students. Howard (2007) investigated the career choice factors that influenced 122 African-American male teachers and administrators employed in a public school system. The study wasconsistent with the findings of the research, in that the participants from both studies helpedshaped the lives of students, served and contributed to society. The majority of the sevenparticipants designed or wrote some form of curriculum, programs, or policies related to theinstitution. While only a few participants of the researchers study have had an impact on societyat the local, state, national and international levels, however, all seven of the participants agreed
  • 186. 174that influencing, serving, and shaping the lives of students was their primary goal and the reasonthey looked forward to coming to work every day. Theoretical Frameworks The theoretical framework that guided the study was CRT, which was used to set thehistorical perspective of racism and inequality experienced by people of color (Delgado, 1999).Resiliency Theory aided in defining protective risk factors that contributed to the success of theseven participants of the study (See Figure 2). Resiliency was the key component which enabledthese educational leaders to bounce back from various pressures of life (Van Breda, 2001).According to Foster (2005), mentoring was a strong indicator of success for African Americanmakes at every level of education. Public schools across the nation are challenged in the area ofeffective mentorship programs that were designed to build strong relationships, the mentor andthe mentee, thereby tearing down racial barriers. Eliminating the Barrier Paradigm Injustice Gave Birth to Taking Risks for What HBCUs Helped Prepare Dedication to Excellence Faith in God, Education the Demand to be One Believes is Fair and Students for Success and Strong Work Ethics and Role Models Successful JustFigure 2. Resilience factors.HBCUs Helped Prepare Students for Success According to the participants, HBCUs were havens during segregation because theyprovided examples of great educational role models, exposed African Americans to what wastaking place in mainstream society as it related to the establishment of new organizations (i.e.,Boy Scouts, scholastic events) and major educational events among the African American
  • 187. 175community across the nation. In Schexnider‘s (2008) article on the significance and survival of HBCUs, the sustainingof African American male youth is critical in the pursuit of exceptional talent for further leadersin education. The article stated the historical inequalities between PWIs and HBCUs. Accordingto Bennett and Xie (2003), historically HBCUs were the racial reprise to inferiority across thenation and was valued and believed to serve as a protective factor against social, political, andeconomical inequality. Palmer and Gasman (2008) purported that HBCUs were created toprovide educational opportunities where PWIs restricted their participation and were noted fornurturing and producing educational leaders through W.E.B. DuBois‘ ―Talent Tenth‖ concept. The articles confirm the researcher‘s findings that six out of the seven participants begantheir career in leadership/ teaching at an HBCU and thus, have made significant contributions tothe university and have mentored and influenced numerous students in the actualization of theircareer goals. Four out of the seven participants consideredDedication to Excellence and Strong Work Ethics Having an education was critical in the success of African American males as leaders. Itprovided economical stability, challenged the negative stigma about African American intellect,and developed critical thinking which builds confidence. We‘re not talking about criticalthinking through selling drugs, that would be destructive, but critical thinking that builds self-confidence and high expectations of oneself and those whom they lead. According to Fraizer(2009), African American male administrators have gone through many challenges during theirleadership journey as it relates to racism and injustice, yet maintained their resiliency in attainingtheir career goals. This study confirms the researcher‘s findings in that such barriers encouragedthe development of resiliency through faith, strong work ethics, a positive mental attitude,
  • 188. 176education, a strong self-concept through segregated schools, and access to education andpowerful role-models and mentors. Many participants were not privileged to have their college tuition paid for, so they had towork and save the money or join the service. This concept goes back to the idea that nothing inlife is free. True success means putting forth a significant amount of effort and mental discipline.These men‘s goals were crystallized as well. They knew they wanted to pursue education butdidn‘t realize they would end up as educational leaders at an HBCU. Many participants haveheld and continue to hold an administrative position. Most are back in the classrooms as teachersand some as leaders and teachers.Injustice Gave Birth to the Demand to be Successful Five out of the seven participants did not recognize barriers as a force to circumvent theircareer goals but as opportunities to exercise their faith, acquire their knowledge to meet thedemands of unjust laws, the positive, and develop strong work ethics. In Daniel‘s (2006) studyon African American male educational leaders in Saginaw County, it was revealed that duringand throughout their experiences of serving as teachers and administrators, they experienced thesame power of the law that gave one the opportunity to develop but within one‘s own race andwithout resources or support in the attainment of one‘s career goals. These men were able toovercome political, social, and educational barriers through the support of their families,community, and mentors/ role models that helped them navigate through a way of life that waslived during their generation.Taking Risks for What One Believes is Fair and Just Sometimes the times and what‘s going on in society (i.e., the Civil Rights Movement)dictated the style of leadership of administrators. Sometimes the leaders have to give up some
  • 189. 177rights and demonstrate humility for the good of their schools. Campbell‘s (2009) study onAfrican American males in higher education supported the researcher‘s findings on resiliency, inthat the participants were not intimidated by negative perceptions of them as African Americanmales. The participants similarly overlooked societal barriers and channeled their knowledge andefforts toward the acquisition of their personal goals and aspirations.Faith in God, Education and Role Models At the high school and collegiate level, and beginning of PhD level, participants hadsuccessful male role models who believed, advised, and interacted with them. Some AfricanAmerican national and state leaders had an indirect impact that helped frame some participants‘journeys toward leadership. Frazier‘s (2009) study on African American males uncovered thatduring a critical moment in time for African Americans as educational leaders uncovered similarexperiences such as racism and inequality. These men were also resilient and did not allow thebarriers they faced to deter the accomplishment of their goals, which was credited to their family,role models, and communities. The participants of this study also found that parents, role models, and teachers/ instructorsplayed a significant role in their decision to become an educator, while some had no choice.Having a solid family structure was a positive factor to the success of 27% of the participants.Having a father that led by example by way of teaching hard work ethics, commitment tocompleting a task, supporting and providing for the family, modeling excellence, andmaintaining their integrity through the times of social, political, and educational challenges. SummaryConclusions/ Impact on Researcher Listening to and reliving the experiences of these great men has caused me to face my
  • 190. 178fears of being prepared for leadership. I learned through their lived experiences that leadershipmay come to one without much preparation, so one must be ready to assume the responsibility togrow in the role with the help of supportive social networks and mentors. Although I did nothave a plethora of African American examples while growing-up, the few that I interacted with,played a critical role in directing my career path as an educator. Although the participantsexperienced social, political, and educational barriers, they didn‘t recognize them as such andmade the decision to benefit, rather than sabotage, their race and society. Their example speaksto subsequent generations that life is about accessing proper guidance and making right choices.The lives of these men also taught that life comes with its set of challenges and set-backs, butfaith, dedication, and hard work; one can develop the resiliency to overcome barriers to success. I view these leaders as keeper of integrity and principles because they were not privilegedin society but demonstrated the desire to excel, which ultimately developed their legacy overtime. Their leadership qualities were recognized during their formative years by family, peers,teachers, and coaches, which played a critical role in their leadership development. Formed outof the woodwork of hope, faith, and persistence, these men became the treadmill … the energythat fueled the vision and mission of their university. With the passing of time, these powerfulicons and institutional pillars have become seasoned veterans in the art of leadership, and theireyes are growing old; but their example of integrity, dedication, and commitment to excellencehas become an instrument to those whom they serve and have served. My life, since interfacingwith theirs, has been a poor attempt to imitate these men who are living legacies and leaders ofthe 21st Century. Through this phenomenological experience, I can view African American males as awhole, in a positive light because I realize that there‘s a leader inside of them, and as an
  • 191. 179educator, I hope to identify, provide, and inspire my students to assume responsibility and makea difference in the world. I was privileged to have been given the opportunity to walk through thejourney of leadership with the participants of the study; they were a source of encouragementand inspiration for me during my times of struggle. I found these seven cornerstones to be strong,bold, confident, yet a gentle composition of the human race … living legacies … the essence ofleadership. Implications for PracticeOpportunities to Demonstrate Leadership Just like these powerful men were given opportunities to demonstrate leadership at theprimary, secondary, and collegiate levels, and school officials should build supportiverelationships and get to know the strengths of their African American male population to createopportunities to exercise their talents. Adolescents need to feel that they are valued and can make a difference in the world inwhich they live by having the opportunity to serve others. Educational practitioners would helpset the foundation for building a strong self-image by developing leadership characteristics,which would enhance the support of African American male peers. This could increase thechances of African American males staying in school and completing high school.African American Mentorship Program Most of the participants mentor students either in the classroom, as advisors, or on a one-on-one basis. In order to reach more young Black males and increase the retention/graduationrates, perhaps a mentorship program can be developed at the university that would build positivecollaboration between the university‘s pool of African American male educational leaders andAfrican American male students from the freshman to the senior level. The leadership training
  • 192. 180program would be designed to expose these young men to the dynamics of leadership from theexperts among and outside of the university (local and national speakers would be brought in andteach workshops, built strong social networks, encourage, etc.). African American maleeducational leaders must desire to be good role models to compel young African American malesto want to emulate the qualities that speak to successful leadership as an American citizen.Impact and Influence/ “Dual Role in Education” African American male educational leaders should consider balancing administration increating opportunities to teach at the University as well. While administration is critical to thesustenance of the daily operation of the school, an educational leader‘s primary responsibility isin the area of curriculum and student performance. Dual roles could increase the chances ofimpacting more male students to stay on the right track and not be susceptible to making wrongchoices.Reflection Teachers need to reflect and be aware that they are impacting students positively ornegatively. We want to stop negative impact through critical pedagogy competence throughphenomenology. Educational practitioners may need a Mentor Club or organization that servesas an extension to in-house or afterschool mentoring programs. The organization could helpidentify new mentees, organize activities, check on academics, provide for any needs, givefrequent communication, and help teachers develop the patience to see the students through theirgrowth curve. Educational practitioners may also need meetings by superintendents,administrators, and community members to recognize and show how valuable serving as amentor is.
  • 193. 181Revisiting the Mission of HBCUs To train young Black youth into successful matriculation to society after being held asslaves, African American students socioeconomically disadvantaged and need more than trainingin their fields of interest, but also need guidance in how to use critical thinking and make sounddecisions that will prepare them for life. Educational practitioners, parents, and the community can counter the negative stigmaand statistics about African American males by providing positive examples of the many AfricanAmerican success stories that are often overlooked by the media. Parents should carefully monitor the programs, movies, websites, and books theirchildren are reading. Discussions about family values and the impact, pros/cons of celebritiesshould take place. Parents should strive to be their children‘s example by the lives they live. African American male youth need mentors who have surmounted challenges andtemptations, and did not see or allow the challenges to become barriers. It‘s all about choice. Onecan either perceive their circumstances in life as a barrier or just another hurdle to overcome, achance to overcome through strong work ethics, development of potential, or a strong faith inGod. Recommendations for Further Study A study could be conducted on African American male educational leaders who have served 30+ years at a PWI. A study could be conducted on African American male educational leaders‘ contributions and influence at national private institutions. A study could be conducted on African American male educational leadership and influence at community colleges across the nation.
  • 194. 182 A study could be conducted on the students‘ perceptions of African American male educational leaders at an HBCU. A study could be conducted on African American male students‘ perception of African American male educational leaders as mentors and role models. A study could be conducted on the contributions and influences of African American female educational leaders who have served 30+ years at an HBCU. A study could be conducted on the contributions and influence of African American female educational leaders at a PWI. A study could be conducted on African American female educational leaders and their role as mentors and role models for African American female students at an HBCU. A study could be conducted on African American female educational leaders and their role as mentors and role models for African American female students at a PWI. A study could be conducted on the African American female students and their perceptions of African American female educational leaders as mentors and role models. A study could be conducted on minority students‘ perceptions of African American male educational leaders as mentors and role models at an HBCU. A study could be conducted on the minority students‘ perception of African American male educational leaders as mentors and role models in the South of North America.
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  • 200. 188Guillory, R. M. (2001). Strategies for overcoming the barriers of being an African American administrator on a Predominately White University campus. In L. Jones (Ed.), Retaining African American males in higher education (pp. 111-124). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publication.Harper, S. R. (2008). Realizing the intended outcomes of Brown: High–achieving African American male undergraduates and social capital. American Behavioral Scientist, 51(7), 1031-1035.Herton, C. (1996). Chattanooga Black boy: Identity and racism. In B. Thompson & S. Tyagi (Eds.), Names we call home (pp. 140-152). New York, NY: Routledge.Higher Education Act of 1965, Pub. L. No. 89-329, 79 Stat. 1219 (1965) (codified as amended in scattered sections of 20 U.S.C.).Hobson, L. (2004). Avoiding the clockstoppers: How to prepare for, endure, and survive the professorate. In D. Cleveland (Ed.), A long way to go (pp. 94-109). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.Howard, T. E. (2007). Factors that influence African American males to become public school teachers (Doctoral Dissertation, Florida Atlantic University). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3286237)Jackson, F. L. (2007). A brief history of the City of Prairie View, Texas. Prairie View, TX: Author.Jackson, J. F. L. (2001). A new test for diversity: Retaining African American administrators at Predominately White Institutions. In L. Jones (Ed.), Retaining African American males in higher education (p. 93). Sterling VA: Stylus Publications.
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  • 202. 190Lucas, H. J. (2010). Not for ourselves alone: The legacies of two pioneers of Black higher educational institutions in the United States (Doctoral Dissertation, Fordham University). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3428960)Lynn, M., Yosso, T., Solorzano, D., & Parker, L. (2002). Critical race theory and education: Qualitative research in the new millennium. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 3-6.Manen, M. V. (1990). Researching lived experience – Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Marcus Garvey biography (2010). In Encyclopedia of world biography. Retrieved from www.notablebiographies.com/Fi-Gi/Mentor. (n. d.). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from http: //www. m-w. com/dictionary/mentorMitchell, P. J. (2010). Retention of African American administrators at WICHE 4-year institutions (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Nevada). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3408681)Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenal research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Noguera, P. A. (2003). The trouble with Black boys: The role and influence of environment and culture. Urban Education, 38, 431-459.Palmer, R. (2010). The perceived elimination of affirmative action and the strengthening of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Journal of Black Studies, 40(4), 762-776.Palmer, R., & Gasman, M. (2008). ‗It takes a village to raise a child‘: The role of promoting academic success for African American men at a Black college. Journal of College Student Development, 49(1), 52-70.
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  • 205. Appendices 193
  • 206. Appendix A: Demographic Instrument 194
  • 207. 195 Appendix A Demographic Instrument African American Male Senior Administrators: A study on ResilienceSection A – Personal Information1. How long have you served the university?2. What is your current marital status? Please circle your response. Never Married Married Divorced Widowed3. How many children do you have?Section B - Educational Information4. What is the highest degree earned? Please circle. PhD Ed. D Masters Other _____________________5. Name of university where you obtained your doctoral degree. What type of doctoral university did you attend? Please circle. Historically Black College University (Public) Historically Black College University (Private) Predominately White University (Public) Predominately White University (Private)6. Why did you select this type of university to obtain your doctoral degree?7. Name of University where you obtained your master‘s degree.8. What type of master‘s university did you attend? Please circle. Historically Black College University (Public) Historically Black College University (Private)
  • 208. 196 Predominately White University (Public) Predominately White University (Private)9. What was your major field of study?10. What was your minor field of study?11. Why did you select this type of university to obtain your master‘s degree?12. Name of University where you obtained your undergraduate degree.13. What type of undergraduate university did you attend? Please circle. Historically Black College University (Public) Historically Black College University (Private) Predominately White University (Public) Predominately White University (Private)14. What was your major field of study?15. What was your minor field of study?16. Why did you select this type of university to obtain your undergraduate degree?17. Was a career in education your ―calling?‖ YES or NO18. If you responded ―no‖ to question #18, then at what point did you make the decision to pursue a career in education?Section C – Employment Career19. What was your first position in education?20. What was your first leadership position in education? How many years of higher education experience do you have?21. During your career, how many institutions of higher education have you worked at?
  • 209. 19722. What is your official job title in your current position? How many years have you been in your current positions?23. Describe the type of family support you received throughout your career?24. What impact did community have in shaping your career path?Section D – Parent/Family History25. As a youth (ages 0-18), what was your parents marital status?26. Who did you live with as a youth?27. As a youth, who and/or what most influenced you and why?28. Highest level of education of female parental figure? Highest level of education of male parental figure?29. In your opinion, what class was your family when you were a youth? Please circle. Upper class Upper Middle Class Middle Class Lower Class What kind of community were you reared in? Please circle. Urban Rural Suburban30. Describe the type of family support you received as a youth? Would you please attach a copy of your curriculum vita or resume and some artifacts(family photos, letters from important figures, programs in your honor, evidence of how you‘vechanged policy, letters of outstanding leadership from superiors/peers/student, etc.) to thisdemographic instrument. Thank you for your time and I look forward to our interviews.
  • 210. Appendix B: Interview Questions Instrument 198
  • 211. 199 Appendix B Interview Questions InstrumentPhase I- Historical Context1. When and how did your journey toward leadership begin?2. Describe the effects of racism, the Jim Crow Laws, segregation, and inequality on African American males who were aspiring to become educators and educational leaders.3. How did the above risk factors alter or shift your leadership paradigm or philosophy?4. Explain the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on African American male leadership in the community and at an HBCU?Phase II- Social Context5. During your life as a young man, who were the leaders of the time that inspired you to pursue leadership?6. What characteristics did your role models possess that influenced your leadership?7. Describe the leadership style of the mentors which impacted your career path?8. How do you think African American male educational leadership adds value to the mainstream of society? Describe policies, political office, or positions of power that assisted four educational leaders in becoming change agents of local, state, or national policy.9. During your educational process, what leadership courses or theories/theorists of the time influenced your leadership style before your tenure?Phase III- Reflective Context10. Describe how your leadership style has changed from the beginning of your role as an educational leader to the present.
  • 212. 20011. What social, educational, or political risk factors did you view as potential road-blocks in the pursuit of your career goals?12. What do you contribute to most of your ability to overcome barriers through-out your career as an educational leader?13. Describe leadership styles that were characteristic of you in your work environment and community.14. How has your leadership contributed to the increase of African American males/youth as aspiring leaders of the future?15. Give examples of how your legacy has impacted the lives of students/former students by implementation of leadership programs, strategies, curriculum, and theories targeted toward African American males.16. Describe what it means to be an African American male in leadership position that helped pave the way for African American males.
  • 213. Appendix C: Interview Protocol 201
  • 214. 202 Appendix C Interview Protocol Interview Protocol Project: African American Male Educational Leadership Interviewee: _________________________________________ Interviewer: __________________________________________ Interviewee position: ___________________________________ Date: ________________________________________________ Time: ________________________________________________ Observation Site: _______________________________________ Project Description: The study ―Living Legacies‖ seeks to celebrate the life andaccomplishments of four African American male educational leaders from an HBCU in theSouthwest region of Texas. These men have served and continue to serve the university of thestudy for over 30 years. The study utilizes Critical Race theory to identify risk factors that serveas barriers against the success of African American males. Additionally, Resilience theory isutilized to identify protective factors that contributed to the participant‘s career goals aseducational leaders.Research Questions1. What was the evolution of leadership over the past three decades of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?2. What critical moments in history have impacted the educational leadership styles(s) of seven African-American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?
  • 215. 2033. Which leaders from the past have left an impression on seven African-American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?4. In the face of social, political, or racial adversities, what influenced the decisions of seven African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?5. What is the essence of the leadership of seven senior African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?6. How has the leadership of seven senior African American male educational leaders influenced students, policy, the development of programs, strategies, and curriculum from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University?
  • 216. Appendix D: Observational Protocol 204
  • 217. 205 Appendix D Observational Protocol 30 Minute ActivityDescriptive Notes Reflective Notes
  • 218. Appendix E: IRB Approval for Research Study 206
  • 219. 207 Appendix EIRB Approval for Research Study
  • 220. Appendix F: Consent Form 208
  • 221. 209 Appendix F Consent Form A Phenomenological Study of African American Male Educational Leaders LIVING LEGACIES: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF SEVEN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS AT A SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY IN TEXASIf you have any questions or concerns regarding this study and would like to talk to someoneother than the researcher(s), you are encouraged to contact Marcia Shelton, PhD,(mcshelton@pvamu.edu) in the Compliance Office, Office for Research and DevelopmentP.O. Box 519; MS 1200 Prairie View, Texas 77446 Phone 936.261.1588 Fax936.261.1599.You are invited to be in a research study of the perception, exercise, and experience of AfricanAmerican Male leaders. You were selected as a possible participant because of your years ofexperience and expertise in this phenomenon. We ask that you read this form and ask anyquestions you may have before agreeing to be in the study.This study is being conducted by: Mary Ann Springs- College of Education (EducationalLeadership/Counseling) PhD Candidate.Background InformationThe purpose of this study is to give voice to four African American male educational leaders onthe topic of leadership and its influence. A phenomenological research design will be used thatwill attempt to capture the perceptions, exercising, and experiencing of educational leadership,first, from the participants individual frame of reference, to a more global and completeunderstanding of the phenomenon.
