LIVING LEGACIES: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF FOUR AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS AT A SOUTHWESTERN       HISTOR...
Table of Contents                                            List of TablesData Collection Table ............................
Leadership Styles of African American Men................................................................29   Frederick Do...
Validity of the Data.........................................................................................................
List of TablesData Collection Table..........................................................................................
Chapter I       African American males for centuries have had a history of fighting for basicrights promised for all under...
2Smith, 2004; & Woodson, 2005), it is not surprising that the statistics following thisgroup are alarming and assist in pe...
3males lag behind White American males economically when considering that WhiteAmericans earn more income than African Ame...
4examine the emergence of educational leadership as perceived, experienced, andexercised by African American male administ...
5                                    Background of the ProblemThe History of African American Education         African Am...
6Washington sought education for skills in industrialism. The debate was so sharp amongthe two, that the African American ...
7African American males continue to decline, the critical presence of future leadershipamong black men in public and highe...
8                                   Research Questions        The following research questions will guide the study. Accor...
9                                   Purpose of the Study       The purpose of this study will be to give voice to four Afr...
10as a whole when considering true and timely reformation.        Designing a hermeneutical phenomenological study that wi...
11all preconceived ideas or experiences in order to best understand the experiences of theparticipants” (p. 235). The rese...
12secondary to the planting and picking of cotton. Black students spent half the school yearin the cotton fields.        D...
13cows and bulls with his bare hands. While his strong inner-drive and undaunted workethic won the favor of Mr. Mewis, it ...
14        Blacks and Whites were divided educationally. Black families that lacked thehome structure and educational tools...
15our lives working for Mr. Mewis by hauling-hay, picking pecans, raking leaves, andmanicuring their lawns. Because I lack...
16especially among each other. Upon my enrollment in the Fall of 1987, I saw youngpeople just like me striving for the onl...
17        As previously mentioned, my strategy for overcoming social and economicaloppression was to become the first Blac...
18the public education system and temporarily suspended my dreams of stardom.        During my educational pursuit at the ...
19not afraid to talk about their challenges and triumphs that allowed them to accomplishtheir goals as leaders of mega org...
20watched great leaders give back to the University with years of service and contribution.The challenge of obtaining this...
21will depend upon the honest responses of the participants while sharing their experiences.Fifth, since the four particip...
22   White.                                Organization of the Study        Chapter one detailed the problem, need, and si...
Chapter II                                   Review of Literature         In order to understand the phenomenon of African...
24political, economical, and social mobility. Violation of the laws to read and write resultedin negative and sometimes fa...
25Higher Education in the South became training grounds for teachers who served in thefield teaching uneducated former sla...
26contributions to American Education by producing a large professional workforce andadvocates for the cause of racial equ...
27The Jim Crow Laws and Segregation       The Jim Crow Laws were designed to reinforce political, economical, and socialsu...
28marginalized groups access to civil rights (“Biographical Profiles”, 2010).The Black Family and Community       During s...
29and culturally sensitive create a climate that is conducive for racial diversity in leadership(Berry, 2001). Strategies ...
30detachment, and incredulous inhumanity. Despite the push to withhold education fromslaves, Frederick Douglass practicall...
31leadership style caused tension between him and Douglass, which developed intopolitical debates. Garnet also formed the ...
3219th and early 20th Centuries were Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois.According to the Biographical Profiles (2010...
33curriculum which would train students for industrialism Woodson, 2005).       In the Biographical Profiles (2010), Booke...
34       According to Biographical Profiles (2010), DuBois demonstrated his agitationtoward whites through his harsh criti...
35through the American dictionary. His family supported him while in prison and exposedhim to the works of the Nation of I...
36Profiles”, 2010). While his life was in constant danger, Kings resilience, dependence onGod, and unwavering courage prov...
37while their white counterparts represented 87% of tenured professors. African Americanscomprised a larger scale of instr...
38                  African American Male Administrators in Higher Education       The representation of African American ...
39formation of state supported colleges which focused on educating young black youth inpreparation for the transition from...
40the campus, and an interscholastic athletics program in 1901. Although Prairie Viewunderwent many challenges such as lac...
41financial mismanagement placing Prairie View under possible conservatorship. PresidentPierre was succeed by General Juli...
42who are capacity builders for improved management that demonstrate the ability tostrategically plan. Educational leaders...
43by the "I Have a Dream" (IHAD) program in 1981 where a multimillionaire, EugeneLang, promised to pay for the college edu...
44dehumanization because of their race. Critical Race attempts to give voice to people whohave suffered injustices within ...
45       Van Breda (2001) argues that protective factors such as personal, familial, social,and institutional safeguards s...
46       Polk (1997) further describes resilience as the ability to thrive, mature, andincrease competence in the face of ...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M Un...
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Mary Ann Springs, Dissertation Proposal, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M University System

  1. 1. LIVING LEGACIES: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF FOUR AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE EDUCATIONAL LEADERS AT A SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY _________________________ A Dissertation Proposal 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 _______________________ August 2010 Prairie View A&M University _______________________ i
  2. 2. Table of Contents List of TablesData Collection Table .......................................................................................................vTable 1: Data Collection ...................................................................................................vChapter I.............................................................................................................................1Barriers to African American Male Leadership at Predominantly White Institutions.............................................................................................................................................3 The History of African American Education...................................................................5 The Significance of HBCUs and African American Male Leadership.......................6Research Questions............................................................................................................8 Purpose of the Study.........................................................................................................9Significance of the Study...................................................................................................9Delimitations of the Study...............................................................................................20Limitations........................................................................................................................20Definition of Terms..........................................................................................................21Organization of the Study...............................................................................................22Chapter II.........................................................................................................................23Review of Literature........................................................................................................23History of Black Education in the South.......................................................................23The Rise and Significance of the HBCU........................................................................24Critical Moments in African American History...........................................................26 Black Leaders and Politics.............................................................................................26 The Jim Crow Laws and Segregation............................................................................27 The Black Power and Civil Rights Movements.............................................................27 The Black Family and Community................................................................................28African American Leadership and National Leaders..................................................28 ii
  3. 3. Leadership Styles of African American Men................................................................29 Frederick Douglass ........................................................................................................29 Henry Highland Garnet..................................................................................................30 Marcus Garvey...............................................................................................................31 Booker T. Washington...................................................................................................32 Malcolm X......................................................................................................................34 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..............................................................................................35Educational Leaders of African American HBCUs....................................................36 Black Faculty in Higher Education................................................................................36African American Male Administrators in Higher Education....................................38Leadership Demands at HBCUs...................................................................................41The Significance of Mentorship for African American Males....................................42Critical Race Theory.......................................................................................................43Resilience Theory.............................................................................................................44Risk Factors that threaten African American Male Youth.........................................46Chapter III.......................................................................................................................49Methodology.....................................................................................................................49Purpose of the Study........................................................................................................49Methodology ....................................................................................................................50Research Design...............................................................................................................52Actual Research Design...................................................................................................54Subjects of the Study.......................................................................................................55Data Collection Table......................................................................................................55Table 1: Data Collection..................................................................................................57Instruments......................................................................................................................57 iii
  4. 4. Validity of the Data..........................................................................................................61 Procedures.....................................................................................................................62Data Analysis....................................................................................................................68Summary .........................................................................................................................70References.........................................................................................................................71APPENDIX A: DEMOGRAPHIC INSTRUMENT.....................................................78APPENDIX B: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.................................................................82APPENDIX C: INTERVIEW PROTOCOL.................................................................85APPENDIX E: IRB APPROVAL FOR RESEARCH STUDY...................................91RESEARCH STUDY.......................................................................................................92APPENDIX F: CONSENT FORM................................................................................93APPENDIX G: INFORMED CONSENT TO AUDIO TAPE INTERVIEW............97APPENDIX H: REVISED INTERVIEW INSTRUMENT..........................................99REVISED INTERVIEW INSTRUMENT...................................................................100 iv