  • 222. 210Procedures:If you agree to be in this study, we would ask you to do the following: Complete a demographicsurvey (family, education, and occupational background), provide a copy of your Vita, pictures,important letters, proof of successful accomplishments of past students, copies of events held inyour honor, evidence of your involvement in educational policy, and awards that havecontributed to your legacy. A series of three 90 minute interviews will be conducted and one 30minute observation with the purpose of creating dialogue about artifacts that could answer aresearch question. If the participants wished to do so, they may participate in the development ofcertain aspects of the study (Creswell, 2008).The interviews will be video/audio-taped at a conference room in the educational department or alocation that is convenient and comfortable for the participant.Risks and Benefits of Being in the StudyThe study has several risks: Confidentiality would be the only foreseen risk. In order to maintainanonymity, each participant will be prescribed a letter of the alphabet when being identified inthe study.The benefits to participation are: There are no benefits attached to this study; it is voluntary only.Compensation:No payment will be given for participating in the study.Confidentiality:The records of this study will be kept private. In any sort of report we might publish, we will notinclude any information that will make it possible to identify a subject. Research records will bestored securely and only researchers will have access to the records. Tape/Video recordingscould be used for educational purposes and will be erased after 5 years.
  • 223. 211Voluntary Nature of the Study:Participation in this study is voluntary. Your decision whether or not to participate will not affectyour current or future relations with Prairie View A&M University. If you decide to participate,you are free to not answer any question or withdraw at any time without affecting thoserelationships.Contacts and Questions:The researcher conducting this study is: Mary Ann Springs. You may ask any questions you havenow. If you have questions later, you are encouraged to contact them at 316 University Drive,Prairie View, TX 77446, 713-426-3880, masprings@gmail.com; Dr. William A. Kritsonis,Advisor, 281-550-5700, williamkritsonis@yahoo.com.You will be given a copy of this information to keep for your records.Statement of Consent:I have read the above information. I have asked questions and have received answers. I consentto participate in the study.Signature:_______________________________________ Date: __________________Signature of parent or guardian:______________________ Date: __________________(If minors are involved)Signature of Investigator:___________________________ Date: _________________
  • 224. Appendix G: Informed Consent Permission to Audio Tape Interview 212
  • 225. 213 Appendix G Informed Consent Permission to Audio Tape Interview I, _________________________________________, hereby authorize Mary AnnSprings, a doctoral student at Prairie View, to audio/video tape the interview with me to conducta study entitled: Living Legacies: A Phenomenological study on the rise to leadership of fourAfrican American male educational leaders at an HBCU in Southwest Texas. Signature: ___________________________________________ Date:_________________________________________________
  • 226. Appendix H: Revised Interview Instrument 214
  • 227. 215 Appendix H Revised Interview Instrument1. When and how did your journey toward leadership begin?2. What social, educational, or political risk factors did you view as potential road-blocks in the pursuit of your career goals?3. What do you contribute to most of your ability to overcome barriers throughout your career as an educational leader?4. During your life as a young man, who were the leaders that inspired you, what qualities did they possess and how did these qualities influence your leadership?5. How do you think African American male educational leadership adds value to the mainstream of society?6. Provide examples of how your legacy has impacted the lives of students/former students by implementation of leadership programs, strategies, curriculum, and theories targeted toward African American males. Describe policies, political office, or positions of power that assisted seven educational leaders in becoming change agents of local, state, or national policy.7. Describe what it means to be an African American male in leadership position that helped pave the way for African American males.8. What keeps the seven African American male educational leaders continuing their life of service at an HBCU?
  • 228. Appendix I: Interview Transcriptions 216
  • 229. 217 Appendix I Interview TranscriptionsInterview with Participant A Question 1Interviewer: So, when and how did your journey toward leadership begin?Response: I believe my journey toward leadership actually started when I was probably inelementary school. I think some of my teachers recognized that I had a gift for teaching. Therewere some students in my class who had lots of problems reading, but when I went to school, Icould actually read. I spent the first two years of my life, basically, with my great aunt and afterthat, I spent most of my time with my great aunt because my mother had some illnesses. My great aunt actually taught me how to read. So, when I went to school, I was alreadyreading. One thing the teachers would do was actually put me in the hallway with students whocould not read, so that I could listen to them read. I was actually, I guess, a kind of peer tutor. Ididn‘t know what I was doing back then in those days; I was just doing what I was asked to do.When I think about it though, that‘s how they utilized the gift that I had to support other students.I think that was when my journey toward leadership began. At the time it might have been hindsight, but I recognized it as being one of those thingsthat I kind of felt immediately, and it encouraged me to continue the pursuit of education. It alsohelped me to understand that there were many types of leadership. Helping others is a way ofshowing leadership. I mean, it wasn‘t anything anybody made a big deal about. It was widelyaccepted by the students and nobody made any comments about it; we would just continue goingabout our day. It was a small town, and you know, we also believed in helping each other. So, itworked out quite well.
  • 230. 218 One student in particular, I still remember. When I go back to my hometown, he alwaysreminds others of how I helped him learn to read. Another guy that I was very close to in highschool reminds others that he would not, well, he says, have graduated had I not helped him. Sothat‘s always been part of what I‘ve done, and in a way, that‘s a kind of service … a servantleadership kind of position.Interviewer: So when were you, in today‘s terminology, a student teacher? How did youtransition from your student teacher leadership to progressing to where you are now, in terms ofeducational leadership?Response: You know, in schools, there were always class officers. In organizations, officerswere elected. While in high school, I can‘t remember which grade levels, my friend and I wouldrotate from being president and vice president of the class. When I was in the New Farmers ofAmerica, NFA, which became FFA, I was very active in the group. I did the extemporaneousspeaking, cattle judging and one other public speaking position that I can‘t remember. I wasactually the vice president of our chapter. Of course, those were elected positions by the studentbody. So again, that was based on people encouraging me along the way to always use mytalents. My peers recognized that I had something to offer. They were the ones who actuallyelected me to those positions.Interviewer: Okay, moving on into the collegiate level.Response: During my college years, I was not very active in university life. I don‘t know why,but there are many factors that probably contributed to that. One, my grandmother‘s illness, and Istayed at home and went to college because I had a scholarship from the Young Republics ofNacogdoches to attend college. But my grandmother was very ill, and she was in Lufkin. Welived in Nacogdoches so my mother had to visit her every day. I would often drive her down; she
  • 231. 219didn‘t drive any long distances. I would drive her down every day and then I had a job, so when Icame back, I went to work. I think that was one of the reasons I didn‘t participate fully in thecollegiate experience of leadership. The other issue, of course, was when I started attending theschool the second year the university had integrated. So, I really didn‘t see a lot of potential orinvitations to become part of organizations where you could exhibit leadership traits in the earlydays. But I must admit that during college in the1960s, I was active in the community. I served for couple of years as the associate superintendent of Sunday school at mychurch. I also, after Dr. King was killed, belonged to an organization called the King‘s Men. Weactually raised money for scholarships. We did community kind of outreach work and I ran forposition on the school board when I was an undergraduate in college. So, even though I was notactive in the college arena, since I lived at home, I became very active in some of the civil rightsactivities going on in the city. I was involved in some of the marches and demonstrations during that time. You know,that probably influenced my life more than anything in the world because, to a certain degree, itwas a risk but I didn‘t recognize it. I didn‘t recognize how much of a risk it could‘ve been. But, Ido recall one incident related to the job that I had at that time. One day downtown, I marched in ademonstration, and the foreman of the shift in which I worked was driving through the town andsaw me. So, when I got to work that day, he made a comment about my participation in thedemonstration. I was a forklift operator and there was a pallet of feed that was stuck between twotrailers. As a forklift operator, my crew loaded boxcars that night and he made a comment that if Icould drive a forklift as straight as I could march, I could probably go between those two trailersand get that stuff pulled out and stack it. He didn‘t say it in those terms; instead, he used some
  • 232. 220other words that were very descriptive. This situation could have proved to be very challenging,but nothing ever happened. He just made the comments, but it was understood of course that those actions were notvery well supported in a small kind of rural town. But those are the kind of leadership things Idid in college. They are not associated with the university, but were a part of the smallcommunity in which I lived and tried to make a better place. Of course, my parents didn‘t sayanything at all, but they were a little afraid for me, and I was a little afraid for them because theyboth worked in the town. My mother was a maid. She worked for some of the professors in thetown who were very supportive of the concept but didn‘t always appreciate the actions in whichthey were involved. Of course, my father and I worked for the same company, so the foremanthat saw me marching in the demonstration also knew my father. I helped support my family financially, as well. I told my parents that if there were someconcerns from time to time and if things got really bad for any of us, especially for them, I wouldmove out. I didn‘t want them involved. But they said, ―No, things are fine.‖ Although they werea little nervous, they accepted what I was doing. So, I think those experiences probably kind of set the path for, I guess, the way I am. Itell folks all the time, until something happens to me that causes me to change how I behave andhow I act, I really can‘t change. I have always been firm in what I‘ve done. It‘s not always beenaccepted by others, but it‘s never hurt me in any way. So I really don‘t have any reason tochange the way I approach things. Which is actually part of leadership, and I actually try to treatpeople fairly, first of all. I try to be consistent in how I respond to people. I try to make sure thatany action I take does not intentionally harm or hurt someone. Sometimes you can‘t help that.Some actions will hurt, some actions will harm, but not intentionally. I try to make sure that
  • 233. 221when I‘m involved in something that requires a lot of sensitivity, that people recognize that, aswell. So, you know, I think these traits grew out of my experiences during my college years. Some of the classes that I had, they were interesting to me. While attending apredominantly White school a year after integration, I had a couple of professors that were prettychallenging. I remember in an English class that I had where, and I don‘t know how thishappened, maybe we all picked the same schedule, but there must‘ve been about seven Blackstudents in that one freshman English class. We had this very young instructor who required thatwe view the play Othello, the Black Moor. We came back to discuss the play in class. One of thestudents, a white female said, ―Every time he touched her, my skin would crawl.‖ The teachersaid, ―Yeah, mine kind of did, too.‖ And then somebody else, I‘m not sure if it was me, but oneof the Black students said the same thing, ―Yeah, me, too.‖ Then, I had this other professor who taught history. He saw me and he always talkedabout the antebellum South and how good things were in the antebellum South for the citizens ofthe South. I remember telling him one day, ―Well it wasn‘t good for all the citizens of the Southbecause it wasn‘t good for the slaves in the antebellum South.‖ And, of course, he reminded methat my folks were slaves and not citizens. So, I experienced those types of viewpoints about myrace during my college days. I also earned my Master‘s degree from the same university. I sawthe same professor one summer coming across the campus and he said, ―Mr. (name omitted), areyou still here? I thought you flunked out years ago.‖ But that was his expectation for me, Isuppose. You know, those things are remembered but not as negatives. They are remembered asthings that kept me encouraged to do better; to do my best. I felt that those conflicts, those kindsof challenges were placed before me, and I was very determined not to let anything keep me
  • 234. 222from achieving the goals that I thought were part of my life. As I got older I realized, of course,that God sets us on a path. We don‘t select that path and if we try to follow His will, then it willall typically work out. I tell folk all the time, ―It‘s not me….‖ I just pray about it and whenever Ido something, believe me, I‘m not going to do something to hurt anybody if I can. It‘s supposedto be in their best interest and in God‘s will. That‘s how I have approached my life.Interviewer: That‘s wonderful. So, getting back to your collegiate leadership experience …How did you become a part of the university faculty/staff?Response: Yes. Even in grad school, when I went to graduate school for the Master‘s degree, Iworked as an assistant in one of the labs. I was given a project that I had to take care of withwhich I had to take the lead. That particular project was one on the Big Trees of Texas Project.And of course, I had a team, in which we would go out and photograph trees and takemeasurements to try to pull together this booklet that my professor was working on. Mysupervisors entrusted me to do that. When I went to work on the doctoral degree, I was actually a TA. I remember the firstday of class. When I walked in, there was a student that came up to me and said, ―I knew thisclass had a Black instructor because the textbook deals with social issues.‖ And to be honest, thatyoung man didn‘t finish the program. He actually decided not to be a teacher, which was goodbecause that was his perception. I also worked as a research assistant on a project that surveyed schools for one of theprofessor‘s projects. Of course, at the doctoral level, I didn‘t join any organizations. I was therefor a specific reason, but I did some leadership roles with my department primarily on researchprojects.Interviewer: Did this lead you into the Deanship?
  • 235. 223Response: Yes, that‘s when I came here. After I finished the doctorate program, I had notplanned on teaching in a college. I actually had planned on going back to a school district in anadministrative role. When I came back, I was actually on leave from the district to go back forthe doctorate. When I came back, they had a freeze on the placement and hiring of newadministrators. So, a friend of mine worked here and asked if I were looking for otheremployment options and suggested that I consider his school. He asked, ―Why don‘t you stophere first?‖ So first, I had three interviews set up: one in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas. Myfriend said on the way to Austin to stop by his school. And that‘s how I got here. Every summerhe taught in one of the Pre-Med programs they had back in those days. I met the vice president for research, which introduced me to the director of personneland the coordinator over the Teacher‘s Center. At the university level, I had just received a grantthat needed an executive director, so they looked at my resume, my transcript, and asked if Iwanted to have that project. And of course, that‘s when I became a part of this institution. Istarted out in administration as an executive director of the Southern Consortium of Colleges forteacher education. The Teacher‘s Center coordinator had just written a grant to receive monies tohelp 16 schools develop competency-based teacher education programs. We would travel to helpdevelop and train the participants of those projects. Of course, serving on this project afforded me my first opportunity to visit Washington,DC. The program was based out of the Department of Education, so I assisted in running thatprogram for a while. Then one year, I recognized that the college of education needed a person toteach research methods class. They didn‘t have anybody to teach it, and since I was fully fundedby a grant, I volunteered to teach the research methods class. So, that‘s how I got involved inactually teaching at this institution.
  • 236. 224 But again, that‘s what I‘ve done since I‘ve been here. I kind of look around and seewhere the needs are, and if I‘m asked to serve in a position, I don‘t have any problems doingthat. I tell folk all the time, ―I‘ve never had experience in doing what I‘ve been asked to dobecause I believe that I can learn how to do almost anything.‖ So, if I‘m placed there, I feel thatGod has placed me there to do something. So, I go ahead and work with it; I don‘t say no.Because I believe I can learn. Question 2Interviewer: That‘s a great way of looking at life. The next question … you don‘t have tocomment on all of these; focus only on those that are applicable to you during your lifetime.Describe the effects of racism, segregation, the Jim Crow Laws, inequality or any of those.Speak of how it relates to African American males aspiring to become educators and educationalleaders.Response: Once again, I think that during high school, in the 60s and in college, during most ofthat time as well, I think I was inspired by the fight against those things. Growing up, I can recallthe separate water fountains. I can recall having to ride in the back of the bus. We had a city busthere. My father had family in a town which was about 20 miles from us. Of course, we didn‘thave a car. Most of the time we went to visit, we would always ride the Trailways bus. And ofcourse, we had to ride in the back of the bus. My mother had family in Houston and, maybe twice, we actually rode the train from myhome to Houston, and again, we had to do the same thing. We always had to make sure wecarried food. When we were on trips, we couldn‘t always and didn‘t know when we would haveplaces to stop. That was part of the preparation you had to make knowing these things. Myuncles had cars, so they would come and pick us up. We would always make a picnic lunch to go
  • 237. 225because we knew that it would be difficult to find places to eat along the way. So, it was a wayof life. The schools were segregated. I experienced, like many students did, receiving textbooksthat were secondhand textbooks. The textbook had names of folks you sure didn‘t recognize.You know you didn‘t have many Jaworskis in your community. We also, of course, were bussed.I mean our junior high school was across town, and of course, we passed other junior highschools to go to our junior high school. That was a part of life also. There was nothing tocompare it to because you didn‘t know any other way of life. But people around the communitystarted talking about it (our condition) which actually started earlier. You start hearing peoplemake statements about things that are not right, and you start understanding that this really isn‘tright. So, you start looking at the differences in how people were treated. There were some instances that I was aware of, where people were brutalized by policeofficers, especially the chief of police in this particular town. It appeared, in hindsight, becauseof race and these things may have happened to other people, but they were never talked about.So growing up you knew that there were certain places that you didn‘t want to be, and youwouldn‘t be safe in those places. So this may have created some of the precautions I have abouthow I approach certain things today. There are some situations I warn my son about. For example, I talk to him all the timeabout speeding. I tell him that he doesn‘t need any excuse to be stopped by policemen. Not thatyou will put yourself in that position, but stay out of trouble, and away from people who are apart of certain activities. It‘s not to say that folk who are responsible for ―holding-up‖ the law arebad, because they‘re not, but you may run the chance of encountering someone who may havehad a bad day or not proficient in his or her job.