  5. 5. List of TablesData Collection Table..........................................................................................................Table 1: Data Collection...................................................................................................... v
  6. 6. Chapter I African American males for centuries have had a history of fighting for basicrights promised for all under the American Constitution: life, liberty, and the pursuit ofhappiness. Since the African Americans arrival to the shores of North America, he wasforced to deny the existence and practice of his culture in exchange for thinking, working,and living like a slave until his death. This life of servitude was inescapable and,inevitably passed down from generation to generation (Dubois, 2003).Life for African Americans, especially African American males, has continued to lookdismal. According to DuBois (2003), the American society has stereotyped AfricanAmericans as lazy, insolent, aggressive, and unintelligent compared to the dominant race.While these views are often opinionated and over-rated, such speculation has caused anegative view of African American males to permeate throughout society. This negativeaura has left African American males marginalized, criminalized, and dehumanized(DuBois). In the Children’s Aid Society (2006) summary report of statistics on the AfricanAmerican Initiative, showed more than 29% of African American youth 15 years andolder were more likely to be incarcerated, compared to 4.4% White American boys.Black males represented 49% of inmate population, while only 4% attended college, and3% actually graduated. Less than one-half of African American males were employedand 50% who attended metropolitan schools dropped-out. Homicide was the number onekiller among African American youth. In lieu of the research on the societal, political,and educational displacement of African American males (Bashi, 1991; Dubois, 2003; 1
  7. 7. 2Smith, 2004; & Woodson, 2005), it is not surprising that the statistics following thisgroup are alarming and assist in perpetuating the problem. In the area of education, the Child Society Aid (2006) report showed that AfricanAmerican males are over-represented in areas of suspension, discipline referrals, andspecial education programs. Due to the heavy publicity of failure in these areas, AfricanAmerican male representation in Gifted and Talented or Advanced Placement programsis void in the literature. The African American males failure in these areas has served asa catalyst to other societal problems such as incarceration, homicide, drugs, gangviolence, and persistent drop-out rates in education (Child Society). In Tillman’s (2004) study of African American males enrolled in communitycolleges, many agreed that their educational experience was one in which theyexperienced isolation, little support, and resources, which included anunderrepresentation of role-models and a lack of mentorship programs . Collegeenvironments which are non-supportive and fail to meet the needs of African Americanmales, may contribute to transferring or dropping- out of the program (Tillman). The lowperformance and underrepresentation of African American males has become a growingconcern for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) as well. Factors thatprevented African American males from attending college were the obligation of beingthe provider for the family, the negative influence of pop culture, and the lack ofeducated role models (Cuyjet, 2006). While these problems hold true for African American male youth, AfricanAmerican males at the collegiate and leadership levels in higher education face similarrace-related barriers (Fraizer, 2009). According to Jackson (2008), African American
  8. 8. 3males lag behind White American males economically when considering that WhiteAmericans earn more income than African American males and are more likely toreceive promotions. This malady is related to hiring selections for executive positionswhere White American males are more likely to be selected over African Americanmales in leadership position. (Jackson).Barriers to African American Male Leadership at Predominantly White Institutions Smith, Turner, Kofi, and Richards (2004) assert that African American males inleadership at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) experience similar challenges. Riskfactors that impact these leaders include voicelessness, tokenism, isolation from onesculture, and stress when being forced to adopt mainstream ideals that are inconsistentwith their values. In addition, African American faculty at Predominantly WhiteInstitutions (PWI) experience little opportunities for tenure, promotions, and scholarship.In some cases, exploration of studies regarding African Americans, such phenomenon, isnot considered scholarship worthy and is highly void in mainstream review of literature(Smith, Turner, Kofi, & Richards). These negative factors speak to the relevance ofHistorically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the development of AfricanAmerican male leadership (King &Watts, 2004). Relatively few studies purport the experiences of African American males whohave become successful in spite of barriers such as racism, discrimination, and inequality(Daniel, 2006; Ellison, 2007; Fraizer, 2009). A study was found on African Americaneducational leadership at an HBCU, but all participants of the study were female (Green,2009). Therefore, the purpose of this study will be to give voice to four African Americanmale educational leaders, by conducting a phenomenological research study that will
  9. 9. 4examine the emergence of educational leadership as perceived, experienced, andexercised by African American male administrators of a Historically Black College andUniversity (HBCU) in Southwest Texas. The conceptual frameworks for this study will be based on Critical Race (CRT)and Resilience theories. Critical Race Theory (CRT) seeks to counter traditional theoriesand practices that marginalize people of color. Critical Race Theory attempts to givevoice to the oppressed through stories concerning experiences related to racialdiscrimination and inequality that have served as contributing factors to their lack of life,liberty, and pursuit of happiness (Creswell, 2007). According to Delgado (1999) and Bell (1995), much of ones own reality issocially constructed and that reliving the experience can be medicinal to the woundscaused by oppression and racism. Through the understanding of how race anddiscrimination negatively impact marginalized groups, oppressors are challenged toreflect on their practices and behavior toward the oppressed. Resilience Theory is the anti-thesis to Critical Race Theory. While CRT exposesracial and discriminatory practices through lived experiences of the victim, ResilienceTheory seeks to identify factors that contributed to the rise and success of individualsexperiencing oppression (Zimmerman, Ramirez-Valles, & Maton, 1999). These frameworks will seek to expose the participants fight against inequalityand/or discrimination through the lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT). Resilience may bea contributing factor to overcoming barriers which led to the success of four AfricanAmerican male educational leaders at a Southwestern Historical Black College andUniversity in Texas (Daniel, 2006; Fraizer, 2009).
  10. 10. 5 Background of the ProblemThe History of African American Education African Americans, historically, have had a difficult journey navigating throughthe social, political, economical, and educational systems of America. While thesesystems were in place and controlled by the dominate culture during the SouthernAntebellum, such systems were not privileged to people held as slaves. As it pertains toeducation, slaves were usually taught by the mistress or children of slave owners whowent to school, though such acts were prohibited by law (Slavery and the Civil War,2009). At the sunset of slavery and the dawn of public education in the South, newlyfreed slaves sought education as a means of access to these systems which they felt couldalter their lives and the lives of their families. (DuBois, 2003; Woodson, 2005; Woolfolk,1986). With the rise of institutions of higher education for Negroes, it was clear to theAfrican American community that education played a critical part in the entrance intopublic education with their White counterparts. The dream was often challenged due tothe lack of funding, which produced heavy reliance of Black colleges, Whitephilanthropy, and missionaries who gained control of these state supported schools. Itwasnt until the Morrill Land Grant Act that states in the South actually began fundingpublic schools of Higher Education (Allen & Jewel, 2002; Woolfolk, 1986). With thebirth of freedom, came the emergence of African American leaders such as W. E. B.DuBois and his contemporary, Booker T. Washington. These two pivotal leaders debated on which form of education program was bestsuited for the needs of its constituents. DuBois rallied in favor of the Liberal Arts, while
  11. 11. 6Washington sought education for skills in industrialism. The debate was so sharp amongthe two, that the African American community was split. One group supported the viewsof DuBois, who openly attacked racism and believed in a Liberal Arts curriculum, incontrast to Washingtons group that took a more conservative approach to injustice (Allenet al., 2002; Woolfolk, 1986). For many decades, a remnant of African American maleleaders began to surface as their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness werechallenged by the status quo. Although the efforts of DuBois and Washington werenoble, equity of education between Blacks and Whites was not reached. The nationsleaders sought to equalize the playing field of education through the efforts of theFreedmans Bureau (1865), desegregation through the Supreme Courts ruling of Brownvs. the Board of Education (1954), and the rise of the Civil Rights Movement(1955-1968), the nations schools were still segregated (Allen et al., 2002; DuBois, 2003). The Significance of HBCUs and African American Male Leadership The desire for autonomy in decision-making and the need to raise leaders tocontinue the mission of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) remains acritical issue. A growing body of research shows that African American males aremissing in action at the public post-secondary levels of education (Green, 2001; Jackson,2001; Wiley, 2001). According to Green (2001), the escalation of African American male drop-outrates has become a major concern for policy-makers and the educational communityacross the nation, yet the problem continues to persist. Factors for the decline ingraduation rates have not been specifically identified, but some factors may includepolitical, social, and cultural barriers. The implication is that if drop-out rates among
  12. 12. 7African American males continue to decline, the critical presence of future leadershipamong black men in public and higher education will continue to remain marginal(DuBois, 2003; Eatman, 2000; Green, 2001). African American male leadership is crucial to the African American communitywith the rise of Black-on-Black crime, poor academic performance, theoverrepresentation of Black males in special education, and disproportionate numbers ofAfrican American male incarceration in comparison to other races (Children’s AidSociety, 2006; Ladson-Billings (1999). Without proper guidance programs and thenecessary mentors and coaches to help young African American males, this group maylack the resilience to work hard and become productive citizens that will carry the legacyof African American male leadership (Children’s Aid Society). The consistent decline ofAfrican American male participation and contribution to the African Americancommunity could lead to the absence of future leaders of HBCUs and public schools ingeneral (Jackson, 2001; Wiley, 2001; Woodson, 2005). The researcher and a library research specialist used ProQuest, Sage Publications,and EBSCO Host search engines to locate studies on African American male leadershipexperiences at a Historically Black College and University in the Southwestern region ofthe United States. After this exhaustive search, no dissertation study was found in theresearch literature. Therefore, the researcher decided to conduct a phenomenologicalstudy devoted to examining the emergence of African American male educationalleadership as perceived, experienced, and exercised by African American maleadministrators of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in SouthwestTexas.
  13. 13. 8 Research Questions The following research questions will guide the study. According to Marshall andRossman, as cited in Creswell (2007), the central question of a phenomenological studyshould be explanatory in nature when little is known about a particular phenomenon anddescriptive when describing patterns related to the phenomenon. Therefore, theresearcher developed the following questions in order to capture these formats. 1. What critical moments in history have impacted the educational leadership style(s) of four African-American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University? 2. Describe how leadership style(s) have evolved over the past three decades of four African American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University. 3. Which leaders from the past have left an impression on four African-American male educational leaders from a Southwestern Historically Black College and University? 4. In the face of social, political, and racial adversities, what influenced the decisions of four African American male educational leaders at a Southwestern Historically Black College and University? 5. How do these four leaders describe and demonstrate their leadership style when interacting with others? 6. How has the leadership of four senior African American male educational leaders influenced policy and practice over the years and what changes were needed for improvement?