  • 238. 226 People in the community always told us to be careful. We knew that after six o‘clock,after dark, there were certain places you just shouldn‘t be. There are places like that. Going backto my high school years, I recall working on a science project that required us to purchase rabbitsin this small community. We had heard about the community and the treatment of certain people.So, watching the unveiling of the Civil Rights Movement in the fight against racism and injusticemotivated and caused me to take some risks.Interviewer: As far as African American males are concerned, how did the Civil RightsMovement impact the community?Response: In my community, a guy by the name of Mr. Weaver formed an NAACP chapter, andI became active with that group. Most of the leaders, the folks I recognize as leaders, wereinvolved in the struggle. Now, I must admit again, in hindsight, some of the folk did some thingsI didn‘t feel were right. But in hindsight, they probably did the right thing. When the public schools were integrated, I was in college. I couldn‘t understand why theBlack administrators, the counselors, and the senior English teachers at the high school, weregiven positions of lesser authority and prestige. In the district where most schools wereintegrated, the head football coach became an assistant coach. The senior English teacherbecame, I think a ninth grade or some other English teacher. The Black principal became theassistant principal. I didn‘t understand why they did not say something. I remember again when I went back to my local high school as a teacher-student. It wasstill an all-Black high school. I have a teaching certificate in biology and government. Because Ihad been involved in some civil rights activities in college, I was not allowed to complete mystudent teaching assignment in government; however, I was given credit for the course anyway.When I arrived to school that day, I started teaching. Later, one of the teachers, which was a
  • 239. 227person I really respected, came up to me and said the school board or superintendent had saidthat they didn‘t think I should be teaching the students government. They thought I might have an adverse effect on the students. They felt that I may causethe students to become upset or riled up. So when he first said this, my initial reaction was: Iwondered why I would do something like that. This is a person who had known me most of mylife, so why would he not defend me and say, ―He‘s not going to do that in his class because heunderstands his role as a teacher,‖ but he didn‘t do that. So, I taught half a day. I did studentteaching for half a day, not the full or required time. But, I was also from a relatively large family. My mother and father had strong workethics. My student teaching arrangement allowed me to get a job in the afternoon, so I couldstudent teach in the mornings. And you know what? I finished. So, really for a long time, I thinkI held some animosity towards the folk who I thought did not speak up, but in hindsight, theyprobably did what was best. They had families and I believed they helped stabilize thecommunity. So, I came to the conclusion that everybody does not have to be involved indemonstrations and marches. I had no obligations or anyone that depended on me, so thisallowed me to speak-out and do what I could to create change.Interviewer: All right. Describe how your leadership style has changed from the beginning ofyour role as an educational leader to the present.Response: Back in those early days, I was actually still being influenced heavily by activities ofthe 60s. You know, the confrontational style. And that‘s why I went on the strike when it wascalled. I was one of the first ones out there because I was one of the leaders of the organization.Since then, I think the best way to lead or to affect change is to become part of ―theestablishment‖ and try to be the person who brings alternatives to the table when viable
  • 240. 228alternatives exist. I can‘t think of the theorist, but there is a theory of decision-making that asksthe question, ―When should people be involved in decision-making?‖ One scenario is that if itaffects the person, then that person should have some knowledge of the situation. They should beinvolved earlier on in making a decision, but if they have no expertise in the situation, then youpresent them alternatives and let them help make decisions about how these are going to affectthem. So, my leadership style now is one that is rarely confrontational. It is one that presses forchange and momentum by enhancing discussion with individuals and not always with groups. Iactually take more pride in influencing decisions because sometimes having the ability toinfluence a decision is more important than making one. So, I actually believe the openingconfrontational style of my early professional days is less useful today. In fact, if the facultycalled for a ―vote of no confidence,‖ you wouldn‘t see me involved. If there was an issue withanother administrator or colleague, I would go to that person and talk to him or her about it. But Ithink that‘s still leading because you‘re trying to affect policy … effect change.Interviewer: What social, educational, or political risk factors did you view as potentialroadblocks in the pursuit of your career goals?Response: I mentioned one. The fact that in Texas you didn‘t have the right to strike or tocollective bargain, in which I was involved, was a potential roadblock. I guess I just neverrecognized any other potential roadblocks.Interviewer: So you never recognized any roadblocks that would stop you?Response: I thought that, first of all, I didn‘t plan my career. Let‘s understand that. What I tellpeople all the time is that you need to be flexible and to position yourself to take advantage ofopportunities when they come up or become available. I never planned to be a vice president,
  • 241. 229and I never planned to be a dean. I did want to be a professor so that‘s where I wanted to be, butthe other things that happened to me have been blessings; and I was prepared for them. So, whenthe opportunities came along, I was ready. Question 3Interviewer: So, how did the above risk factors alter or shift your leadership philosophy?Response: Whenever something comes up, I still kind of weigh the risks involved. Not to thepoint where it may prevent me from doing something, but to the point where I don‘t go intosomething blind. There are certain things you have to do, whether the risk is high or low, becauseit‘s something you have to do. But you need to know the risks before you get involved. Somepeople are prone to ―risk avoidance‖ at all cost; I believe in managing the risk.Interviewer: So, what do you contribute to most of your ability to overcome barriers throughoutyour career as an educational leader?Response: Well, first of all, I think I‘ve been blessed with abilities to recognize that I do havestrengths and weaknesses. I also recognize that barriers are often self-imposed. I‘ve encounteredthose where I didn‘t pursue something because I didn‘t think I could or didn‘t think I wasallowed to. I think that just believing that what you‘re doing is what you‘re supposed to bedoing, and that‘s why you‘re here. And if it doesn‘t work out, then that wasn‘t what you weresupposed to do. I think just recognizing that has probably helped me the most. I guess I don‘t seea lot of barriers. When you have disagreements with people all the time about the way thingsshould go, but, you know, I don‘t see those as real barriers. It may be a slight detour where itmay cause you to slow down in pursuing something, but it‘s not a barrier. Question 4Interviewer: As we move on, who were the leaders of the time that inspired you to pursue
  • 242. 230leadership?Response: You know, again, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We‘ll just start in my hometown first.Some of the folks I talked about a minute ago inspired me before this happened. There were theprincipals of the school that inspired me. My mentors were my minister; the pastor of my churchinspired me, as well. Certainly my father and mother did because they would always say thatsince they never finished high school, they wanted all their kids to do so. All of us did, exceptone. I was even inspired by people who were not in the United States. I loved to watch the news.That‘s one thing I enjoyed doing and I loved to read the paper. I still do even though I go onlineand see most of it. I still take the paper and read it when I get home in the evening. But therewere African countries where change was taking place- Kenya, for example. I was also inspiredby worldwide events that involved Presidents Kennedy, Eisenhower, and, later, Ronald Reagan.This was true especially when the Berlin Wall came down.Interviewer: What were some of the characteristics that your role models and some of thepeople that inspired you possessed that you added to the fabric of your leadership?Response: In most cases, they were people who had opposition on them. They were willing tostand for what they believed even though there was some risk involved. In the case of Dr. King,of course, you know he lost his life. But there were risks involved in what they did. So, Irecognized that by not standing on the sidelines, and saying something when something shouldbe said or when something should be done…well, those are the kinds of people that alwaysinspired me.Interviewer: Describe the leadership style of the mentors that impacted your leadership and anyparticular leadership styles that you liked?Response: I think I probably subscribe to a very eclectic leadership style. It often depends on the
  • 243. 231situation you‘re in. I know we all have a predominant leadership style. Mine is probably one thattries to bring about consensus, but that doesn‘t always work. So, I think that the people thatinspired me were people who provided leadership in such a way that got the job done. Whetherthey mandated it be done, or they brought folk in together and found a solution to it. But, theyresponded in a timely manner to the situation at hand, and they took care of it. And, recognizingthat sometimes they had to make the decision themselves and stand out there alone. So, Isubscribe to a very eclectic leadership style. I use the leadership style that is required to get thejob done.Interviewer: So, what has helped you overcome some barriers or what are some of theprotective factors that have helped you to become successful?Response: Well, I‘ll give one example: the Capital Campaign…. When we first started out, weset a goal to raise $50 million. Then there was a downturn in the economy, and we realized thatwe could not raise $50 million, so we changed it to $30 million. We felt we could raise thatamount. We actually raised $33 million. So, maybe the downturn of the public economy was abarrier. But again, the idea was to raise money for scholarships and endowed chairs, and we didthat; and we‘re still doing that. Most of the things that I‘ve tried to achieve, I think some of thosehave been accomplished, but, for the most part, I think they‘re continuing. I don‘t think they‘reending. That‘s probably why I don‘t see barriers. It may not be my time schedule that I wantthings to happen, but we‘re still getting there. I guess most of the goals I‘ve had have been continuing goals with uneven movementalong the way. But you know, I can‘t think of anything that I‘ve tried to initiate or try to start thathas been stopped. Some things have been slowed down, but they have not been stopped. Thepath of the Capital Campaign is an example of how we will adjust to make change in Graduate
  • 244. 232Studies and Research Administration. Change in these areas has not come about as fast as Iwould like, but we are still making progress.Interviewer: So, do you contribute your success to yourself or your spiritual walk?Response: Of course, my spiritual walk, definitely, and my patience. My spiritual walk: Irealized some time ago that I‘m not in charge of anything and that‘s why I don‘t get upset aboutanything. Because you know, what I do all the time is that I do a lot of praying about decisions.And once I make the decisions that I feel comfortable with making, then it was the best decisionI could make. If it works out… fine. If it does not work out, I can‘t do anything else, so I‘m okaywith it. Question 5Interviewer: Okay, so how do you think African American male leadership adds value to themainstream of society?Response: I think all the things the African American population has experienced add value tothe society. One of the things we talked about in my biology class was diversity. Of course, weuse diversity now to mean racial or whatever. I had a professor - I think it must‘ve been in myzoology class - but, he said true diversity means understanding how, in this case, animals (but healso said people) have adapted to the environment. He said they have solved the same problem,but in different ways. If you look at a certain society‘s approval of relationships that maintain family, that‘s notthe same in every country. If you look at how people have solved the issue of housing, that‘s notthe same in every country. So, the way people think, based on the background and experiencethey‘ve had, that‘s what they bring to the table. True diversity is using the thought processes theygo through, and based on their experience and backgrounds, discuss how to solve those
  • 245. 233problems. Typically, we approach problems from a different perspective. And what reallyamazes me is when I‘ve been in some discussions, and I‘ve heard people arguing about certainthings, and then I realize they‘re not arguing about the solution, they‘re arguing about theapproach. Most people are thinking, well, this is not going to work because for one thing, they‘venever seen it work. They haven‘t seen this approach work. My basic education training was in the sciences, so I always look for evidence, eventhough I understand that you don‘t have to have all the information to make the decision that hasto be made. As a science teacher, I have to have evidence, but I don‘t discount intuition becausethere is evidence that it works for some people. For society, in general, I think the African-American population brings the ability tosolve problems that may come from a different perspective. How did we survive during the JimCrow era? How did we survive when people thought we were less than human? Overtdiscrimination? Overt racism? Brutality? Just because you‘re Black? I think just that ―survivalinstinct‖ is something we can bring to the table. I‘m not downplaying the current economicsituation of our country, but over the years, we have survived. There are people who are simplyafraid. But, then there are those who have gone through worse times, and they still maintain theirfaith. They still maintain their families. They still look forward to the future. Now, if you‘venever experienced that, if you‘ve never had that background, you may be thinking the world iscoming to an end. Question 6Interviewer: So, how has your leadership contributed to the increase of African American maleyouth and aspiring leaders of the future?
  • 246. 234Response: There was a student who was a grad student here and now he‘s an administrator. Isaw him at an event one time, and I think I had my daughters with me, and he told them how hewould often come to me, complaining about how hard the work was and how difficult it was toachieve this degree, and I would always give him a story about some part of my life. I would tellthem about how I had to work sometimes 40 hours a week and went to school full-time, whichwas all true. I said I didn‘t complain because I had a good goal in mind. He was complaining about his grades one time, and I‘m not embarrassed by the fact thatmy first year in school was a terrible year. So, I pulled out my transcript and said, ―Let me showyou my transcript.‖ It was something I had to overcome. The reason may have been attributed tomy freshman year experience in college and the shift of going to an all Black school to apredominantly White school. I was not a part of the study groups because nobody invited me. Icould‘ve had all kinds of excuses, but it didn‘t matter. I realized that others had to overcomesimilar and even more adverse situations. The fact was that I had a terrible first year. But, you can overcome those. So, there‘s noneed to complain about it. It had already happened, so why talk about what happened? What youtalk about now is how to proceed. That‘s one of the reasons I don‘t have a lot of, I guess,sympathy or empathy for people who come to me and tell me they need a certain grade. I say,―No, you need the grade you made. That‘s what you need. And if you need to make a bettergrade, then that‘s what you need to do.‖Interviewer: Well said. So, could you describe some policy changes that you have instituted asan educational leader?Response: When I taught in public school, I was very active in the Houston Teachers
  • 247. 235Association. In fact, I was the Grievance Representative for Southwest Houston, so if theteachers had any disagreements, they were supposed to come and talk to me before they went tothe school board or principal. I was on the Faculty Advisory Committee. We suggested policiesfor the school; and I was also on the district‘s Consultation Committee. We were not allowed theright to strike or bargain collectively, so Houston gave teachers some participation in decisionsaffecting employment by letting teacher representatives consult with the district on issues once ayear. I was actually chair of that committee at one point in time. We would talk about pay,insurance plans, or any policy that affected teachers. I can‘t think of any specific issues at thattime, but there were the issues of the day. There was a one-day strike by teachers in Houston. I was actually considered to be one ofthe leaders. I think I still have a copy of the article that identified me as such. A recommendationwas made by a rival teacher organization proposing that the state revoke any teacher‘s certificatethat could be identified as a participant of the one-day strike. The president of the rival teacherorganization and I taught at the same school. She captured my picture outside with my picketsign. So, an article came out in the Houston Chronicle that talked about the strike and therecommendation that was made to revoke the license of any teacher that could be identified inthe strike. They used my name as an example because they had my picture and took it to Austin.Of course, my certificate was never revoked. But, you know, in hindsight, that was a risk. I really didn‘t believe they would revoke mycertificate, even though I knew they could. Consequently, I also knew that there were a lot ofissues that these teachers were facing which weren‘t being addressed. We did not feel there wasfull support for teachers … and especially the salary issue being one, the insurance program—theother, and the discipline problems we were having in school. I thought it was worth the risk, so I
  • 248. 236took it. That could have ruined me. My teaching career could have been terminated for lifefollowing that event. Question 7Interviewer: Describe what it means to be an African American male in a leadership positionthat has paved the way for other African American males.Response: I see it as a big responsibility. But, one thing I didn‘t mention was that I‘m not veryactive with the Scouts now, but I did help form a venture crew. My son is an Eagle Scout, and Iwas very active with the Scouts when he was a scout. Now, he‘s not there, and I‘m not veryactive. I need to become more active with it. But, I had some of the kids in the Scout troop wholooked to me for guidance. One of the scouts gave me his mentor pin because he said I mentoredhim and made sure he became an Eagle Scout. I think being in a position to encourage youngerBlack males to do the best they can, and I‘m not sure if that‘s associated with my job or whatthat‘s associated with, but I know I do the same thing here at the University. In fact, regardless ofrace and ethnicity, I try to encourage students to do their best. I have student workers. I‘m always encouraging them to, first of all, do research and notto take the easy way out by just taking classes and go, but think about some research to do.Because what I‘m trying to do is to make sure that the younger Black males get as manyexperiences as they can so they can take advantage of opportunities that come up. I‘m alwayssuggesting that they be open for opportunities. I encourage them not to do anything now thatwould hinder their progress in the future and don‘t get involved in the drug scene. I tell them notto get involved with things that will give them obligations, like a family before they‘re ready tosupport one because those are the things that, even though they can be blessings, that may, overthe long run, hinder you from doing your best.
  • 249. 237 So, it doesn‘t matter whether it‘s the youth of the church, the youth Scouts, or people thatI work with … I do a lot of that in my classes, but I‘m talking to individuals one-on-one abouthow to make yourself available to be the best that you can be. I think that‘s one of the things thatcause some Black males to suffer. My son has a good friend who graduated from high schoolwith him. They were both in an early college program. They both had 30 hours of graduatecourses when they finished high school. This young man went to school for maybe one semester.He was in a situation that did not provide the support he needed. I know that a large number ofBlack males are getting the mentoring they need; I see it every day. However, if one is notreceiving the kind of mentoring he needs, that is one too many. I‘m still talking to him. I have not convinced him to go back to school yet, but he doeshave a full-time job now, which is good. But, I do a lot of one-on-one kind of discussions withBlack males. I have a grandson, and I worry about what his life will be like without having afull-time dad around. I encourage fathers to always do for and be there for their children,especially their sons. I always had my father around—all the time. I also had my grandfather around. I had myuncles around, and we all lived within 20 miles of each other. So, I always had a lot of positiverole models. They were not all ―educated,‖ but they had other things going for them like moralstandards and encouraging people to do the right things that really impressed me. I just worrywhen I see Black males that are being placed in positions where they may not have that samekind of encouragement. I served on the Windham School System Advisory Board once. It was probably the mostdepressing assignment that I‘ve ever had in my life. When we met, we usually met at a prison.I‘d walk into a prison and see all those young Black males behind bars. And, in some cases, they
  • 250. 238have these glass fronts that house maybe about 25 to 50 men and everything is open. The toiletsare right there and there‘s no privacy. When we had to experience check in, they‘re all requiredto strip and go through a body search and just stand there. It was the most depressing thing I hadever seen in my life. When the opportunity came to serve again, of course, I did not. I couldn‘ttake it. One year, thanks to Dr. Parker, I was invited to make a commencement speech at aprison. It was a maximum-security unit close to Houston. My son was not born at the time, somy wife and my other two daughters went with me. I remember as we drove up, we wentthrough one gate and the gate closed. We drove through another gate and it closed. Then we gotout of the car and started walking. We came to a gate that would open and after you wentthrough it, it closed. After a while, I realized that you‘ve passed five gates to get into this place.It was a horrible feeling to know you‘re locked up. I think that experience inspired me to try to talk to young Black males about life ingeneral and about expectations. Even though your friends may not look at you as being cool orwhatever, there are just things you don‘t want to do. I remember being there, and I had a typicalgraduation speech planned where I was going to say something like, ―When you graduate, youwant to go out into the world and start doing these things.‖ Then I realized, these guys are notgoing anywhere. Some are here for life. You know, if not for life, a long time … that wasdepressing. Then we went to the reception after the commencement and this guy walked up to me. Hesaid, ―Bill, how are you doing?‖ So, I looked at him. He said, ―Don‘t you remember me?‖ Hetold me his name. I said, ―Oh, yeah. How are you?‖ He‘s from my hometown, but he was ayounger person; his brother was my classmate. I said, ―So, how‘s your brother?‖ He said he was
  • 251. 239doing great. He‘s in the ―federal pen‖ now. My heart sank… He said his brother was doinggreat…He‘s in the ―federal pen‖ now. I think that probably started me, more than anything else,to talk to people on an individual basis. I never try to do this in a group. Whenever I have a chance to talk to a young Black male, I relate these kinds of stories tothem, so they can look around and see. A lot of them have placed themselves in such a positionwhere it‘s going to be very hard for them to overcome. And that‘s where their faith and mine hasto really kick in because I can‘t see how I can do anything to support some of the people havingmajor difficulties, even those in my family. All I can do for them is just pray and ask God to bewith them and carry them through. But this is where your faith really has to kick in. Everything they‘ve done has been against their progression in becoming contributingmembers of society, and it‘s always been that way. When you get out of prison, you have thisrecord. No one wants to hire you. Nobody wants to give you a start. To be honest with you, I‘m alittle leery, too. I really am. So, I know they‘re having a hard time. So, I mentor pretty much one-on-one. I‘m not sure if it‘s associated again with my role at the University or my role as a deaconat my church, or if it‘s associated with the Scouts. It‘s just that I‘ve seen so many Black maleswho are not living up to what I think is their potential, and they‘re doing things that will hinderthem from any kind of ―success.‖ I do take mentoring very seriously. I do talk to folk one-on-onewhenever I see something that I can do, especially with young men I think I can work with. I was harder on young men who came to the college when I was teaching full-time, whenthey made excuses. When I was doing some teaching, my brother was actually in my class. Itwas in my biology class and I was probably a little rougher on him than anybody else in the classbecause I knew him. I knew his potential, and I just didn‘t want him to throw that opportunity
  • 252. 240away. Of course, he went on to college and pursued biology, just like I did. It was probablybecause I kept pushing. I do my son that way. In fact, my younger daughter made me realize that sometimes I may push too much. I gota call from the school counselor one day saying that she‘s at school crying, and she was justmiserable. When they talked to her she told them that I was pressuring her to make A‘s. I reallywasn‘t. My thing was always to do your best. And, I tell her today, I think that the problem wasthat she did not believe she was doing her best. That‘s all you can expect anybody to do is theirbest. You don‘t expect them to make A‘s, but just to do their best. Our president has encouraged all the administrators to be a mentor. And, I understandnow, that there‘s a group on campus, a group of young men, who will come together to identifysome folks that they want to be their mentor. I was told that my name was on the list. I don‘tknow how it got there; the people observe what you do and how you act. That‘s one of thereasons I always try to carry myself in a way where I don‘t disrespect anybody. One of the rituals that we have at our church during baby dedications: the pastor alwayssays that ―because you‘re here.‖ You may not be a family member, but, because you‘re here, youhave the same obligation to protect that child from hurt, harm, or embarrassment. I feel the sameway about how you live your life because you come in contact with folks who may be looking atyou, and you don‘t even know it. But, they are. You have an obligation to live this life so thatyou don‘t cause hurt, harm, or embarrassment to anyone. So, that‘s what I try to do.Interviewer: Thank you so much for such an in-depth interview. I‘m overwhelmed and havelearned so much from your experiences.