  14. 14. 9 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study will be to give voice to four African American maleeducational leaders, by conducting a phenomenological research study that will examinethe emergence of educational leadership as perceived, experienced and exercised byAfrican American male administrators of a Historically Black College and University(HBCU) in Southwest Texas. Significance of the Study The constant decline of African-American male drop-out rates in public andhigher education, has posed a serious threat to the recruitment and retention of AfricanAmerican male leadership (Cuyjet, 2006). With the internal and external pressure frompolicy makers to diversify their student body, faculty, and staff, public institutions inhigher education are gradually acknowledging the persistent socioeconomicallydisadvantage of African American males (Smith et al., 2004). Even in the attempt toadequately diversify campuses, diversity initiatives have been futile, thereforeperpetuating marginalization of ethnic groups (Wiley, 2001). A study on factors that contribute to the disparate representation of AfricanAmerican men, confirms that African American male leaders lag behind their Whitecounterparts in the academic workforce, proving that hiring practices are more favorablefor White American males than African American males (Jackson, 2008). Absence ofBlack leadership and Black mentors will not only impact public and post-secondaryschools, who educate African American males but will impact these young men bydecreasing their influence and visibility at the social, political, economical, andeducational levels (Stupak, 2008). Failure in these areas could ultimately affect the nation
  15. 15. 10as a whole when considering true and timely reformation. Designing a hermeneutical phenomenological study that will focus on the lifeexperiences of four senior African American male educational leaders at a HistoricallyBlack College and University (HBCU) may serve as a tool to restore what "excellence inaction" looked like in the form of phenomenology. Data collection will includeinterviews, documents, and artifacts designed to capture the essence of each participant. The desired outcome will be four-fold: (1) to foster the meaningful paternalrelationships from senior educational leaders to succeeding generations; (2) to teach andshare leadership characteristics with young male youth of all backgrounds; (3) toencourage African American males to complete graduation; and (4) to inspire andmotivate African American males aspiring leadership positions in public and highereducation. The study will provide four African American male educational leaders theopportunity to be heard with minimal interpretation from the researcher. This study willnot reflect the thoughts and opinions of the entire African American male educationalleadership population; neither will the narrative experiences of the participants begermane to all African American male educational leaders but will provide voice to thefour participants of the study. In a broader sense, the study will add to the limited body ofresearch on African American male educational leadership in among Historically BlackColleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Southwest region of the United States. Assumptions 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
  16. 16. 11all preconceived ideas or experiences in order to best understand the experiences of theparticipants” (p. 235). The researcher will therefore share her experiences with risk andprotective factors that have framed her interpretation of leadership. While growing-up in Bellville, Texas, a small town with a population of less thanten thousand residents, in 1968, I learned to appreciate my father as the leader of ourfamily. His outstanding work ethic served as a model that helped me cope withdiscrimination, inequality, and a negative self-concept that I would have to overcome inorder to take my place in society and serve humanity. I am the second product of theunion of a 14 year old black female, Dorothy Gilmore and a 17 year old black male,Howard Palmer. Considered adolescents themselves, as compared to the age of marriageof the present, little did the two realize how much stability their decision to stay togetherwould add cohesion to our family. My fathers life set the stage for my quest for strong leadership as a guide inovercoming pre-existing barriers I would face and continue to face in the "game of life"in America. As the second oldest of seven children, I think I loved my father the mostbecause he was my hero, the person I looked to for strength within the fragile world ofmy imagination. My father became my first point of reference as I began to frame mydefinition of leadership. He often shared stories and experiences of how hard life was for AfricanAmericans during his adolescent years. He told me about his job as a young share-cropper picking a hundred pounds of cotton a day to help provide money for food for thefamily. While he had an eighth grade education and my mother a third, the owners of thecrop fields made it clear (to the principals of the colored school) that education was
  17. 17. 12secondary to the planting and picking of cotton. Black students spent half the school yearin the cotton fields. Daddys family prided themselves on strong work ethics. A few years later, whenhis father decided to desert his wife and eight children, my dad and his siblings becamethe bread winners for the family. Dad told me of many occasions in which a "good"family name caused White people to help them buy food when they only had bread tolive by. The separation of my dads mother and father hurt him as a child, so he vowedthat if he ever had a family, he would not repeat the decision his father made. It was in the cotton patch where my dad met my mother. The two formed a unionand started their family. My parents had no home of their own, so they resided with mymothers mother and step-father. My mother had her first child, Shirley, at age 13, and Iwas born a year and a half later. Due to my mothers step-fathers attempt to sexuallymolest Shirley, my parents were kicked-out of the house and forced to find shelter in anold abandoned car until they could find a place to live. Although his education was limited, dad found odd jobs by utilizing his ability towork hard to support his young family. One day a rich White cattle owner by the name ofCalvert Mewis (whom my dad worked for on a few occasions), saw my dad walking onthe road and asked him where he was going. My dad told him that he and his family hadno place to stay and were hungry. Mr. Mewis had empathy for his situation and made adeal that if my dad would faithfully serve him, he would provide land, a home, and foodfor the rest of his life. With the desire to show his appreciation, dad became the "JohnHenry" 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