  • 253. 241Interview with Participant B Question 1Interviewer: We‘ll begin with the historical context of your leadership. So, go back to the pastas far as you would like. When did your journey toward leadership begin?Response: I suppose it began when I started participating as an athlete in school. It was inelementary school … physical education, when I started playing sports. They would choose, Iguess, teams and whose side you were going to be on, and whom you were going to play with.Often times they would say who was going to be the captain or the person in charge, so I wouldthink that my journey started then. I found that my teammates asked me to do certain things, orbe in charge of certain things. They would say such things as, ―let me be on your team.‖ I guessyou would call that the quality of a leader, when others want to be with you. That was where Ifirst started noticing myself.Interviewer: So, once you noticed that, how did your leadership progress?Response: My leadership continued as I went through high school because I continued to findthose opportunities. I was always an officer in my class, class president, on the debate team, andin my law class, prosecutor or defense attorney. As a matter fact, I‘m reliving that experiencebecause in my law class, I was the defense attorney, and I was good. They shifted me toprosecutor because the cases that I would defend; I did pretty good in defending them. We had asystem in our high school … if you had misdemeanors you would receive a citation to appearbefore the court of the school. Those of us who took law courses were the persons who were theprosecutors. The positions I held gave me opportunities for leadership. I was president of myclass. I always held an office. From the university to my current profession, I‘ve hadopportunities to serve in capacities such as school board committees, chairs of committees,
  • 254. 242department heads, even my current position as the Director of the Certification Program, whichis a leadership role in administration.Interviewer: Have you seen the Certification Program grow?Response: Well, certification is a credential program. The College of Education was establishedto provide public school personnel for the state of Texas and beyond. That was its mission. So,when you ask if the program has grown … every year there‘s an increase in the numbers of thosewho are pursuing those credentials. Question 2Interviewer: Describe the effects of racism, the Jim Crow Laws, segregation, and equality onAfrican American males who were aspiring to become educators and educational leaders?Response: Well, the Jim Crow Law itself was an unconstitutional law that said certain thingsabout a human and I grew up with that law. That law said that you were not equal to otherpeople. So, it was known to be a Jim Crow Law, a law of segregation, but it afforded anopportunity for you to develop your potentials. So, the law also made provisions for you. That‘show Black schools were established. The law had a requirement to educate Black youth. So, although the Jim Crow Law segregated you, it also helped you in your development.So, I went to a Jim Crow elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. Itseparated you until you went into another environment that was not segregated. So, you foundthat you were no different than anybody else if you pursued the opportunities that are affordedyou. So, in that way, the Jim Crow Laws attempted to make you feel that you were not equal tosomeone else as an individual. Well, that didn‘t affect me as a person. But, it affected the law ofthe state…it was the state‘s law and I grew up in that system. You were restricted to few opportunities, but there were benefits from it also. The Jim
  • 255. 243Crow Laws mandated that you have opportunities to develop even though the law itself wasdesigned for you not to develop. If you wanted to be the president of the class, you wanted to bean officer, to be a cheerleader, you wanted to play on a team, you wanted to learn Parliamentaryprocedures, so the Jim Crow Law made you learn how the organization‘s systems workedbecause you have to have those things in order for an organization to function. So, the Jim CrowLaws said a Black is going to be the president. So, it‘s not a surprise that you learn how to be apresident … a Black is going to be a secretary … a Black is going to be a cheerleader … a Blackis going to be a captain of the football team. That‘s the way the law mandated it. But the lawsmade you develop certain skills that you may or may not have developed if the law had not beenthere. The Jim Crow Law was an unconstitutional and unjust law, but it afforded somedevelopment that you may not have gotten if it had not been there.Interviewer: Well said. Explain the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on AfricanAmerican male leadership in the community and at an HBCU.Response: Probably the greatest influence that the movement had for African Americans was thefact that a Black man was heading a movement that was addressing the conscience of a countryand the evils of some of the behaviors of the people who made decisions in this country. The factthat it was a man, a male, it influenced many Black males to take an opportunity to participate inmanhood, to participate in standing for something that they felt was just and right. Historyreveals at one point in time, if you did that, it was sure death. So, the Civil Rights Movementafforded many Black men the opportunity to say that, ―I‘m not subject to someone coming in andriding in the night taking me away, and finding me dead some place.‖ Because the movement was so strong, the people felt that this is not a time in historywhere we can treat African American males the way we once did, in another period of time. And
  • 256. 244that was the point of the movement, the fact that once again, the addressing of the law that wasnot a just law, and was not constitutionally correct. History is full of those kinds of exampleswhere people recognize a behavior of a group of people who were decision-makers and were notjust. But in the system we have, we use the Constitution to address the issue and when it reachesthe Supreme Court, which is our law. The law said that it was unconstitutional for you to separate people by their color. It‘sunconstitutional to deny people opportunities that other people are privileged to have because oftheir color. When you say male, that is part of the same, and you can‘t discriminate against aperson because of their sex. African American males had an opportunity to see themselves ashuman as opposed to someone else seeing them as property or less competent than someone else.But that goes back to where I first started the conversation. Leadership skills are not peculiar tocolor. It‘s a skill that one acquires and learns. I use the same phrase periodically, ―Knowledge isnot owned by anybody.‖ So, if I acquire these things, then opportunities should not be denied me to demonstratethat I have these qualities, and if the situation merits individuals for those qualities, then judgeme on my behavior demonstrating the qualities that you have pre-identified as what you‘relooking for. Don‘t see me as a Black person. See me as a person demonstrating the qualities youare looking for. And if I‘m among the best, it‘s not because I am Black. It‘s because you arebeing just. You are looking for these qualities and I demonstrated I had them. And among thosethat you were interacting with, I ranked among the best that you could find.Interviewer: Well said. Explain the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on AfricanAmerican male leadership in the community and at an HBCU.Response: Probably the greatest influence that the movement had for African Americans was the
  • 257. 245fact that a Black man was heading a movement that was addressing the conscience of a countryand the evils of some of the behaviors of the people who made decisions in this country. The factthat it was a man, a male, it influenced many Black males to take an opportunity to participate inmanhood, to participate in standing for something that they felt was just and right. Historyreveals at one point in time, if you did that, it was sure death. So, the Civil Rights Movementafforded many Black men the opportunity to say that, ―I‘m not subject to someone coming in andriding in the night taking me away, and finding me dead some place.‖ Because the movement was so strong, the people felt that this is not a time in historywhere we can treat African American males the way we once did, in another period of time. Andthat was the point of the movement, the fact that once again, the addressing of the law that wasnot a just law, and was not constitutionally correct. History is full of those kinds of exampleswhere people recognize a behavior of a group of people who were decision-makers and were notjust. But in the system we have, we use the Constitution to address the issue and when it reachesthe Supreme Court, which is our law. The law said that it was unconstitutional for you to separate people by their color. It‘sunconstitutional to deny people opportunities that other people are privileged to have because oftheir color. When you say male, that is part of the same, and you can‘t discriminate against aperson because of their sex. African American males had an opportunity to see themselves ashuman as opposed to someone else seeing them as property or less competent than someone else.But that goes back to where I first started the conversation. Leadership skills are not peculiar tocolor. It‘s a skill that one acquires and learns. I use the same phrase periodically, ―Knowledge isnot owned by anybody.‖ So, if I acquire these things, then opportunities should not be denied me to demonstrate
  • 258. 246that I have these qualities, and if the situation merits individuals for those qualities, then judgeme on my behavior demonstrating the qualities that you have pre-identified as what you‘relooking for. Don‘t see me as a Black person. See me as a person demonstrating the qualities youare looking for. And if I‘m among the best, it‘s not because I am Black. It‘s because you arebeing just. You are looking for these qualities and I demonstrated I had them. And among thosethat you were interacting with, I ranked among the best that you could find.Interviewer: Describe how your leadership style has changed from the beginning of your role asan educational leader to the present.Response: I think that I‘ve changed, but not changed from leadership. Change has occurred inthat I was able to demonstrate a leadership style. And my leadership style has been, because ofmy philosophy of respect of individuals for their worth, having the ability to encourageindividuals to participate in the process of inquiry. I think I‘ve always had that. When I wasprivileged to become a leader, a decision-maker, I think I embraced the respect for anindividual‘s ability to think and analyze. And I do that more now, but I believe I‘ve done it allalong. So my style is, if you had to observe me earlier, you would‘ve detected, I seek individualsto see what they‘re thinking, assist them in recognizing what the charge is, and then invite themto participate in the process of arriving at conclusions. So, I really think my leadership style isprobably the same now as it was when I first began.Interviewer: Wow. That speaks a lot about your level of maturity and wisdom at such an earlyage.Response: Well, I hope so. I think I was. That was a part of demonstrating leadership byrespecting others, inviting others, and realizing that you don‘t know it all. So, if you become self-centered and think that you know it all, you don‘t assist others in developing by sharing. So my
  • 259. 247philosophy has been, ―What do you think?‖ So, if you‘re not thinking, I am. So, if you give itback to me, okay, I‘m going to make the decision. But, it is our decision, but if you don‘tparticipate, then you could perceive it to be my decision. But, that‘s not really true because I invited them to provide input. I create a setting thatgenerates a level of comfort, and one way to do that is to create this setting that an individualfeels non-threatened. When an individual feels threatened, they gravitate to protecting their turf,to protect their space. When you establish the fact that I‘m not a threat to you, we‘re free to openand discuss. So, that‘s been my approach. Always make your audience feel non-threatened.Interviewer: That was beautifully put. Next question: What social, educational, or politicalfactors did you view as potential roadblocks in the pursuit of your career goal?Response: I don‘t think I saw things as a block, I think I saw things as a challenge. Educationalcredentials, political positions, those are things that, according to philosophy, there are justcertain things that you either develop or grew up to believe which establish your beliefs. This iswhat governs you and dictates what you should do. There are many things around me socially,economically and politically… they had factors, but I didn‘t let those things influence me. Sometimes such risk factors can influence one to take actions that are unacceptable.Because those elements that we just spoke to can cause the individual to have a criminal history,jail terms and things because they have allowed those factors to interfere with what was right. Sothose things that I saw, I saw them as opportunities to develop in a positive way. Question 3Interviewer: That‘s a powerful way of looking at the Jim Crow Law. Okay, next question. Howdid the above risk factors alter or shift your leadership paradigm or philosophy?Response: Well, it‘s not a shift. It‘s just that you learn what you should do, what you should
  • 260. 248be…you learn what is correct, and when you learn what is correct, it doesn‘t make a differenceas to whether you were black, white or something else. This is the quality of an organization. So,a well-organized organization behaves this way. So, Parliamentary procedures are not peculiar toa Jim Crow. Parliamentary procedures are correct. If you learn what is correct, even though thelaw said I‘m not privileged to mix with you, I‘m not denied the opportunity to know what youknow. So when you are correct, you‘re just correct; leadership is a given. Just because I‘m Black, it doesn‘t mean that I don‘t have the leadership qualities andskills because they are not owned by anybody. In other words, the quality of a good leader is notpeculiar to the color of one‘s skin. It deals with those things such as: Do you know how to open ameeting? Do you know how to close a meeting? Do you know how to carry a motion? That‘s notspecific to a color. So the organizations that I group up under, as I told you about my highschool, I was my high school‘s circulation manager for our newspaper. So, what a circulationmanager does is not particular to being a color. So the things that I learned, and the things my teachers taught, weren‘t particular to mycolor. It‘s just like writing a sentence. Writing a correct sentence is not peculiar to being aspecific color. That‘s how that impacted me and how I landed in a leadership role. That‘s just theway it is. In fact, that‘s why I appreciate the current president, President Obama. He knows, andhe demonstrates the qualities of a president, and someone may incidentally ask the question,what color are you? Well, if you want to know my color, I‘m Black … but I‘m President, andthis is what a president does. This is how a president behaves. So tonight, when you hear thespeaker coming to announce the president, they‘re going to say, ―Mr. Speaker, the President ofthe United States of America,‖ not ―Black President of the United States of America.‖Sometimes, those things happen, but if they are taught correctly, it doesn‘t cause you to have
  • 261. 249problems, as long as you are correct in what you do.Interviewer: What do you contribute to your ability to overcome barriers, if there were any,throughout your career as an educational leader?Response: Well, I think it goes back to an earlier question about your leaders and mentors,people who you admired. I had people like S.W. Austin, my coaches, Roy Lane. I had theprivilege to work with people under their administration, within their administration, andalongside of them. I would not call those barriers, so from those people, you recognize how toaddress certain issues. There may be a term called demands, but I don‘t see them as barriers. Isee them as demands to be successful. And, if you wish to be successful in this arena, these arethe demands you have to meet. To be successful, you have to recognize what are the requirements for this, whatever thatis. It‘s just like when you first are riding a bicycle. You ask the question, ―What are the demandsfor me to be able to balance myself on a bicycle?‖ Others have done it, and I‘m doing it. This ishow it is done. You draw from those people, so those are people and the list could go on and onand on, that I mentioned earlier, and those in my community form the prices for you. If a youngperson is experiencing barriers, such as racism, then they should analyze the situation first. Whenyou do an analysis, and when you evaluate the action in question, if they are racist, first, youmust know what racism is. Make a determination and is that being applied to me. And if it is, notgo back to my principles that I‘m not going to accept that. I stand against that, and express mydispleasure. So, youngsters today, who are having issues, should first do an analysis because the issuecould be the youngster. It could be the person. And, if it‘s a person, the person doesn‘t know thatit‘s them. They think that they‘re fine, but the outside world was telling them you‘re not right.
  • 262. 250You‘re saying things contrary to the goal and going in an opposite direction. Anybody who‘sinvolved in that kind of situation, my recommendation is for them to first, do an analysis of thesituation to establish the fact that what you perceive is happening, and if it is happening, thenmake a stand. Question 4Interviewer: As a young man, who were the leaders of the time that inspired you to pursueleadership?Response: I would imagine, in retrospect, a collective number of people. You see, the peculiarityof life is really the sum total of your experiences. And so, you can‘t really ask where you firstlearned this because this belongs to something you‘ve learned collectively. Throughout your life,you‘ve learned from you brother, from your father, from your mother, your community, yourneighbor, your spiritual leaders, and your playmates. You learn these things then you begin to beselective. And the earlier you are selective, the wiser you become. I can remember hearing anelder on one occasion call me by my name saying, ―I see you with that boy over there. I don‘twant to see you with that boy anymore. That boy is not going to do right. I want you to becareful.‖ And I said, ―I was just playing with him.‖ And he said, ―Well, there are some thingsthat boy is doing, and if you follow him, you will learn to do some of those same things.‖ Sothere are a whole series of things. I had teachers who said, ―I just looked at your grade. That‘snot a good grade for you. You can do better than that. What are you doing?‖ And I thought,―You‘re interested in me? You‘re looking at my grades?‖ So that meant somebody was payingattention to me. You become the sum total of your experiences. You look back on those people and youhave both groups. You have the people that embraced you and said things to you and the people
  • 263. 251who didn‘t say things to you. And you chose your path. So when you choose, you try to, at theearliest opportunity in time, know what‘s right and what‘s wrong. And of course, as you try tolearn what‘s right and what‘s wrong, you develop a behavior or pattern of doing things that areright. I didn‘t find out until later on that the guy was found stealing some things, and he usedvery rude language to adults and was disrespectful to ladies. The elders would say, ―You don‘twant to be like that because if you‘re with him, you‘ll develop that behavior.‖ So through mylife, I have people that I have read about, the individuals physically present in my life, the malesof your family, physical education teachers, and coaches that were extremely influential on themales, because they were all males. My first encounter with males was my elementary school principal. I grew up knowingthat the male image was relevant. That‘s a very long story when you talk about: how did I getlike this? There is a laundry list of males who inspired me, and they are all from the categories Ijust mentioned: coaches, physical teachers, principals, and spiritual leaders, and just gentlemenin the community.Interviewer: You mentioned the relevance of African American male mentors and leadersduring your time. It almost seems as if they, maybe the powers that be, believe that it‘s relevantbecause we don‘t have the examples of African American leaders in our public schools. Themodels are simply not there for our African American boys in the educational system that‘sfemale dominated.Response: What you are asking is the very thing that I just told you about when you asked meabout when I started paying attention to leaders. Now, you‘re telling me that that there is a voidthere. Well, that‘s another issue, an issue that should be addressed. I‘m aware of that issue which
  • 264. 252is the lack of role models that are male in the community in which we grow up. Now, I didn‘t saythat the male images are not there. You see, the male image hasn‘t gone anyplace. They‘re justnot there doing the kinds of things that influenced me. It‘s not there and I am aware of the terrible void. I make the comment periodically whileteaching my classes. Have you noticed that my class is 90% women? Then you look at thestatistics, which says over 55% of the college population are women. So, that‘s not a myth …someone may want to research or investigate and if it‘s a fact that the greatest populations ofincarcerated people are Hispanics and Black men. That‘s not a myth. Well, if the greatestpopulation are Hispanic and Black men, then ask the question, where are they? They‘re in jail orthey‘re on the streets. Now, what you are doing about it, that‘s another topic that you might wantto investigate, but it‘s a serious topic. Some of it is by design. Things happen around you and you are programmed to do certainkinds of things. If you are programmed to do certain kinds of things, then why are you surprisedin being successful in programming? I‘ll say this, and I‘ve said it before … you addressed whythere aren‘t any males in your elementary school, or why there are just a few males in the middleschool. You may want to raise a question for those males who pursue professionalism: why theywon‘t teach? It‘s an interesting question to ask. I could be more blunt … ask a Black family whyyou won‘t encourage your male to be a teacher? So, if you want to know why we don‘t have any,we may find, when I make inquiry, the Black male who could be a teacher is taught not to be ateacher.Interviewer: I know what you‘re saying is true because, in my class, I push my male students tobe engineers, architects, doctors, but I never say or encourage them to be teachers.Response: Some of the starch reasons is that those who interact, the principals, the coaches,
  • 265. 253counselors, and teachers, and parents, they advise their child, ―Don‘t be a teacher.‖ But you gotcaught up in materialistic things, and when we get caught up in the materialistic world, we loseappreciation for the things that are not materialistic; the things that give you peace andgratification. So, teaching gives a person the gratification of knowing that I influenced a personto make this contribution to a life and did not seek materialistic compensation for it. But if youget hung up on materialistic things like the size of the house, the bank account, and the type ofcar you drive, the materialistic things don‘t afford you. I‘m not going into this occupation, andI‘m not going to advise you to go into this occupation. And you ask why? The answer is thatyou‘re not going to make any money. Then, you look at the system. The system says, we tied the noble profession of teaching with taxes, and taxes are anunacceptable philosophy because the public doesn‘t want to pay any more taxes. So you‘ve tiededucation in with taxes. And when you tie it in with taxes, the noble profession of teaching, theysay you can‘t make any money because in order to make more money the people have to paymore taxes. And they say,‖ I don‘t want to pay more taxes.‖ So, we made a mistake in tyingeducation with taxes and the way in which we use it. So education and the male, for those who would choose teaching, because society saysthat normally there‘s no money in teaching. But there ought to be something else in life thatgives you pleasure other than materialistic things in life. That‘s another topic for somebody elseto pursue. That‘s another topic that I don‘t think you want to resolve.Interviewer: We will start the second phase of our interview, which is the social context. So thenext question is, during your life as a young man, who were the leaders of the time that inspiredyou to pursue leadership?
  • 266. 254Response: That would probably be my coach, my homeroom teacher, my law professor teacherin high school, the spiritual leaders, ministers, and the community. There are many people whoyou look at, and you choose some of their behaviors to help you identify what you think youwould like to be like. I look at presidents of my university, and presidents who were myfraternity brothers. One of the leaders was Dr. Benjamin Mays of Morehouse College. I lookedupon Morehouse, which had been one of the leading institutions, and Benjamin Mays waspresident. He also was a member of the fraternity that I joined along with Dr. E.C. Harrison andMr. S.W. Austin. As I came to this institution, I met individuals who were leaders in the community, suchas Dr. Alvin I. Thomas, who was both my dean and president, Dr. T.R. Solomon, Dean LeroyMarian, and Dean Fuller. Those are individuals I interacted with; I admired them and some oftheir characteristics I adopted.Interviewer: So from those gentlemen you just mentioned, what characteristics did your rolemodels possess that influenced your leadership?Response: Basically, they all had the same demeanor and philosophy, but if I were to choose aword to describe them … they all had integrity. They had the quality of self-discipline.Individuals who believed in what they said they would do, and they would do what they wouldsay. There‘s a Reverend Lee Phillips … a person that I knew very well and admired when he wasthe chaplain for this University. I heard him speak on many occasions; it was always soprofound. Those were the kinds of people that I gravitated to.Interviewer: Describe the leadership style of the mentors which impacted your career path? Thisquestion was redundant or already answered.