  18. 18. 13cows and bulls with his bare hands. While his strong inner-drive and undaunted workethic won the favor of Mr. Mewis, it created animosity among the sons of Mr. Mewis andhis other hired hands. Mr. Mewis often referred to my dad as his "Black" son. Therewasnt a need that my dad had that Mr. Mewis did not meet. Because of his strongdetermination, unwavering courage, and moral code of ethics, my dad emerged as anoutstanding African American male leader in my eyes. The lack of black-owned gasstations, convenience stores, and blacks in public offices at the time, left me fewexamples of African American male leadership. As the years passed, my mom had five more children where she remained a stay-at-home mom until our teenage years. It was during middle school at Bellville where Ibegan to see the deadly blow of the lack of empowerment of African Americans at thesocial, political, and economical levels. There was an understood divide that existedbetween the Black and White residents of Bellville. This divide was apparent in the typesof housing available to Blacks, which were mostly the "Projects." Other homes owned byBlacks looked like run-down shacks, compared to the nice brick houses that many of mynon-black peers resided. In lieu of embedded racism, the social structure of the town was fragmented withWhites and Blacks perpetuating the values of their respective race. Economically, I sawmore blacks working for Whites or White-owned businesses than working forthemselves. Occasionally, my mother would clean houses for White women, which Idetested. I attempted to show my disdain by referring to her type of work as "slavery."Observing my parents constant subjection and dependence on White people served as mymotivation to pursue a singing career in Country/Western music.
  19. 19. 14 Blacks and Whites were divided educationally. Black families that lacked thehome structure and educational tools to help their children with academics were prone toteacher referrals that placed Black children in special education programs, services inwhich I received. None of the Palmer children (including myself) have attended Bellvilleschools without being retained. Almost 95% of my siblings children that attend schoolsin Bellville have been retained, and 100% of boys in our family who attended theseschools were retained and placed in special education. This stigmatism placed upon myfamily by Bellville I.S.D. still exists today. While I attended Bellville High, Advanced Placement courses werepredominately white, with one or two black students. The staff was predominately whitewith two African American female teachers, one who taught special education and theother taught Spanish. Absent was the presence of any black male leaders at Bellville HighSchool during my years as a student. These programs only reinforced the thought thatgradually developed in my mind… that White people were better than Black people. Iwanted the life that Whites had, so I began to talk like them, sing like them, and evenattempted to date them. I became so obsessed in trying to date White guys that Blackboys began to call me "White boy lover." Consequently, White guys were afraid to dateBlack girls because of the prejudice and racism that engulfed the town. Politically, as I recollect, no Blacks held a political position in Bellville. I didntsee Blacks gathering at voting booths or being solicited to vote for a particular politicalparty. My parents never exercised their right to vote because voting wasnt an importantfactor for them at the time. Mom and dad didnt consider themselves intellects; they werelaborers and didnt feel the need to voice their political views. We spent the majority of
  20. 20. 15our lives working for Mr. Mewis by hauling-hay, picking pecans, raking leaves, andmanicuring their lawns. Because I lacked the awareness of the power of voting and theprice that the Black community paid to acquire it, I didnt practice voting until I became astudent at Prairie View A&M University. Needless to say, while my family learned thevalue of hard work, which was modeled by my father, I began to desire mentors and role-models who could lead me beyond the dismal life that I saw un-educated AfricanAmericans become 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 myrelationship with Christ. When I obeyed the Gospel at 17 years of age, the word of Godbecame my hope of a better life for me and my family. As a means of escape from myfamilys present condition, I followed the advice of the African-American specialeducation teacher who not only encouraged me to go to college but drove me there. Myhigh school guidance counselor, on the other hand, pushed me toward a trade schoolrather than college. I admit that I harbored distrust and hatred toward Whites whomistreated Blacks while living in Bellville. It was at this point in my life that I knew thatonly a relationship with God could free me from this pessimistic attitude I had developed.Through prayer, attending church, and working-out my souls salvation, my greatestleader, Jesus took control of my life. Although the painful memories were still there, Iwas able to forgive and move-on with my life. When I stepped on Prairie Views campus, I had never seen so many AfricanAmericans at one time. It was intimidating because I only remembered negative storiesand images about African American people and how they were prone to violence,
  21. 21. 16especially among each other. Upon my enrollment in the Fall of 1987, I saw youngpeople just like me striving for the only equalizer for the Black community - education.My high school G.P.A. was a 2.7. I had no intentions of going to college, therefore, I tookmy grade point average for granted. I had no knowledge of the SAT or ACT College entrance exams. In order tocomplete the admissions process, I had to take the THEA and based upon my scores inmath, I had to take two remediation classes. I didnt care what amount of courses I neededto take; I was on my way to becoming a student at Prairie View A & M University andthats what mattered to me. The faculty at Prairie View took me under their wings andhelped me navigate through the financial aid process. I was the first and only member ofmy immediate family who went to college and graduated with a BA and Masters degree. As I took the educational route, I was happy to be free from the influence of thedominant culture. At Prairie View, I saw African American males dressed in fine suits,neatly groomed hair, articulating eloquent speech, and taking charge as leaders. SeeingBlack men in this light really excited me because I rarely saw such examples in myhometown, and definitely not in such abundance. In 1989, I entered and won the Miss Prairie View A & M University ScholarshipPageant. This event allowed me to represent Prairie View on national television at TheMiss Texas Pageant in Fort Worth, Texas. My reign as Miss Prairie View A & MUniversity afforded me the opportunity to demonstrate my ability to lead and serve theschool community. My new role as one of the campus leaders meant that the critical eyeof society would be upon me. This thought raised a level of self-awareness of the leader Iwas attempting to become.
  22. 22. 17 As previously mentioned, my strategy for overcoming social and economicaloppression was to become the first Black female "Charley Pride" in Country/Westernmusic. This was going to be my ticket out of poverty and feelings of inferiority. So Ibegan writing songs and recording in studios with Mr. Fredrick V. Roberts, who laterbecame my manager. While pursuing my career and education, I served the universityand various campus organizations with performances for the next three years and stilltoday. Mr. Roberts and I experienced racism in the music industry whether in localcountry music and nationally-televised competitions. In 1990, my leadership opportunities were further advanced when I representedPrairie View A&M University as Miss Collegiate African American among twenty fiveHistorically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Danny Glover introduced myCountry & Western performance who later invited me to perform for a celebrity gala,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 hotelreservations. I was impressed at how expediently the situation was corrected; it was greatwitnessing black leadership in action. That experience made me proud to see an AfricanAmerican man stand with boldness and power in the midst of a predominately whitesociety. This encounter served as the catalyst of my paradigm shift regarding AfricanAmerican male leadership. These two pivotal moments of my history with Prairie View A & M Universitytook me out of a small town which practiced discrimination and racism, to a largerplatform which instituted similar acts as well. I eventually became discouraged inpursuing the music industry and focused my attention toward educating young minds in
  23. 23. 18the public education system and temporarily suspended my dreams of stardom. During my educational pursuit at the Doctoral level at Prairie View, I oftenwondered what obstacles or racial barriers generations before me had to endure. If only Ihad a mentor who utilized certain strategies in overcoming discrimination, perhaps Iwould have stood my ground in the pursuit of my career goal. Providentially re-directedfrom my goal as a Country/Western star, I chose to enter the teaching profession. Whileworking my way toward certification, I fell in love with the idea of cultivating youngminds and making a difference in the lives of children. By this time, my husband and Istarted a network marketing business with about 100 business associates. Although wedidnt earn much money, we invested thousands of dollars into leadership conferences,books, audio-tapes, and CDs on attitude, skills with people, and the art of leadership. Asa teacher, I was able to take the success principles from great authors such as NapoleonHill, Dale Carnegie, Les Giblin, Dennis Kimbro, Robert Schuller, Mason Weaver, JohnMaxwell, 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 ofleadership within a network of thousands of people. The majority of the men who heldthe highest level of leadership were white males and only few were African Americans.In fact, the majority of African American representations at leadership conferences weremembers of the African American major leaders organizations. My up-line leaders were predominately African American; the experience oflearning how to train and develop leaders was invaluable. As I observed these men, Isensed their sincere desire to pass the torch of leadership to our generation. They were
  24. 24. 19not afraid to talk about their challenges and triumphs that allowed them to accomplishtheir goals as leaders of mega organizations. Although our marketing business gradually dissolved, 10 years of leadershipexperience helped me to form a concept of what servant leadership was about. After mybusiness ownership experience, I began to focus more on education. I have worked atthree different school districts and have become quite disturbed in the lack of AfricanAmerican male teacher and leader representation. As I sat in data disaggregationmeetings with the superintendent of schools, it was clear that African American malepopulation performed the lowest among all groups on state mandated tests. I felt like afailure as a teacher leader in 4th grade because they were the students who filled the in-school suspension room daily. I knew that our African American boys were in trouble. The Superintendent of Hempstead Independent School District became the firstblack superintendent in 2007. He challenged the district to change the direction of thisvolatile population. I accepted this challenge by desiring to conduct a research study onmen who have experienced the challenges of living as an African American male in theUnited States of America. I knew that I needed to find men who were experts inleadership, who had overcome even greater barriers than generations to follow couldimagine. This quest led me back to my educational home, Prairie View A & MUniversity, where I could now study the lives of men who understood what leadershipwas all about. My intention was to conduct a study that would reveal factors that madethese men resilient and perhaps utilize this information to "restore" African Americanmale leadership. I knew such models existed at Prairie View A&M because I had known and