  • 267. 255 Question 5Interviewer: How do you think African American male educational leadership adds value to themainstream of society? What makes you important as an African American educational leader?Response: The things that we were discussing, the personalities that I named, those were AfricanAmericans that served as my role models. Those were the qualities you looked for in people.When they behave in certain ways that satisfy what your expectations are, then that‘s whatAfrican American males contribute to society. The qualities of African American males are whatother people look for in another person, such as being the male, the fatherly image, thegentleman image, the manly image, the decency; those were qualities of the African Americanmen who I‘ve spoken about, and many others. That‘s the way they lived…that‘s the way theywere. The importance of that is to serve as a role model. And the way you select people causes adesire to be like them. You watch them, and when you know that they are correct, and then youeven whisper to yourself, ―I would like to be that way, or if I had to make the decision, I wouldlike to be as strong as my role model was in making the decisions that I witnessed.‖ And that‘sthe expectation of the Black American man. Even today there are those that satisfy thosecharacteristics.Interviewer: As I look at young males today, I wonder why they lack the attributes that you‘vejust described about your mentors and the attributes you yourself carry. Why is it hard to find ayoung man who possesses the qualities you just described?Response: One of the things that I spoke to you about earlier when the question was raised aboutwho are some of the people that you look to for leadership, and they were great in numbers.There is a disconnect in what I think the young Black male today, based upon the period in timein which they are growing up, in that they have tried to redefine some basic things like respect,
  • 268. 256integrity, and honesty. You may want to call it the ―fast life,‖ or someone may say the ―21st-century.‖ I say the family structure generated a disconnect, and what a young boy hears from hisfather, his uncle, his grandfather has an impact on who he will become. I‘m not so certain thatthere are a significant number of males who are saying those basic things like, ―This is myhouse, so these are the rules of my house. That‘s your mom. These are the rules to respect yourmom.‖ But the things that I observed are that individuals have redefined such terms as respect.At one point in time, respect had a connotative and denotative meaning. For example, if therewas a girl standing there or passing by, you were taught to watch your language because that‘s alady. And self-discipline among individuals would say, there‘s a lady over there, so don‘t usethose words around her. I don‘t find that being an issue with many of the young Black males.They almost say whatever they think or feel like saying irrespective of the environment in whichthey are in. And the society contributes to that. They may not agree with me, but much of that behavior is programmed. By programmingI mean that the people who make decisions influence your behavior. So if I want to program you,I‘d say, ―Don‘t worry about that young lady.‖ If I program you to behave that way, then youdon‘t even see the person as a young lady. So much of what I see now is that too many youngBlacks got wrapped up in doing what you call the ―doing my thing.‖ And my thing is that if Iwant to wear my pants below my waist and expose my undergarments, then that‘s okay, asperceived by the person. But the person is programmed to behave that way. By programming Imean the society that you embrace, they market things like that. And when you see people thatyou idolize, or you see people that you have placed on a pedestal that say, and you think, thatthey have arrived. If you define success in a microscopic way that allows a person to think that
  • 269. 257this is the only way that I can be successful then I say, ―There are other ways to be successful,but you‘re choosing to behave this way.‖ You are partially programmed to behave this way because that is an element that dealswith survival; it deals with, what is it that I want to accomplish? What sources allow me to dothis? This group of men is programmed for things like athletics, or some kinds of music, but theyequate that with being successful. Because you see the guys do all these things and you, too, say,this is the way you do it. You don‘t have a great number of families, and I don‘t have thestatistics to say how many, but I only have the prisons as examples to draw from. And you haveprisons as examples. If you read the statistics, they‘ll tell you the number of Black Americansincarcerated. Well, then you look at what the reasons are for being there … They patterned somethings that were not acceptable. They didn‘t have the other kinds of models to look to. They say, how do I get what Iwant? And this is the way that I see to get it. But that‘s part of the society that we live in. Whenyou‘ve been programmed, you don‘t see that this is an avenue or route to take to being a qualitygentleman or father or uncle because I see these things here. I took these things: incarceration,same thing with fathering children, and not being married. You have a mentality that gives you alevel of confidence that says that type of behavior is all right. They don‘t have the philosophythat taught: you ought to be married. These were cherished values. But our young Black malesthink that these things are not important—just do it. When you look at the number of children that may or may not know their fathers, that‘san image that‘s not there, and that‘s part of the home structure. The society requires you to haveself-discipline. And self-discipline teaches one that we may never have all the things this worldcan afford, so let me be comfortable with what I have. Our young men aren‘t comfortable, so
  • 270. 258they want more. So there are some explanations given that says you can‘t give up just becauseyou have responsibilities in rearing your children correctly because you say, well, I have work.That‘s why some African American males have defaulted on living up to their responsibility ofmanhood. Some of the factors that say where we are right now, and we look at our population,and we ask where the men are? Then you have households where the man is not there. So theseare part of the factors that impact young Black males of today. Question 6Interviewer: Next question. How has your leadership contributed to the increase of AfricanAmerican males and youth as aspiring leaders of the future?Response: I think the question doesn‘t belong to me. I think that question belongs to thepopulation that I serve. That‘s called role models. So, if I behave in the way in which we‘ve beendescribing, now if you ask what others have said, I can regurgitate many individuals will returnand have thanked me because ―you did this one day for several days,‖ or ―I‘ve learned from that,and I really like the way you handled that .‖ Well, I had individuals to call me and say I‘m nowteaching my class and using some of the phrases that you used in your class when I wasattending your class, and I just wanted you to know that I was paying attention in your class. Ifind myself doing some of the same things. For me, it goes back to the people who were your mentors and those you respected andwanted to be like. I wanted to behave like S.W. Austin, Dr. E.C. Harrison, and my deans. Theirdemeanor seemed to be so fair and just. He had a peculiarity of saying, ―I challenge you everytime that we meet, because when I give you a test, I will give three questions. You‘re a hundred,66 2/3, or 33 in the third.‖ So that says to them, always be prepared. Well, I didn‘t like thatapproach, but I like the fact that he said you have to be prepared when you come to my class, as
  • 271. 259I‘m not going to let you just come in and do nothing. Well, I modified things like that. So, when my former students come, they tell me thingsthey remember me doing…things they remembered me saying. To me, that‘s the influence whenyou asked how I have influenced others. Well, I think that would be a way to find out…byvisiting some of those individuals. What would you want people to say about you? Then youwant to live that way. You are to behave that way. So, I grew into becoming a gentleman. I grewinto being respectful; I grew into wanting to assume leadership roles. But, I got that fromsomebody else. So earlier in my life, I developed that understanding. What would you wantpeople to say about you? So, that‘s how I spent my life, studying quality things. That‘s how I‘vebeen able to recognize, and I‘m very spiritual in that way, too, because I believe, spiritually,(that‘s not true with everybody because everybody doesn‘t believe in a supreme being or beings)that there‘s going to come a time when, whomever it is, is going to open the book and is going tosay, ―I just want to see just what you‘ve done.‖ That‘s what I believe, so I want to do what iscorrect to the best of my ability. In fact, a statement one time, and I‘ll make it again, is thatspiritually, there are many mansions. I‘m trying to live a life in such a way that one of thosemansions will be for me. And so I go back to what I‘ve said earlier … what would you likepeople to say about you? When you open your book up, what does it read?Interviewer: I think that‘s what I saw in you when I took your class. I saw someone who wasliving their life meticulously, deliberately, and focusing on the quality and essence of how lifeought to be lived.Response: In my case, individuals are privileged to write an acknowledgment in their researchpapers in my class. I have just hundreds of acknowledgments that express their appreciation forhelping me to conduct research correctly. I‘ve had individuals such as yourself and other
  • 272. 260doctoral students who have gone to other schools, and have called me back to tell me that theschool‘s doctoral program is just an extension of what I learned in your class. And that was myintent. And I‘ve had many to tell me that in their current doctoral programs, it was almost as if Iwere right there in their class. I‘ve only repeated what he said to me, but my opinion of me, isyes… That‘s me. But it goes back to what I‘ve said … know thyself and what you would like forpeople to say about you. So, that‘s where I am in my philosophy of life, but that‘s wherephilosophy comes from—all those experiences, what you read, listening to lectures, going toseminars, observing people, and being selective.Interviewer: Have you written any policies or held positions of power?Response: Well, I don‘t use the term ―power.‖ I have been privileged to serve in manyleadership roles: school boards, director of the Credit Union, Chairman of Commencement, andUniversity Marshall. Those are leadership positions that allow you to demonstrate the qualities ofa person‘s character, a person who demonstrates integrity, who has principles. There‘s a phrasethat is sometimes used by individuals that reads, ―What would you like for people to say aboutyou?‖ Then you want to live that way. People who are privileged to hold leadership roles, itbecomes incumbent upon them to demonstrate those things I just spoke about because backearlier, when you asked the question, modeling is a peculiarity of all organisms. What would you like for people to say about you? Then that‘s the behavior you should beemitting so people will say that about you. So if a person is very honest, then what is it they emitthat calls others to say they are honest? If they say, ―You know what I like about that person?They are always a gentleman.‖ You must know what the definition of a gentleman is. Whatwould you like the people to say about you? Because you ought to live that way or you shouldbegin to live that way. That‘s where I find myself all the time when I am in the process of
  • 273. 261making a decision. This is according to what is correct, not your perception of what is correct.When you identify what is correct, that is what you should do. It is a very easy thing to do onceyou move into that arena. I could say in mathematics, adding 2+2 is 4. It‘s not four because I saidso, but because the procedure in which I arrived at four is the one everyone used to come up withthat answer. The question is asked, what are the qualities of a leader? Then you ought to study thequalities that say this is what you should find in those kinds of people. Some of the men Imentioned earlier were the epitome of a gentleman; quality people. Their behavior wouldindicate intellect. And that‘s true when you‘re growing up and when you mature. As anorganism, we select what we do; we model. You take on the behavior of the things that pleaseyou. You could choose the wrong thing, so you have to do what is correct. If you don‘t haveanchorage, you may try to redefine, like many of our Black American males today are doing.You see them behaving this way because the level of comfort is to behave this way. Many of ouryounger students misbehave because they haven‘t been taught what‘s correct. That‘s where the fathers, the uncles, the grandfathers come into play because thatyoungster is modeling, looking at you, and making decisions on how they want to be. It is a badmodel if the way I am seeing you is what your child is looking at and saying, ―I want to be likemy dad.‖ It‘s a tragedy that we did not have enough Black men to be there or stand firm againstunacceptable behavior from their sphere of influence. That‘s a part of politics, a part of thepolicies. There are rules and regulations. But first, you must know what is correct. And oftentimes it is camouflaged, if you get caught up in the wrong group. Question 7Interviewer: Describe what it means to be an African American male in leadership positions that
  • 274. 262have helped pave the way of African American males. After serving for 55 years in highereducation, when you sit back and look at your life as a leader/teacher, what does it all mean? AsSolomon said, ―What is the final conclusion to which you have arrived?‖Response: There are so many philosophical ways that you can address that question. I wouldprobably sum it up, for me … if I can help somebody, let me do that. And if I have, let me beappreciative of what was given to me as a talent to help somebody. So, I‘m not sure when yousaid what does it mean to be in a leadership position? If they chose me, based upon what theysaw in me, to privilege me to be in a leadership role, and then let me diligently perform in such away that those who made the decision are not regretful, and those who observe me would beinspired to be just like me. That‘s the way I would like to lead. When a male sees me, I‘d like forhim to see and desire to use many of those strategies that he sees within me.Interviewer: During a morning assembly at my school, I noticed how African American boysseem to have been more receptive to behaving appropriately for the superintendent, whohappened to be Black, rather than the principal, who was a white female. They weremisbehaving, but when they saw him, the total demeanor changed. Since I‘m not a Black male, Iwondered why that was the case.Response: I don‘t know what made them respond that way, but it all goes back to respectingauthority and respecting position. Individuals, at an early age, recognize the symbol of authority.They can respect authority, or they can disrespect. If they are taught to respect positions andpositions have people of authority, the person is privileged to be in the position of authority, andtherefore, it merits respect. So, the female principal was viewed as having less authority than themale superintendent. And so, we don‘t know all the thoughts going on, but some of it manifestsitself in fear based upon the individual‘s power and position. That‘s not an acceptable way of
  • 275. 263being taught, but it‘s the reality of people and their behavior. Respect should come from theyoung African American boys‘ aspiration to become a leader one day. Those boys should be taught that regardless of the position, individuals in authorityshould be respected, and this means teachers, principals, and superintendents. Respect should betaught at home. The child should respect mom, and the child should respect that, even thoughthey have different positions. This home training should then be an extension to their behavior atschool. But that‘s not the way the world is. People disrespect people; and people respect people.So again, we have to set examples as leaders to inspire them to emulate the qualities of a leader,therefore, we must lead correctly. There are many people who are leaders, but their behavior isunacceptable. Therefore, African-American males looking at those types of leaders need to becareful of what they choose. Question 8Interviewer: I‘m just curious, after serving the university for 55 years, what is it that motivatesand keeps you coming back day after day?Response: I find pleasure in the changes that I see occur. I see changes both physically andtheoretically. It‘s stimulating…It‘s exciting. To me, it‘s like that… I‘ll use you as an example inthe way that you approach music. It‘s like… Why do you keep singing that same song? Yourresponse may be: It just relaxes me … It moves my spirit … It comforts me … It just makes mefeel that there isn‘t anything I can‘t do when I‘m singing this song or playing this instrument.Well, I just enjoy and find pleasure when I start with a new student that starts at point A. Iobserve their doubtful behavior of whether they can be successful in my class. There was acommercial at one time, it‘s been outdated since then, ―I can‘t believe I ate the whole thing.‖Well, sometimes I see my students in disbelief as if to say, ―I can‘t believe I did this.‖
  • 276. 264 And that‘s the joy, or if I‘ve served on a committee, or I‘ve chaired something, and Irecognize that I have orchestrated this group to arrive at this conclusion … I feel good leadershipmade this happen. It brought them together. That gives me pleasure that I was able to do that.Somebody was supposed to; I didn‘t know it was me. But, I‘m pleased that I was endowed withwhatever was given to me that I accomplished this. I get my comfort that way. For the 55 yearsthat I‘ve been here, I‘ve been able to lead in some of the highest levels of leadership because ofthe reputation that I have developed in high school and by men who served as my mentors. I‘vebeen privileged to have a reputation of someone that knows how to get a job done as it relates toleadership. When you look at my legacy, when you look at my background, people have votedme into positions such as school board member three times. I had to present myself to the publicand the public said, ―I think this person would be good for this position.‖Interviewer: Wow … There‘s a lot here to think about. Well, this ends our interview session.Thank you so much for your time Participant B.Response: Very well. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow because you said you had someother things you wanted to look at.Interviewer: Yes, I‘ll drop by tomorrow at 1:30 PM. Thank you.Interview with Participant CInterviewer: Participant C, how are you doing this afternoon?Response: I‘m doing fine. How are you?Interviewer: I‘m doing great, thank you. We‘re going to start off with the first phase of theinterview which is the historical context of your leadership.Response: Okay.
  • 277. 265 Question 1Interviewer: When and how did your journey toward leadership begin? You may go back intoyour past as far as you wish.Response: I would say that my leadership journey began in high school. When I was growing upin the rural, segregated South, I participated in a program which was called the ―New Farmers ofAmerica‖ (NFA). As part of that we went through leadership training, we were taught leadershipskills and given opportunities to participate in leadership training. I had opportunities to serve asan officer in our local NFA chapter. Eventually, I also served as class officer in my class. As ajunior in high school, I served as vice president and then president during my senior year. I wasalso president of my local NFA chapter my senior year in high school. So, this was the start ofthe beginning of my leadership training and leadership opportunities as I got into college andbeyond. Question 2Interviewer: Describe the effects, if there were any, of racism, Jim Crow, segregation, orinequality that had an impact on African American males and leaders. You may comment on anyof these.Response: The thing that was, and still is to an extent, I grew up in the rural South and so,coming up, the field of opportunities was limited. As I was growing up, I saw church leaders andpastors as role models and secondly, school administrators and principals. This was an aspirationto me. The church became the foundation upon which everything I aspired to do. School was theavenue for upward mobility. In addition to my principal, I was also inspired by my high schoolvocational agriculture/science teacher and coach. These were men of stature and pillars in theBlack community that I wanted to emulate.
  • 278. 266 The stature that they had in the community was great, but it was limited. It was alwayslimited. So, there was an impact from the segregation in Jim Crow laws. Back then, whichpredates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, these were the opportunities that I saw. Beyond that, therewere few national leaders, but my exposure was limited. After the passage of the Civil RightsAct of 1964, The school started to integrate, many of the teachers of the predominantly Blackschools had to change positions and Black principals became vice principals in the newly formedcombined schools and communities. So for me, this impacted my outlook as I saw opportunities being taken away. Myoriginal goal was to teach at the high school level, but then my career objectives changed and Icontinued to progress through college. I always thought that I would go as far as the Master‘sdegree, and the PhD was never considered until I was in graduate school. Once I reachedgraduate school and was around many PhDs on a daily basis, I was inspired and therefore,changed my degree aspirations.Interviewer: Well, that‘s wonderful. Well said. So I‘m just curious, did you participate in theCivil Rights Movement?Response: Why, yeah (he laughs). Yes, I did during my freshman year in college, at AM & NCollege, which is now called the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). It all startedwhen two students from the university went to the local truck stop and were refused service, sothey staged a sit in. The two students were arrested which created an uproar among the studentbody on campus. So, we met and planned a march to the courthouse. We were going to march,but the university president heard about the planned march and called an all-student assembly.The president said, ―Look young folks, be careful of what you‘re doing. If you march downtown,they‘re going to turn dogs, tear gas, and no telling what else on you. Let‘s see if we can work this
  • 279. 267out first. So, give us a day or two to see if we can work this out.‖ What happened was that thepresident of the university and some of the administrators went Downtown and worked with thelocal sheriff and county judges to get the students released and to smooth things out. As it turned out, that truck stop, which was near the campus, started opening up andproviding service for students. Essentially, we were going to march and protest, and boycott.There were a lot of things we were going to do. Now along with that, the local Woolworth storehad the coffee counters Downtown where we were going to boycott, also. We realized the impactof the 2500 to 3000 students was strong in the small town of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. We had agreat economic impact. So we said … look, if you‘re not going to serve us, were going toboycott your business. We‘re not going to buy from your other businesses. So, we started aboycott movement which led to a lot of changes around the city. Later, we actively got involved in the local political campaigns. We created studentchapters of the Democratic Party; we even had Republican clubs, believe it or not. We didn‘t callourselves Republicans, but fundamentally, we wanted to see change at the governor‘s level. So,we were instrumental as students to get changes—literally at the governor‘s level. We had agovernor at that time who almost served forever. He was a Democrat, so we never had aRepublican governor. So, we organized an effort to get the voters out. Eventually, we had arepresentative who moved down from New York to run for governor. In his first attempt to runin the campaign, he lost, of course. Later, I think I was in graduate school at the time; he waseventually elected as governor and served for one term as governor of Arkansas.Interviewer: What about in the community? Did your civil rights activities have an impact onthe Black community?Response: Well, communities were segregated. We had Black leadership in the Black
  • 280. 268community. We had Black neighborhoods and Black businesses, even in the small towns. Youcould easily identify leadership started with the churches. The churches were always a powerfulforce in the community. We had undertakers who were powerful; teachers were powerful. Wehad a few other businesses, typically your barbers and your hairdressers and barbecue places andthings like that. In the bigger towns, you had other businesses. In those towns, we had Blackdoctors, lawyers, dentists, and people like that. We also had other retail businesses and so forth.Those were considered the leaders. Those individuals were the outgoing people, the people withresources. So they were looked up to as leaders in the Black community. But, segregation kept it that way. As we moved through the Civil Rights Movement,beyond desegregation, we saw a shift in the power. Integration was well intended, it was good. Itcreated new opportunities for us, but the sum total I‘m not sure if it really did. It opened up doorsfor me to go to graduate school, to White institutions. I could‘ve gone to the University ofArkansas. By the time I graduated from college, three years after the Civil Rights Movement,they were saying, at that point, ―We will accept you.‖ But for me, I was looking for the best school I could possibly get in that offered degreesin the field I wanted to study. I was offered the opportunity to attend predominantly Whiteschools, but the stigma was still there for me. In my mind, I grew up in the state, and I knew howthey felt about Blacks and now, all of a sudden, you are going to open doors and welcome me? Iwas leery of that. I was ready to leave the state and go north. So, I left the state of Arkansas andmoved north. By the time I graduated and came back, I could‘ve gone back to UAPB. What Ididn‘t see though, was the same opportunity for me at the predominantly white schools. I wasnever recruited or offered opportunities even though I had a PhD and was qualified to work. Iwas never pursued, or really felt that the opportunities were there for me at the major
  • 281. 269universities. One or two predominantly White universities did offer me a job. One in particular, Iremember, but I didn‘t think it was genuine. What they were offering me at that time was aninsult. They didn‘t recruit me for my academic abilities. They, basically, wanted me to be thereas a figurehead to mentor the Black students. They had a sizable Black student population and,basically, needed a Black professor to be the advisor or mentor for the Black students. Essentially, what they were asking me to do, I couldn‘t do it. I wanted to be a professor inmy discipline. I didn‘t want to be a professor of diversity, which is, essentially, what they wantedme to be. In other words, they wanted me to monitor and keep tabs on the Black students andkeep them in line. I didn‘t want to do that so I chose to go back to an HBCU.Interviewer: Describe your leadership style and how it has changed from the beginning of yourrole as an educational leader to the present.Response: I thought about that earlier today, what‘s different about now than, maybe, 30 yearsago? I would say, now I use more delegation to get participation and empowerment. And Ilearned to – early on it was probably more autocratic, but now it‘s more, participatory – lead byexample. I realize that I need them as much as they need me; we need each other. So, empowerpeople to do their part better. They do their work better without commands. Requesting theirhelp works better as opposed to commanding it. I think it makes a lot of difference. It sort ofpiggybacks on what I was saying yesterday in that if I can explain to you what I‘m trying to do,and ask for your help, and appeal to you to help me, the reality is, you‘re getting done what Ineed done. And you‘re getting satisfaction out of it. But, I think that‘s what‘s happening. What Ifound is that people all want to feel important. They want to feel like they‘re making a contribution. What I found is: being asked is
  • 282. 270better than telling, as long as they feel a part of doing something worthwhile. I‘m giving you thisassignment, here‘s why we‘re doing this assignment, and here‘s what I‘d like for you to do. I‘dlike for you to make a contribution to this. When telling someone to do something, you‘ll get aresponse back, but I‘ve learned you get a better response when you ask them to do it, empowerthem, and allow them some flexibility to do the task. Use some creativity in responding back tome. Bring me back something and let me look at it. I don‘t know all the answers. I can‘t do allthe work; that‘s why I need you. And that‘s what I‘ve learned, probably from early on until now.And I found that it works much better and it‘s less stressful.Interviewer: What social, educational, or political risk factors did you view as potentialroadblocks in the pursuit of your career goals?Response: Let me see if I can hit all three. Let‘s start with the social. What I learned earlier was,from a social standpoint, I needed to connect with the right people. I needed to surround myselfwith people of like minds, goals and aspirations, and share ideas. What I was taught is, youbecome like the people you associate with. So, if you‘re aspiring to be a leader, or anything, ithelps a lot to socialize with people of a like mind. I learned that, probably, in high school. Itplayed out extremely well for me as a college student because what I had to do was to changefriends. Essentially, what happens is, if people aren‘t operating in a manner which enhances yourway to go, they become a stumbling block for you. I had to disassociate with my homeboys, forexample. They would stay up late nights, carouse, smoke, drink, and do all those things that theydo, and skip class. I had to disassociate. I was looking for guys/girls who were studious andworked. So, you have to pick your associates well. Understand that everybody‘s not your friend.They may call you ―friend,‖ but if they‘re holding you back or bringing you down, you don‘t
  • 283. 271need them as your friend. The same thing works in the educational arena. I was always taught that, when I was astudent, school was my business. Treat this seriously. It‘s not a plaything. Your future is at stake.Get the best possible education you can, while you can, while you‘re here. Take every class as ifit‘s the only one you‘re taking. So, if it‘s an economic class, I‘m going into the class with themindset that I‘m here to learn everything that I can. Never approach a class with the notion that Idon‘t need this class. That‘s not the issue. You can always learn something in class. I didn‘tagree with all the classes that I had to take, but, hey, it‘s in this degree plan. Make the best of it.It‘s the same thing I explain to my students. I get students that tell me, ―I don‘t know why I‘m inthis class. I don‘t need this class. I don‘t like it.‖ And I say, ―What‘s liking‖ something got to dowith it? Now, there must be something here that you can learn. If you learn it and learn it well, itwill come around. It may be 20 or 30 years from now until you‘re able to use it, but it comesback around.‖ I‘ve had opportunities to use probably everything I learned in college, including theforeign languages that I didn‘t want to take. But my advisor said, ―Take the class.‖ I neverdreamed when he told me to take a French class that I‘d be living in a French-speaking country.But, 15 years later, there I was. I found myself saying, ―Oh, this comes in handy. So, it‘simportant to do that.‖ Political risks … Politics at all levels … Politics on the job. Politics as we know politics.Be careful in aligning yourself with certain people. It can be risky. I‘ve taken risks in somecases; won some and lost some. You have to take calculated risks. If you stand on an issue that‘spolitical in nature, be prepared for the consequences if things don‘t go as planned. It‘s not theend of the world; it just may be a minor setback. But you have to calculate those.
  • 284. 272 I‘ve taken some calculated risks that had some implications for my career, but Iunderstood going in. And I looked at it and said … ―Okay, if this goes right, what‘s the best casescenario? Well, I win. And the alternative? What happens if I lose? Is it the end of the world?Absolutely not. It‘s a learning experience.‖ You calculate those along the way. What I‘ve learnedwith the whole risk thing is that there is a probability here; there‘s no guarantee. But, Iunderstand the best case/worst case scenario. Could I live with the worst case scenario and stillbe ok? And, if it is ok, then I shouldn‘t be so concerned with risk-taking. You do have to takesome risks when you‘re moving up and moving forward. When you have minor setbacks, just getup and keep going. Keep moving forward. It‘s not the end of the world. So, just keep movingforward. That‘s how I‘ve always approached it and it has been okay.Interviewer: What social, political, and educational risk factors did you view as potentialroadblocks in the pursuit of your career goals?Response: Well, even now, we‘ve made a lot of progress, but there‘s still a lot of work to bedone with this whole issue of race. As African Americans, we were taught back in the day to getan education, but that was still not enough...opportunities still won‘t be equal. So you basicallyhave to out work your competition, and be twice as good. The idea was that as African-Americans, average wasn‘t good enough, and I think that standard is still true today. It‘s not alevel playing field; it still isn‘t a level playing field. But, you‘ve got to understand that going intoit. So, you got to understand going in that you‘re not starting off at the same starting line. Youcan overcome some of that, but you‘ve got to be willing to work extra hard to overcome theinequality. It‘s not going to come easy. It‘s not automatic. They‘re not going to hand it to you ona silver platter.
  • 285. 273 Question 3Interviewer: Wow. Your generation certainly had courage, plenty of courage. All right, the nextquestion. How did the above risk factors alter or shift your leadership paradigm or philosophy?Response: I‘m not sure if it‘s shifted my paradigm or philosophy; it just redirected me. Itredirected me to a different level, I think. The goal that I originally had in mind, I modified. Soinstead of aiming for my original goal, which was to be the high school principal, I shifted andmodified my goals to move to the college level. When I saw the direction, the impact thatsegregation, now desegregation, was having, it made me change my thinking. The movementthat I saw (the Civil Rights Act of 1964) was as a sophomore in college. Then I began to seeschools consolidate and integrate. With small populations of 5000, it didn‘t make much sense tokeep two high schools. If we were going to merge schools and integrate Blacks and Whites, wedidn‘t need two high schools. We needed one. So, that meant one principal had to go. But thequestion was … who‘s going? The Black principal was the one to go, in most cases. So, I sawthat. My thinking was, that‘s not going to work for me. These jobs are not going to be there forme in the future. So, I thought maybe I should set my sights on the college level.Interviewer: So, what you‘re saying is that these risk factors that you shared didn‘t necessarilydeter, but motivated you to go even further.Response: Well, that‘s what I saw. I understood segregation because it‘s where I was from. Butwhat I once saw as opportunities, I saw doors closing. Schools, predominantly Black schools,were closing and principals were losing jobs. At most, they would become vice principals or sub-principals at the integrated schools. In my hometown, when the people, two high schools becameone. At the new school, the Black principal was not the principal. The White principal was nowthe main principal. If the Black principal had some years, they might let them serve as vice
  • 286. 274principal, but not in the top position. So, when I started looking at that, I saw my original goal asbeing principal start to close. But I saw higher education, and I said, if I go into higher education,then maybe I could be an administrator at the college level such as department head, or Dean,vice president, or maybe even the president at the college level. So, it motivated me to continuemy journey in higher education. I knew that if I got a PhD, then certainly I could work at theuniversity level, and eventually become an administrator at the college level as opposed to thehigh school level. I just saw the change and redirected my focus at that point.Interviewer: What do you attribute to most of your ability to overcome barriers throughout yourcareer as an educational leader?Response: Faith in God. I don‘t talk about it a lot, but that‘s been the big stabilizer for me. Goingthrough many challenges, I could always know that going back to Bible scripture and reading myfavorites would give me comfort in knowing that in the end, I‘m going to be okay. If there‘s astorm today, the sun is surely going to shine tomorrow. Don‘t get too hung up on where you aretoday because tomorrow is going to be a better day. Some storms last longer than others, but youcan always imagine, when it‘s all over, you‘re going be all right. You shake yourself off, youcome back, and you move on. Some may say, ―What happened to you?‖ When going throughstorms, people didn‘t understand how I was still moving forward with a positive attitude. I didn‘tmake a big fuss about it. I didn‘t talk a lot about it, or tell people what I was up to. This is what Iwas doing: I was trusting God and taking Him literally at his word. He said, ―In all thy ways,acknowledge me, and I will direct your path.‖ Even though you got all these enemies coming at you, nothing coming near me shallharm me. So when you go through those things, you know with assurance and with confidence,that in the end, you are going to be okay. That‘s how I‘ve approached it. It‘s worked for me. I
  • 287. 275don‘t get rattled too much about storms when I‘m going through one. I‘m always thinking aboutwhat I‘m going to do when the storm is over. I‘m preparing myself for when the storm is over.I‘m ready to come out and keep going. So, if you‘re traveling in a storm, you seek shelter. Thestorm is not going to last all day. The rain may be coming, so you seek shelter for a minute, andas soon as it‘s over, you go on about your way. Well, that‘s the way it is. You can‘t take thesethings as if it‘s the end of the world. You just keep going. That‘s how I‘ve lived. That‘s how it‘sworked for me. Question 4Interviewer: You sound like a history book. This information is very insightful. You‘ve alreadyspoken on this, but you may add more also. During your life as a young man, who were someleaders of the time that inspired you to pursue leadership?Response: You know, until I was in college, I had limited exposure. I was inspired in collegewhen I started to learn about the Martin Luther Kings, the Ralph Abernathy‘s, the Julian Bonds,the Andy Youngs, and people like that. This was after I got to college. I was also inspired by,what I call, some of the mega-church leaders. The ones at the time that I knew of, but neverreally met, were the bishops. There was one in particular, Bishop Mason. My father used to go tothe Church of God in Christ, big conference, in Memphis, Tennessee. My daddy spoke highly ofhim. I never knew the man personally, but that was an influence. From college, I started to readabout and hear about, and watch on television and listen to the radio about Martin Luther Kingand the movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the marches. I really became inspired whenhe had the March on Washington, you know, the ―I have a dream‖ speech. I remember coming home one day from work, and my mother was sitting down andwatching the speech on television. Now, my mother was a person that didn‘t watch TV. So I
  • 288. 276thought, okay, if my mother is taking a minute to sit down and watch this man on TV, it must besomething. So, we all stopped. I think it must‘ve been three or four o‘clock in the afternoon. Andwe were just sitting there, clustered around the TV watching Martin Luther King. He was talkingabout how he had a dream and what he wanted to do. That was quite inspiring. So, throughcollege and on into graduate school, I met people like Jesse Jackson. We used to sit around andtalk. I remember Jesse Jackson in his younger days. We went to the same school. He had gonethere as an undergraduate, but he would come back and speak to the students. We would sitaround in a room, sit on the floor, actually. We wore dashikis and big afros and all that stuff backthen. These were in the early days when he was forming P.U.S.H. It was the P.U.S.H.Organization. I remember all of that. So we watched all of that back in those days, and I was inspiredby Martin Luther King and his nonviolent movement. Essentially, what it meant to me was that,okay, you can‘t beat them with guns and clubs. You can‘t beat them with that. They‘ve got yououtmanned. But, pursue education. Pursue in your sphere of influence. To me, I was ineducation. So, I wanted to stay in education so I could maybe get out and get back and make adifference in the lives of the next generations that were coming up. You see, I was fortunate to come up with parents at home. My father was not educated,but you know he was a God-fearing man. He brought us up fearing God, and he taught us towork for what you want. Work hard and don‘t burn your bridges, that sort of thing and you‘ll beokay. This was the sort of foundation which I came out of. I wanted to pursue education becauseit was something he didn‘t. He always said, ―Go-ahead and get as much education as you can. Itwill serve you well in the future. Don‘t stop unless you have to stop.‖ He just said keep going.He didn‘t understand how far that was. But he said keep going as far as you can … high school,
  • 289. 277college? He said go to college. I didn‘t have any money to go to school. So, how am I going to college? Well, I went. I never dreamed of graduate school, but Iwent. I got through it all. I think it was just through faith, blind faith, that if I get to this point,I‘m going to find a way to get to the next point and it keeps going. So I got there. Yeah, thosewere people that inspired me a lot. I remember watching Martin Luther King. I wanted toparticipate at one time. Back in college, we would have, I would have. I would have gone andput my life on the line. I didn‘t, but was ready to if duty called.Interviewer: So what characteristics did your role models possess that influenced yourleadership? What was it about those men that inspired you?Response: Well, the thing that I saw was good, righteous, upstanding, family values, educatedmen. That‘s what I wanted to be. And, I remember watching Martin Luther King. We‘d sit thereawe-struck listening to him speak. You know, he was an educated man; he was a family man.But, he was willing to sacrifice all of that to help bring others along. What he essentially saidwas, what good is it for me to get all of this, if I don‘t reach back and try to bring others along?What he was saying was that, God had granted you these abilities to pursue education; He‘sgiven you the ability to pursue. If you can, go ahead and do it. But, remember, also, others lessfortunate. See what you can do to bring them along in whatever sphere of influence that youhave. And, that‘s what I‘ve tried to do, which is what I‘m still trying to do, particularly with theyoung males. We have a real challenge. Things are worse now than it was then. Coming from asmall town, it was a rarity for a Black male to finish high school. From our small community, Iwas the only one. My community was real small—four girls and one male in my graduation classfrom my community. When I looked at the alternative, I never understood why so few Black
  • 290. 278males did not pursue education. The alternative didn‘t look good. I always thought if I did quit school, what options would I have? And the options that Isaw, I didn‘t like. I didn‘t like the fact that, had I quit school short of high school, the reality was,locally, not much – common labor types of jobs. Those were hard, minimum wage, labor jobsworking outside, typically. When I looked at the alternative, I said okay, education. How hardwould it be if I go to school and do my homework? I never found that difficult if I paid attentionto my teachers and did the English and math assignments. So, I never understood why it was so difficult to do school work. What I didn‘tunderstand was how kids who were smarter than I was, just quitting school; just dropping out ofschool at the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade; just bailing-out. Now, I always look beyond today becauseI was always thinking about the future. I figured that in a short while I‘m going to be an adult, sowhat do I do after high school and beyond? If I‘m going to have a family and kids, I‘d like forthem to have better than I had. Now, if I quit school and find the sort of work I saw my daddydoing, no, that won‘t cut it. I couldn‘t see myself doing that at 50, 60 years old. I‘m looking atwhat we had. The opposite side of that, with what little I knew, that if I got a high school education,even better if I had a college education, or a graduate degree, my earnings potential had to go up.And, therefore, my earnings potential would go up. I could provide a better standard of living forthe family. So, I wanted to do that, but at the same time, be in a position to influence others, thenext generations; the generations that came after me. But I also saw within my own household. What disappointed me was that my older brother who could have gone to college,probably on an athletic scholarship, turned the opportunity down. He didn‘t want to go. I said,look, you could go to school, probably get paid to go to school, play football and get a college
  • 291. 279education for free. But, I didn‘t have those options. Nobody was going to offer skinny me anathletic scholarship. I was sort of disappointed, so I made up my mind that I was going to find away because I had three brothers behind me. I needed to go to show them the way. I said okay,since he didn‘t do it, I‘m going to do it. I‘m going to do what my older brother didn‘t do. I knew I had to succeed, because if Idon‘t go and succeed, I feel that my brothers behind me probably wouldn‘t do it either. I had tobe sort of a trailblazer for them, and they came along after me. They did follow suit and camealong after me.Interviewer: What was the leadership style of the dean you admired? Was he more democraticin his leadership style, was he more authoritative, or was it situational?Response: The leadership that I admire the most is not text-bookish. It sort of goes like this,explain vision – where are you trying to go? Explain what needs to happen to accomplish this.This really came from home training. My leadership style was heavily influenced by my daddywho had a fifth-grade education. He‘d say to lead by example, and articulate what you expectand what we‘re trying to accomplish. Because his thing was, one, here‘s what we want to do andwhy, and here‘s what we need to do to get there. Let‘s explain real carefully. We‘re trying to gothere. Now, while we try to go there, here‘s what we need to do to get there. Now, can we agreeon that? He‘s not just saying it because he‘s in charge, but if we are going, his thing was, I needyou to help us to get there. We are all in this together, and we are going as a group. I need your buy-in on helping usto get there. You see, leaders get things done through people. So I learned the process that if I‘mgoing to be a leader, I‘m only as good as the people around me. If I empower them to do a betterjob, a rising tide lifts all boats, so we all move up. But what I see all too often leaders who try to
  • 292. 280browbeat people. They beat them down and, consequently, nothing much gets accomplished. Consequently, they‘re not doing their best. So the whole organization suffers, and I‘veseen a lot of that in my career. When I was an assistant professor, what I saw was encouragementfrom my first dean. He set a tone for me. He said. ―Look, you‘re young. You just started.‖ Hewas kind of like a father figure. He said, ―Do this and you‘ll move. I‘m not frightened by you.‖He always had the patience to say, ―Okay, you made a mistake. It‘s okay to make a mistake; itwas a good, honest mistake. Let‘s go ahead and correct it. Let‘s go. But here‘s what I want youto be focused on. Don‘t worry about too much of the distractions out here because this is wherewe are trying to go.‖ He would always take the time to explain, and I liked that because this wasthe way my father had taught us. He would say, we‘re going to do this and here is why we‘regoing to do this. Here‘s the timeline we are trying to do this in. And can you buy into it, and canwe get there? I need your help to get there because I can‘t do it by myself. That has served mewell. But what I see is, a lot of leaders don‘t take time to do that. They say, I want so and so withvery little explanation. I am the kind of person to say, explain to me what you want, when you want it, or let‘stalk about it. Allow me some leeway then to say, you said go that way, but there might be adifferent way. If I find a better way, is that okay, too? Or do I have to do it exactly the way youwant it? Because we are made differently, I have a different view. But as far as I understand, theend result is we need to be over here, and that‘s fine. If we are traveling toward a destination, itshouldn‘t matter how we get there, as long as we got to the same point at the same time. I‘venever pretended that I knew everything. There are people around me that are a lot smarter than I am. I am in leadership, but Idon‘t have a big head because I am a leader. I learned that a long time ago that there are a lot of
  • 293. 281people smarter than I am. So, over the years I‘ve learned that if I empower them, they will knockdown walls for me. They get work done for me. I don‘t know where I learned that principle, butit‘s an easy principle and it works. Question 5Interviewer: How do you think African American male educational leadership adds value tomainstream society? What makes the African American male leader unique; different from allthe rest?Response: What I see is this, the reality says to me that Black males, Black people, can relatemore to Black people. Now, what I see is a sensitivity issue. What I see here, even in my rolehere now. I was, for 32 years, in administration. But what I sort of lost sight of was, theimportance of being a mentor. That‘s an awesome job, and there‘s a lot of satisfaction that youget from being a mentor. And, I had lost sight of that from being in leadership, being caught upin administration, busy doing administration. But what I‘ve learned in the last year and a half isthat in the classroom, I‘m getting a lot of satisfaction that I had set aside, or put on the backburner for a long time. The classes that I‘m teaching are now predominantly filled by malestudents who are flocking into my classes. I‘m spending a lot of time mentoring students. Yousaw the one who came in. That‘s typical every day because it goes beyond, as a sports fanatic, the X‘s and the O‘s.What I‘m trying to teach the students is that I can teach them the subject matter, I can put aformula on the board, and I can teach them how to work the formula. But life is more than justworking a formula. There‘s a lot of stuff we have to talk about that‘s, perhaps, equally asimportant as making the grade and passing the class. I want to inspire them to work hard and pass the class. I also like to talk about some of
  • 294. 282the other issues in life. Questions like, ―How do you get beyond this class?‖ ―How do you getbeyond the degree?‖ ―What‘s going to happen to you?‖ You‘ll pass my class and go on, yes,you‘ll get a degree and you‘ll move on, but what happens? Life is a journey. It doesn‘t end there.I tell them you have to keep going. I ask if they are prepared to deal with the issues of society. When they our campus and go off to work for whatever company, did we prepare them todeal with this stuff? Stuff, meaning things they deal with that they wouldn‘t get in the classroom,except from someone like me. So, I ask … ―Are you prepared to deal with discrimination andracism on the job?‖ ―Are you going to take exceptions every time things don‘t go your way?‖―Are you technically prepared to be challenged with things like that?‖ ―How do you succeed?‖ So as long as you understand that, you do what you have to do to get where you‘re tryingto get to. Sometimes you ―got to zip the lip,‖ you ―got to take some stuff‖ sometimes. You‘vegot to understand, what‘s your long-term goal? You‘ll overcome through proving yourself. Now,I like to share examples of successful students and I like to share with my students examples ofothers that I mentor. I show them some of my students and ask them to check them out. Callthem sometime. I‘m going to invite some to come back this year. Just come and talk to my students abouthow they got to where they are. Ask them … ―Now, what is it that you have to do beyond theclassroom?‖ We talk about beyond the classroom. The young man that you saw when you camelikes to read the newspaper, so I bring my old papers and give them to him. He says …well, howdo you know about this, and this, and this? I say okay, point is, you need to know what‘s goingon – current events. I read the newspaper every day. I use the computer. I check on things. I needto know what‘s going on in world events and local events. You also need to know what‘s goingon so you can speak to those issues, intelligently.
  • 295. 283 You‘ve got this entire social media. … Why am I on Facebook all day or Twitter talkingabout somebody? Did you hear about so and so? … Well, no, what value does that add? Whatyou want to be is to be able to speak to the issue. What‘s going on around you? What‘s going onin your community? What‘s going on in politics? What‘s going on anywhere? How do youweigh in on that? What can you weigh in on what‘s going on there? You need to understand theissues so that you can make intelligent decisions about these things. Question 6Interviewer: Okay. Give an example of how your legacy has impacted the lives of formerstudents.Response: There is one program that I‘d like to talk about, that I‘m proud of and that I wasresponsible for, for a number of years. It started back in the early 80s in 1982. It was called theResearch Apprentice Program (RAP). The first year we started the program, I had one student. Itwas a last-minute thing and they said we‘d like to start an apprentice program designed to attractpromising high school students, and bring them into the agricultural profession. I said we‘ve gotenough support for one student. So, we had no organized program. It was last-minute, and I said,―Okay, I‘ll do it.‖ So, I had one student from a small town in Louisiana. And I said, ―Okay. Nowwe‘re going to wing it as we go.‖ I didn‘t have a structured program. What I designed for him todo was to shadow me all summer, come to work, follow me around, do some traveling, etc. Inmany cases, we would get in the car and go to Austin for that day, and we‘d drive down to theTexas Department of Agriculture‘s Headquarters or we‘d go to a local institution and walkaround the campus. We‘d go out to their agricultural research station farm, look around, and seehow they did things. We‘d go to Houston, to the warehouses of Kroger and HEB. We just didthings. That student is now pursuing a very successful career in the agricultural field.
  • 296. 284 Many of our students have gone on to become managers of major grocery stores and thebig supermarket chains. We teach our students that in order to be a leader of these major chains,they not only have to know the business aspect, but they have to know that there are people also.That‘s a human resource issue because you have to work with employees. You have to makesure the product is there, but it starts with the employees. You have to understand trends of themarket, irate customers, and keep the store stocked. And you certainly have to understand yourcompetition. You‘re in competition with your competitors. Your competition may be WalMartwho is trying to outdo you; they‘re trying to knock you out. So, you have to stay up and stayahead of the game. This stuff is not abstract that we‘re talking about. We give the real-life scenarios that helpour students to make application in my marketing classes. We don‘t teach just textbook material,we teach real-life situations. Our students are years ahead of everyone else. Logical decision-making. That‘s where the research comes into play. The visionaries are years ahead of themasses. That‘s what makes you a visionary. You see the future before everyone else. I alwayschallenge my students that about five years from now, 10 years from now, things will bedifferent. I try to expose my students to possibilities. I just talked to a previous mentee yesterday or earlier this week. He was all the way inMadison, Wisconsin. He went to Southern University for his undergraduate. He went to Alcornfor his masters. He went to Ohio State for graduate work. He didn‘t finish his PhD. He droppedout while working on his PhD, which was supposed to have been temporary, to help his wife gether MD. Well, 20 years later, he never finished. But, he lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is doingextremely well. Many of the student leaders in the recent years were student governmentpresidents to beauty queens and were all products of our program in Agriculture.
  • 297. 285 Now, what the program was designed to do was to bring juniors and seniors in highschool here to introduce them to the field of agriculture. We did more than just the sciences; wewanted to teach them some of the fundamentals: science, chemistry, biology. We also exposedthe students to role models and mentors. We exposed them at the high school level. We exposedthem through field trips, industries, and other places; and we have a very high success rateamong those students who come through the program. A lot of PhDs, MDs and JDs have come to the program and are very, very successful.They didn‘t all do agriculture. They went into all fields. When we recruited students, weunderstood upfront, okay, we‘d like for you all to do agriculture, but we know you‘re not andthat‘s fine. So, they‘ve gone into all disciplines. And the majority has done extremely well incollege and beyond. So, I could name you a whole list of medical doctors. I can name you a listof PhDs. I can name others, even the ones without degrees, who are doing extremely well in theirchosen professions. Even teachers have come through the program. So, I feel that that‘ssomething I‘ve had a hand in for a long time. As a professor, I think part of the legacy is to demonstrate to the students; to expose themto what can be. A program that began back in the late 80s - early 90s was to get studentsinvolved in the National Association. I‘m extremely proud of that because we had students doextremely well in national competitions. And so, to me, it‘s showing our students that they cancompete against students from bigger schools and hold their own. I remember when we went toparticipate in a quiz bowl contest. One year, the team that knocked us out had to go two roundsto do it. That‘s like going into double overtime against a major powerhouse. That‘s like playing abasketball game, and having to go into double overtime before you knocked us out. That was the team that won the championship, and our institution was the only HBCU
  • 298. 286that had a quiz bowl team during that time. We competed against schools like Texas A&M,Michigan State, Ohio State, Texas Tech, and Arkansas. We did that for a number of years. Thatinspired a lot of students. We don‘t do some of those things much anymore, but we‘re doingdifferent things. It all has the same meaning. A different approach, but the results are still there. I‘ve learned that students are students. Fundamentally, they need mentors. They‘re notwhat they used to be, but in reality they are; they‘re still students. They need role models andthey need mentors. More students are coming here with less of what I call home training. Thatjust means they‘re different. But the reality is, they have the same being. They can be shaped andmolded. It‘s never too late. I don‘t believe it‘s too late. I‘ve taken some 20 and 21-year-olds andturned them around. I wish I would‘ve had them when they were 12, but, hey, I got them whenthey were 20. Let‘s see what we can do with them now. The young man that just left, he‘s 32. He‘s been through some things, but when I finishwith him in August, he‘s going to be different than when I met him this time a year ago. He‘sbeen here a year now. He‘s made a lot of progress. I just push him, and say, ―Why don‘t you trythis? Let me see what you can do.‖ So he‘s coming along and is going to do well. I tell him thereis no limit to what he can do, if he believes it. I‘m going to push him a little more than he wantsto be pushed. But trust me, I‘m not going to push him over the edge. He‘s going to be all right.Interviewer: That‘s excellent. So the next question. How has your leadership contributed to theincrease of African American males and youth as aspiring leaders of the future?Response: So, I‘ve tried to be a role model and example-setter. The message that I‘ve tried toconvey is, okay, I‘m an example of what can be. I wasn‘t born with special talents. I wasn‘t bornwith a silver spoon in my mouth. I wasn‘t born privileged at all. But, I was privileged in that Ihad God-given abilities. He gave me a sound body and mind and abilities. I wasn‘t a talented
  • 299. 287athlete, in music, or any of that. So, I had to find what worked for me. Now, what worked for mewas that I could do school work. I figured that out when I was young. I decided I‘m a skinny kidand I‘m not an athlete, so I can never aspire to be a world-class athlete. Besides, in my day,except for baseball and basketball, it wasn‘t about the glamour and the money. So, I neverthought of athletics as being my ticket. I couldn‘t play an instrument or sing, but I could go toschool. Now here‘s what I try to do with my students, and perhaps the young men more so thanthe young women. The female students mature much faster than the males. It takes the boys a lotlonger to get there, for the most part. But I try to help them to understand to do the best that theycan and take it seriously. I always say, ―Don‘t waste this opportunity. Take advantage of it whileyou‘re young. Don‘t waste today. Tomorrow is not promised. Don‘t waste 3, 4, or 5 years inschool, and come back in 10 or 15 years and talk about what you could have or should havedone. You‘re here now. This is not difficult, and it goes extremely fast. This time here isprecious. You‘re building for your future right now. So get a degree, and don‘t make excusesbecause they don‘t fly. Whatever excuse you have, it doesn‘t fly.‖ My students all know my story. So, if I went through four years of college, with noscholarship or financial aid, and no money from home, and graduated in four years with honorsand never went to summer school, what‘s your excuse? In order to do that, you‘ve got to get yourpriorities straight. What‘s most important? You have to do, what I call, some delayedgratification. You might have to decide to delay some things. Now, I know kids now-a-days require more stuff. I‘m not saying you should denyyourself of everything. Could you go to school if you had to and didn‘t have a car? Sometimes acar can be a burden because if you have a car, you‘ve got the upkeep. I hear kids say all the time
  • 300. 288that they have to work to pay their car note. Then they can‘t find a job on campus, so they go toHouston to get a job. I tell them they may need to consider staying on campus or living in thePhases. I believe you can walk to class from Phase 2 or Phase 3. The time they‘re spending commuting, and working to pay for their car, is taking themaway from their education. They can‘t have their cake and eat it, too. Students tell me, ―Well, Ihave to have a life.‖ I say to them, ―Find entertainment where you are. You have to go to thenightlife in Houston. Is that what you describe as a life? Find a life on campus.‖ You see, we talkabout these things. I try to get them to understand that if they busy themselves with schoolwork,they won‘t have as much idle time to concern themselves about those things. I encourage them totake more hours to keep themselves busy, and accelerate themselves to the finish line. It‘sworked for quite a few. I also encourage students to step up and get involved. Get involved in something – schoolwork, fraternities, sororities, student government organizations. I did all of that. That helps tobalance you out. There‘s more to life than work. You want to be able to contribute back to yoursociety. You learn leadership skills when you participate in organizations, but you should joinorganizations that are beneficial to you and not ones that are just social gatherings that have nomeaning. But all of this is a part of your personal, social development because, throughout life,you are going to be connecting and networking with people. This is how you move through life. You make lifelong friends and these are going to bethe people who are going to connect with you for the rest of your life. I still have friends fromhigh school and my freshman year in college. I still have friends from graduate school. We stillhave that connection after all these years. But, that‘s extremely important. It‘s good, and I‘mproud to say the current president of the Student Government Association is one of my mentees.
  • 301. 289You just missed him by five minutes. One is now at the LBJ School of Public Policy in Austin. He‘s one of my mentees who isa graduate student and current student government president. Now, he‘s on his way to CornellUniversity. We went through this mentoring session last year. I said let‘s talk about the future.I‘ve already hooked him up with one of my former students who is a distinguished professor atCornell. We‘ve already made the connections. All his materials have been turned in, so he is onhis way there. I‘ve got a female student that I just started working with last September. She washere, but I didn‘t have much interaction with her. We started in September, and now she is goingup to Michigan State next fall. I‘ve got a couple more that I‘m working on to get in school. One,I‘m probably going to send to law school somewhere. I think I have one that‘s looking at lawschool. So, it‘s working. It‘s working.Interviewer: You‘re right. That‘s a part of leadership. So, the next question… since your 32years of leadership experience, have you developed any local policies, political office, orpositions of power that helped you to become a change agent at the local, state, or national level?Response: I served in leadership positions in different organizations at the national and regionallevel. Probably one of the highest positions that I‘ve served, I served as chair of a committeecalled the Experimental Station Committee on Policy back in 2005-2006. During my tenure inthat position, it‘s a national position of all the research directors and experiment station directorsthroughout the country, all 50 states and territories, and over 100 members strong, I was incharge of some powerful people. The experiment station directors from major … schools. One ofthe big things that I was proud of was that we had a lot to do with the formation of the 2008Farm Bill. We set policies and programs that impacted agriculture. I was an integral part of that;in writing that.
  • 302. 290 We have another secretary today speaking to the issues, the current issues and futureissues that relate to that. She spoke a lot about President Obama‘s speech about how we‘ve gotto, basically, reinvent our future or secure our future. She talked about the 21st century as beingan era of agriculture. So my thing to her was, what did she see that the Obama administrationwas doing to make sure that we kept the doors open for opportunities for our students to moveinto the field of agriculture? So she talked some about the grand challenges, and I agree withthose. The world population is at roughly 7 billion. The projection for the next 25 years is a totalof 9 billion people. That creates a challenge. She talked about food security, not so much as it was safe, but can we produce enough?The whole issue of health and nutrition, the whole issue of food versus fuel, this push for bioenergy, and their impact on not only our food, but the environmental consequences of whatwe‘re doing. So, all of those you have to keep in balance. And so to me, we‘re looking at that –policies of the future, and maybe I‘ll be around to have input on the next farm bill that‘s comingup in 2012. So, the next one is coming up in two years; they‘re forming committees now. I‘m notsure if I‘m going to be invited to work on the next farm bill, but I hope I am. My concern is to make sure that there‘s something in there for higher education in thefield of agriculture, because if we can‘t feed ourselves, then nothing else matters. It is a grandchallenge providing safe and affordable food to feed the world‘s population. It is a realchallenge. We have to find a way. We have so many needs, but we can‘t overlook thefundamental one. We say, ―If you eat, you‘re involved in agriculture.‖ Question 7Interviewer: Describe what it means to be an African American male in a leadership positionthat helped pave the way for African American males. Considering your 34 years of experience,
  • 303. 291when you sit back and reflect, what has it all meant; what is the essence of African Americanmale leadership?Response: I‘ve always, for a long time, thought about this issue. The Black man, and this is anissue we were discussing previously, in my graduate school days, we talked about how we weretreated different, had different expectations, but at the same time, we had a responsibility to standstrong. What I mean is, it‘s always sort of been more fact than a myth that there is a double ortriple standard. Standards are not the same if you‘re a Black man. For sure, the standards forBlacks and Whites are not the same. In many instances, between Black males and Black females,it‘s not the same. What I saw emerging, and we‘ve come a long way with this, was the wholedesegregation, integration thing. What I saw was that the other side was saying, okay, I can gettwo for one if I get a Black female. We saw doors opening in many cases, and I‘ve experienced itfirsthand. If you have two people standing with equal qualifications, and in some cases, a Blackmale with more qualifications than the Black female, [the Black male will get passed over]. AndI remember the first time this happened to me. I got passed over for the position in which I hadmore experience and better qualifications. I didn‘t get the job. I didn‘t cry about it. I actuallyworked harder. And as it turned out, in the long run, I did more, accomplished more, andprobably got more notoriety, and, actually, had more power of influence being in what wasperceived as a lesser position. So, I learned from that lesson that it‘s not really as much of the position that you‘re in;it‘s what you do with the one you have. What I‘m saying is that, being a president, a vicepresident, dean, or department head, if you‘re not doing anything, or can‘t do anything, you arejust wearing a title. What counts most is, at the end of the day, what are you doing? What have
  • 304. 292you made happen? I learned to do some things right here as a department head. I‘m not a dean.I‘m a level down. I remember when I was department head and wanted to be a dean. I didn‘t getthere. And when I look back at it, I did more stuff than most deans and I was a department head.I also got to be an associate dean, not dean. The stuff that people saw happening, God knows Iwas doing them. People wondered how I was doing those things, how I made things happen, and how Iwas calling shots. I was still calling shots and I was just the associate dean. I was making adifference, even from there. So, yes, when you look at it, the responsibility that I felt was to be astandard bearer. The example I set was to do all I could to the best of my ability wherever I was.I wasn‘t concerned about who was getting the credit. But in the end, I think people knew whoreally was doing it. That‘s what I‘m feeling now. And more and more, I see it now. A lot of thestuff that I‘ve done and that I continue to do is not written. You don‘t see my picture on thewebsite. You don‘t see my picture flashing in the school paper. I learned, though, that stuff ishappening to people that I‘ve had a hand in shaping their lives. I‘m getting a lot of satisfaction inthat. Question 8Interviewer: This question is not on the list of questions. Looking back in retrospect, what keepsyou coming back year after year, after serving 34 years? What motivates you to continue to servein your leadership capacity?Response: There‘s still some unfinished business. I feel that I have an assignment from God todo certain things and he‘s not through with me yet. I‘ve been blessed tremendously. Physically,I‘m in good health. Still have a good mind. I‘ve experienced a lot of things in leadership, but in39 years total in higher education, I have been a lot of places. I‘ve done a lot of things. And with
  • 305. 293what I‘m doing currently, I have an opportunity to share that with some of these young peopleand to make a difference. What I‘m seeing right now, in particular, is more than I saw two yearsago. I left the leadership position in August 2009 to get to the classroom. There‘s more to it thanjust the classes that I teach. But, it starts there. But, it‘s in this office, it‘s in this building, it‘s in the meetings, and it‘s when I walkaround and talk with the students that you see changes starting to happen. I see changes in thebehavior of students – noticeable changes. I can start to see it. I‘ve had students who had myclass, and some didn‘t do well. But, they come back. The students keep me going. They are thereason I get up every day. But, my real concern now, as I think about President Obama‘s speechlast week, is: this is our future. These students—they are our future. They‘re going to be runningthings in just a few short years. Will you make a difference? What small difference can I make?I‘m going to stay here for a while. I haven‘t been released from this assignment yet. I‘m having fun at it. I enjoy it. I wakeup every morning at four o‘clock ready to do it all over again. I enjoy it now, probably, more sothan I did 30 years ago. I enjoy coming here every day. I don‘t regret it; every day is a good dayfor me. So I‘m going to keep doing it for a while. Yes, I could retire, or go do something elseless meaningful, but I don‘t want to do that. I have other stuff I could do. But at this point, I don‘t see anything else being as satisfying. I could retire, but I don‘twant to, not yet. I am having fun with this job because I get excited when I see studentsresponding, making progress. When I hear them say, ―I‘ve never thought of graduate school, butI‘m going. I never thought about a career in agriculture, but I see opportunities.‖ That makes meexcited. It gets me motivated, so I keep getting up every day and coming back, doing it withgreat anticipation and thinking: what small difference am I going to make today? That‘s how I‘m
  • 306. 294approaching it.Interviewer: Is there anything else that you would like to add?Response: No, I‘ve enjoyed interacting with you. I hope I‘ve contributed something to yourresearch, and maybe some words of inspiration for you.Interviewer: What you‘ve shared, and what others have shared, motivates me to take thisinformation back to my class and apply it as an educational leader. Thank you.Interview with Participant D Question 1Interviewer: When and how did you start your journey toward leadership? You may go backinto the past as far as you would like.Response: When considering leadership, one may have to go all the way back into the past,because leadership is something that doesn‘t just happen overnight. Normally, people think theycan prepare themselves for leadership, but that‘s really not the situation. The situation withleadership is that you have to be someone that people want to have in that leadership position.Even though you say I‘m well prepared to be a leader, which means nothing, it‘s how peopleperceive you as a person for a particular leadership position. Now, that‘s why leadership goes all the way back to experiences that you may have hadwhen you were growing up because it helped prepare you down the road. I‘m an old countryboy. I grew up in the country and at a young age. My interactions with people were prettyminimal. There weren‘t a lot of people in my hometown—mainly family, people in the church,and community members. So you didn‘t have a lot of community interaction. Most of myinteraction was with family, and I think leadership kind of started from this interaction. It‘s kind of interesting as I am reminded of my formative years, and how I used to play
  • 307. 295school with my cousins. Really, we actually had school. I don‘t know how old I was at the time,but I set -up school at my house in the country, and my cousins would come over. My motherand their mother were sisters, and they lived not too far away. So, sometimes I would visit them,or most of the time they came over to my house and the children would play school. There werefour girls, so I set- up school and started teaching, believe it or not. I don‘t know how old I wasat the time, but I am reminded of my introduction to teaching at a young age. So that‘s sort of theteaching aspect. Looking at my family today, there are four siblings, and three of us are teachers. Mysister and brother taught in the school system in Houston, and now I‘m teaching at the universitylevel. My other brother went into the Marines at a young age and passed away several years ago.He worked in Houston, at Cameron Industries, for a number of years. Even if you go back, thereare factors that start molding you for your career, but you don‘t realize it as you‘re growing up.Even now, I am still being molded for things I don‘t realize are taking place. My great-grandfather, Bob Chatham, was called the ―Watermelon King.‖ He was thelargest producer of watermelons in Waller County. The farm area is located just outside ofHempstead. Even though it‘s been sold, it still brings back childhood memories. Charlie Papa, ashe was called, produced so many watermelons that the railroad that went from Houston to theUniversity, through Hempstead, then on to Navasota, established a spur track (or cut off thesection) for him to load watermelons. Right along Highway 290, as you are turning towardsBrenham, with Highway 6 to Navasota and 290 to Brenham, is the place where his property waslocated and where the spur track was built. He raised so many watermelons that the railroad builthim a spur track in the early 1900s, and this was a Black man. Now, if you go back to one of theolder encyclopedias, as my co-workers found, Hempstead was called the ―Watermelon Capital of
  • 308. 296the World.‖ That was due to my great-grandfather. He was the ―Watermelon King.‖ He had, oh,I don‘t know, about seven or eight children. I have to let you see a picture. I might have it in mycomputer here. They called him ―Charlie Papa‖ and my great-grandmother was called ―CharlieMama.‖ Just one look at her was enough to let you know that she was tough. Charlie Papa and Ihad similar dispositions; we were more of the easy-going type of person. It was kind of interesting. I did a taped segment with my mother and her cousin. It wasn‘ttoo long ago. Both of them have passed on now, but it‘s kind of interesting how they would talkabout the history of Bob Chatham. They said, I distinctly remember, he hired people to work onhis farm. I mean, he was pretty well-off at that time. Sometimes, the workers would get introuble and go to jail, and he said, ―He needed them to work.‖ They said he would go down tothe jail and tell the jailers, ―I want my men out of jail.‖ I asked them if they meant he would gothere and asked them to let his men out. They said, ―No, he went there and told them to let hisworkers out of jail.‖ I said, ―Oh, okay.‖ He had a large farm and farmed watermelons all overWaller County and shipped them to California and other states. He had his sons in Arkansas. Itwas as if they were acting as his agents. They would go to different locations in the country sothat when melons were shipped, his sons would receive the melons and distribute them in thatarea. My great-grandfather was instrumental in my pursuit of education because he developedone of the first Black schools here in Waller County; I think it was called Rock West School. So,if you take this into consideration, I guess education ran deep in my bloodline. Charlie Papa wasborn in 1859, and he finished from this institution. Historians talked about the first eight youngmen to enroll here. I believe he was one of them. At that time he would have been seventeen, andlived close to the school. I haven‘t been able to confirm it because no one has records of the
  • 309. 297names of the first eight students to attend what was known as Alta Vista Normal College forColored Youth. It‘s very possible that he could have been one of the eight because he was about18 years of age in 1876, so at that time he would have been old enough to go to college.Interviewer: So, what is the history of Washington on the Brazos?Response: The first established Anglo settlements in Texas were Austin Colony in San Felipe,along the Brazos River and Dewitt County, along the Colorado River. The largest Anglo andBlack populations were along the Brazos River, and that‘s why it was appropriate for this HBCUto be established in Waller County because this was the location of the largest Black populationin Texas. That‘s why I think my great grandfather was one of the first of eight to attend thisuniversity. But anyway, from his education here, he developed a school on his property for thepeople that worked for him. I‘m sure most of them were probably Black, and he also developedthe Rock West School. He probably taught there, as well. So, education in my family goes way back. There was a school in Houston namedChatham Elementary School. The school was named for his son, who was the principal there fora long period of time. The school closed down about two years ago. I wanted to go take picturesof the school, but I never had the chance. A number of his sons and daughters were schoolteachers and principals, so this legacy was passed down to his grandchildren to be teachers, andeventually down to me. My mother and father were not educational people. They were farmers.But then, here again, if you consider their children, my brothers and sisters continued theeducation line. The cousins that allowed me to set up a back porch school all became schoolteachers. There were four girls. Out of four girls, three became school teachers and one went intothe workforce.Interviewer: Did you come to know leadership in high school?
  • 310. 298Response: The reason I mention the teaching of family is because all of a sudden by trying toteach them you are developing leadership skills and this development may come from thechurch. I can clearly remember my first day of formal school. I grew up in the rural area, withminimal interaction with people. So, that first day of school was traumatic for me because I wasnot accustomed to being around a full class of people I didn‘t know. It was tough, but I had to getused to it, and that‘s why the formative years, up to 6, were well secured for me because I didn‘tinteract with a whole lot of people. Out on the farm, you‘re dealing with animals, and you learnfrom them. There‘s always a lesson to be learned. During the first years of school, I was justtrying to get adjusted. I guess the happiest time would be when school was out and I could goback to the country in the summer time and enjoy it.Interviewer: But high school was different?Response: High school, and here again, you don‘t realize what‘s taking place in yourdevelopment as you go along in life. Just as this university is an excellent developer ofleadership for young African-Americans, it is the same in high school. I didn‘t say that I was thebrightest or the sharpest student in my class.Interviewer: What high school was this?Response: I attended Sam Schwarz High School in Hempstead, Texas, which, at that time, was asegregated school system. Yes, I‘m from Hempstead, and we still own the farm where I grew up.This afternoon I will be taking hay out to feed the cattle. I‘m still learning from the cattle, horsesand other domesticated and wild animals that live there.Interviewer: So you started at Schwarz, wow.Response: Yeah, Sam Schwarz had a segregated school system. The world for Blacks was acompletely different world than Whites. I mean, it‘s sort of like they‘re on another planet and
  • 311. 299you‘re on this planet. I had minimal interaction with Whites as I was growing up. At that youmay say it‘s the hatred and all this, but how can you hate somebody you don‘t even know? Imean, there wasn‘t any hatred or anything like that with us growing up. It‘s sort of like, they areover there, and it‘s accepted that they live here, and you live there. We didn‘t even, I‘m sure wedidn‘t, have a lot of money, nothing like that, but at the same time, we lived well and everybodywas well respected at that time. That‘s why I put my family‘s economical status as middle classbecause nobody considered himself or herself lower class. That didn‘t exist. So, that‘s why it washard for me to circle their classification because it just wasn‘t part of our thinking. I keepdigressing a little bit, you know. I went to Kansas City to work after I finished college, and theywere coming to work saying, ―You‘re coming from the ghetto.‖ I said, ―What are you talkingabout?‖ Stuff like that just didn‘t exist. There was no ghetto; no class levels. Everyone was toobusy working, farming, or ranching. Everyone was similar in his or her economic status.Interviewer: Now, back to football and how you became a leader.Response: Oh, okay, going back to leadership qualities and the reason I mention that I wasn‘t thesharpest student. Going back to my high school years, being in a class with all Black students,you pretty well know what you‘re doing or you know the subject, so you help others, and theybegin to look up to you and respect you. Which was saying that I wasn‘t the sharpest, but I wasgood when it came to grasping and learning something new … I remember at one time we builtsmall wooden ships: The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria, and I built very good replicaships. You know, students look up to you and then, all of a sudden, they are going to look up toyou to help them solve problems. You don‘t realize what‘s happening to you, but all of a sudden,people are coming to ask what to do here, what to do there, and you are expected to have the ideaor answer or something to it.
  • 312. 300 You don‘t realize what is happening to you, but you are getting that respect from peoplethat say that you are the person they are going to turn to solve it. That‘s a part of leadership,which was part of growing up during that period of time; just having the respect of people wholook up to you to solve things. Just like physics. I was pretty decent at it. I didn‘t have a 100%grasp, but at least I was there and they looked to me to explain how to do it. Then it came to, I guess, high school. I was in the band. Here again, I was in the firstband developed at Sam Schwarz. A female was the first band teacher; she developed the band atSam Schwarz, which had never existed before. Parents sacrificed to buy clarinets and othermusical instruments and there was no one there already experienced with instruments, except mypiano teacher. I was even in the choir. I couldn‘t sing a note. I realize that today, but at that time,hey, if you‘re in the group, you‘re singing. When we started using instruments, my parentspurchased a clarinet for me. So, my music teacher worked with the students and established theband that became very good. I learned how to play the clarinet, and I helped others that camelater to learn how to play the clarinet. So here is that leadership developing again, showing that you can do it with your skills,and you work with other people to help them out. Then, the key to leadership is other peoplelooking up to you in order to solve things; to show them the direction to go. So that wasleadership developing there in the band, and then, like I say, I‘ve never looked to be a leader, butall of a sudden things like that happen, and that took place in high school. In high school Iwanted to play football, but I was in the band, and it was difficult to be in the band and playfootball. I think my junior year in high school I started playing football. I was trying to do both ofthem, and on off-season for football you can do it. My sister and I were in the band. She played
  • 313. 301the piano and I, the clarinet. We had the school board, the White school board and all this, andwe had the band play for them, but that was under a different, new band teacher, after weestablished some years because Mrs. Knotts established the band probably when I was in thesixth, seventh, or eighth grade. Then we had another band teacher, and my sister and I did a duettogether for them, me on the clarinet and she on the piano. Here again, things that put you outthere. I was a young, shy man, very shy, but then you are almost forced into doing things andyou just keep moving ahead. Here again, the football. I was a good athlete, very good, and Iplayed in all different kinds of positions. During my senior year, I was elected captain of thefootball team, and so I‘m like, ―What?‖ That didn‘t involve a whole lot because you had otherguys working with you there, and I was also elected president of the senior class. I have to bringa copy of that. I still have my high school yearbook when I graduated from high school withpictures in it. So, that thrusts you into leadership and then going from high school to college. Wehad a Hempstead PV Club, and again, they elected me as president of the Hempstead PV Club. After one year in college, I was elected president of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical andElectronics Engineering). Not even running for the position, I was suddenly elected as thepresident of IEEE, which is a student organization for engineers. There were universities all overthe country; our chapter was called the I Triple E (Institute of Electrical and ElectronicEngineers). I guess there were a lot of little things that contributed to my leadershipdevelopment. My science teacher at Sam Schwarz took the responsibility of developing the Boy Scouts.I was a Boy Scout and eventually became a Boy Scout leader. Not even anticipating or wantingthe position, I‘ve received leadership positions a number of times and didn‘t want them. Hereagain, you‘re in there. Go ahead and do your best. I guess whatever I did, I survived. I was in the
  • 314. 302Boy Scouts for a number of years, and then eventually selected, what have you, to be the BoyScout leader. There, you have your plusses and minuses, which I won‘t go into as you go allalong with all those things.Interviewer: So, you went to college after you finished high school?Response: Yes, the other part in high school was what we called the ―Pony League Baseball‖ inthe summertime. I was pitcher there and here again; I think a lot of people, even though I didn‘tgo out of my way, chose me as the leader. I think still, a lot of people looked up to me as to say,―What‘s he going to do?‖ So, I became the pitcher. Normally, the pitcher is the person thatpeople are going to look up to get through the game. So, yes, after high school I came to theuniversity, and, at one time, I was even looking at the University of Houston. I remember I had to take the college entrance exam called the SAT. I had to go to theUniversity of Houston to take the test. While I was still in high school, my parents or somebodytook me down there; it may have been my brother. All of a sudden, as I enter the site to take thetest, I realize that there‘s a room full of White folks and me, a little Black boy. My culturalexposure had pretty much been in the Black society with activities such as football, baseball,basketball, and choir; everything had been Black. I never had the opportunity to associatemeaningfully with Whites at all. You meet them, you see them, and most of the time you don‘t even talk or associate withthem. There I was, very uncomfortable while testing. I think I did okay on the test, but I probablywould have done a lot better if I could have been more comfortable with my surroundings. Afterthat experience, I decided I was going to college. I started off that summer and made all A‘s inengineering and methodologies which says a lot for preparation in high school. I took a drawingclass from one of my professors; he‘s still alive today. I made an A in all of my math classes
  • 315. 303during both summer sessions. Due to my summer performance, I received an engineeringworking fellowship. The fellowships helped me to stay in college and allowed me to pay my ownway through school. I remember tuition and fees were about fifty-six dollars at that time. I didn‘t have to livein the dorm, but commuted back and forth from home. I don‘t remember having to ask myparents for money to pay for books or anything due to my having a job on campus. I don‘t evenremember how I got started that summer because I wasn‘t employed at the time. Evidently, Idon‘t know if my parents helped pay for me in the summer or not. I do remember, from then on,by working on campus I was able to pay my own way. Along the way, I‘m sure they paid someof it. Here again, it was all Black. What you grow up with is what you‘re comfortable with. Igrew up in the Black environment, so I‘m comfortable with the Black environment. I did reallywell. I finished with a 3.01, which at that time was Cum Laude. They‘ve changed it now to,what, 3.6 or 3.5 for Cum Laude, graduating with honors.Interviewer: So you graduated, and then? I know you did mention some things about leadershipafter graduation.Response: What happened during graduation was the Vietnam War. I graduated in 1969 so Igrew up in the sixties, in Hempstead, which was a fairly controlled environment with newsmedia or nothing. We had [a radio] that worked every now and then. Once I finished college, Iwould have headed to the Vietnam War. Going to college gave you a deferment, and that‘s why,at the time, you had large enrollment at universities. You either go to university or you go to the military because you had to do militaryservice at that time. I remember this high school teacher that was telling a young man to go intothe service. You listen to people and what they have to say, but you better make your own
  • 316. 304judgment. At that time, a good friend of mine got killed in Vietnam. He was a couple of yearsahead of me. He was killed along with another friend, who was enrolled with me in theUniversity‘s engineering program, but dropped out of school. When he dropped out, he wascalled to service and lost his life in the Vietnam War. Then there was another engineeringstudent, which I didn‘t know personally, but I knew his brother, that was killed in Vietnam, aswell. That‘s when things hit close to home. I mention this incident because I was not trying to dodge military service, but at the time,the nation was questioning the validity of our involvement in the war and justification ofAmerican soldier casualties. The young man from Hempstead that was killed was an outstandingperson. He would have probably been president of a company today, and then, all of a sudden,his life ended in Vietnam. He was an officer, and as he was flying a medical evacuationhelicopter, he was shot down. I talked to his brother some years later and he told me what hadhappened to him. So, these devastating experiences affected me so much that I decided to take anotherroute. At the time, there were different companies that would come to the university to interview.I think I had a couple of offers at that time, but there was a company in Kansas City, Missourithat did government contracting work. The plus with the contracting work served as a deferment.When I was offered the position, I said, ―Yes. I‘ll be there.‖ So here again, I was an old countryboy who was not accustomed to socializing with Whites, but I took advantage of the opportunity. My brother let me have his car to go to Kansas City. I don‘t know if you know about thereputation of the Corvair, but I took off in it and headed to Kansas City. Someone recommendeda place to stay in Kansas City. So I went to Richardson Apartments was back in 1969, atRichardson Apartments. I went there, and I got a place to stay. Not too long after that, another
  • 317. 305guy from Southern came up, and we went and got another real nice apartment because I didn‘trealize how bad this place was. It was in a bad neighborhood way on 23rd Street, or something, inKansas City. But I‘m going off the leadership track. Before entering the corporation in Kansas City, I had to get a security clearance andbackground check. Companies require the same procedure today, but it‘s not as intense as it wasback then. The company I worked for provided leadership development, I guess, by giving methe responsibility of project management. For the first year or two, I was working with theengineers, and then, eventually, I got my own projects. So, I began working with the people inthe factory that knew the parts design, and as the product engineer, I had to make sure that themanufacturing of the parts to specs were done efficiently. That was a headache, but those weresome of the things you had to go through. During the 60‘s, young men and women who left ourschool and other HBCU‘s and went to work in corporate America didn‘t survive because wewere just not used to working with White people. We were not used to the politics andadversarial relationships that we encountered in the field. I worked in Kansas City in 1969, and riots had taken place in 1967. People were killed inthose riots. So, when I arrived in 1969, the police were wearing gold helmets with a shotgunsitting right between the driver and the passenger seat as they patrolled the streets. They made itclear that you could see this shotgun. That was their uniform – a gold helmet. It was tense. Just acouple of years before I arrived, Blacks were really, I guess you could say, terrorizing at thattime, which made people afraid.Interviewer: So how did you get back?Response: What happened was that the company where I worked would pay for you to go tonight school and the only available school for engineering, the University of Missouri and
  • 318. 306Columbia Missouri, was about 120 miles from Kansas City. The university hired professors tocome to UMKC, which didn‘t have engineering, and they would teach engineering as a form ofnight school. So my company paid for me to go to school. Two of the professors that representedthe university said, ―Why don‘t you go to the University of Missouri and work on your mastersthere full time?‖ At that time, they were recruiting Blacks to come to the University of Missouri.So, I enrolled at the University of Missouri and obtained my Masters and PhD degrees. I earnedthe money to pay my PhD tuition through teaching assistantship programs. As a master‘s student,I worked in the labs and assisted professors in teaching lab courses. At the PhD level, I wasgiven an actual class to teach.Interviewer: Wow.Response: I taught a sophomore level circuits class. I taught that class, and, here again, I wasthrust in front of people who didn‘t look like me. The pressure was on, so I felt I had to become amaster of my content. I was going to use the step-by-step teaching methodology. So before Iwent in my lecture, I wrote out everything I was going to talk about in my lecture. I took the timeto just make sure that when I gave my lectures, I could teach it to my students forwards andbackwards. When I taught, there was no chit-chatting or anything because I was there to teach. I remember there were a couple of engineering sections where a few of my Whitestudents transferred to another section. They failed to realize that the other instructor reallydidn‘t have electrical engineering experience. So, guess what happened the next semester? I hada full class. Then, about my last year, my supervisor wanted me to teach an upper level class, butI wanted to finish my dissertation, and I didn‘t want to teach new material. I should have goneahead and done it anyway, but I told him I wanted to complete my PhD.Interviewer: So when you got your PhD, how did you get back to the university?
  • 319. 307Response: While I was working for the company in Missouri, I think, the White supervisorswere always watching us and saying, ―I wonder if this guy is going to work out.‖ In my ownopinion, I was probably one of the better teachers they had there. The company had anoccupation deferment. Eventually, the government cut out occupation deferments while I wasworking there. They would re-classify you as what‘s called 18 (one-eight) and that meant thatyou were ready to be shipped to the Army. So, I even went down and took the physical for military service. The lottery system thereselected four of us. We were all sitting together, waiting to see what would happen with thelottery. It chose men by years, 365. If you were the first to pull one, two or three, then go aheadand pack your bags and get ready to go to the military. We all ended up with three hundred andsomething. That meant we were not going anywhere, so we got back to work. That was anotherchapter that said you didn‘t have to go into the military for opportunity, so that was myconfirmation to complete my terminal degree. I ended up finishing my PhD, then began myemployment with an oil company in Dallas over the summer. There wasn‘t much leadershipdevelopment, except the responsibility for managing the company‘s projects. But, havingresponsibility is also part of leadership development; if you can do well, that is a plus for you. After graduation, I came to work at this university. Upon my arrival, I don‘t think theyeven asked me … I came as department head.Interviewer: So you were immediately appointed department head?Response: Right out of school. The person in charge of the department had a conflict with theprevious professor, so the guy left. Then a younger man stepped in as a temporary departmenthead, but he only had a master‘s at the time. So when they hired me, I was offered thedepartment head position. It had a different name at the time. I was in charge of the electrical
  • 320. 308engineering program. We had accreditation coming up that fall, so that meant you had to hit thefloor running. I remember being up at three or four o‘clock at night preparing lectures andanything else that needed to be done. Again, the thing with leadership is that one would like todo this or that, but ultimately, somebody else is guiding where you‘re going, even without yourconsent. An individual may have plans, but somebody else may be guiding the direction youwish to go. I came in that summer as department head of electrical engineering. Talk about beingthrust into leadership. I started my position in 1977 and served eighteen years as the head ofelectrical engineering. Back in those days, electrical engineering and biology were the premierdepartments at the university. If anyone came to here to recruit or recognize individuals, it wasfor electrical engineering or biology. We averaged about five hundred students at one time. OurBiology Department became famous for producing medical doctors across the nation, and over aperiod of eighteen years, we produced a lot of outstanding electrical engineers, as well. We hadgood professors and industry support, such as Bell Laboratory and International BusinessMachines (IBM). They would allow their workers to come and teach Bell and IBM labs at theuniversity over a number o