  25. 25. 20watched great leaders give back to the University with years of service and contribution.The challenge of obtaining this information would be accessibility, so, I wanted toconduct a study that would chronicle the lives of these men and their contributions toAfrican American male leadership. Delimitations of the Study For the purpose of this study, the researcher chose the following criterion forparticipant selection: This study will look at four African American male administrators,therefore eliminating the experiences and contributions of African American femaleadministrators. The participants of the study all serve as educational leaders at aSouthwestern Historically Black College and University (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 haveserved the HBCU for 30 or more years in the College of Education. Based on thecriterion, four African American male educational leaders emerged as participants for thestudy. Limitations The study may include the following limitations: First, the participants narrativeexpressions may be limited to the researchers ability to use strong and descriptivelanguage in order to accurately report the experience. Second, since the study andexperiences are specific to the participants in question, the reproduction of this study fora larger population with different demographic and racial make-up could change theoutcome. Third, since participants will be sharing experiences from the past, theirexpressions may be limited to their capacity to recollect information. Fourth, the study
  26. 26. 21will depend upon the honest responses of the participants while sharing their experiences.Fifth, since the four participants are actively serving as leaders or as teachers, theiravailability may be limited when scheduling interviews. Sixth, overt observations of theparticipants may threaten their true leadership behavior when operating under a difficultsituation. Definition of Terms Table 10.2, as displayed in Creswell (2008), distinguishes between qualitative andquantitative research. Quantitative research definition of key terms is listed as a criticalcomponent of the format, whereas with qualitative research, key terms derive as the studyprogresses. A general definition of key terms will be used until further terms developthroughout the study. For the purpose of the study, the following terms will be used:• African American-An American of African and especially black African descent (www.merriam-webster.com).• 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) - any college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose school management and enrollment were majority
  27. 27. 22 White. Organization of the Study Chapter one detailed the problem, need, and significance of the study; definedCritical Race and Resilience theories; and provided a summary of the chapters. Chaptertwo will provide a review of related literature. Chapter three will describe themethodology and rationale of the study. The researcher will provide analysis of the data,the researchers role, and a summary. Chapter four will present the analysis of the data.Chapter five will culminate with the summary, conclusions, and recommendations forfurther research.
  28. 28. Chapter II Review of Literature 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 theeducational, social, and political levels (Woodson, 2005). It is important to note that theserisk factors have significantly decreased the pool of African American males as futureleaders in society (Eatman, 2000; Green, 2001; Wiley, 2001). Racism and inequality hashad a major impact on African Americans and continues to affect many aspects of theirlives. The literature review will begin with the history of Black education in the South.The rise and significance of HBCUs will lead to the establishment of African Americanmale leaders at the national level. Leadership styles of African American men will bediscussed in addition to their barriers in higher education. This chapter will also discussthe significance of mentorship for future generations of African American males anddiscuss Critical and Resilience theories. The literature will end with risk factors thatpotentially threaten African American males. History of Black Education in the South Unlike Predominately White Institutions (PWI) in the Northern region ofAmerica, Historically Black Colleges and Universities grew-out of the aftermath of theCivil War from 1860-1865 (Allen et al., 2002). The dawn of slavery gave rise to the birthof education for African Americans, who since their arrival to southern plantations weredenied access to education. From freedmans perspective, education held the keys to 23
  29. 29. 24political, economical, and social mobility. Violation of the laws to read and write resultedin negative and sometimes fatal consequences (Slavery and the Civil War, 2009). No matter how challenging the slave master made the acquisition of education,slaves found creative ways to possess the coveted ability to read and one day, write.Before, and certainly after the Civil War, slaves in the South demonstrated their bolddesire for education by setting-up their own churches and informal schools. Many slaveswere educated through the telling of stories, singing of songs, and gospel messages byreligious leaders in the community (Slavery and the Civil War, 2009). The Rise and Significance of the HBCU According to Woolfolk (1986), the fall of slavery led to the establishment ofschools for young newly freed slaves. In less than a decade, over 100 schools for peopleof color were established. The majority were day schools, while some serviced studentsat night. These schools were heavily underfunded and lacked adequate facilities forteaching, but nevertheless, African American male leaders (with the help of stategovernment, philanthropists, and white religious groups) demonstrated resilience inmanaging to keep school doors open for business in the Black community (Allen et al.,2002). It was within the walls of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)that African Americans found a degree of solace. HBCUs focused on preparing youngAfrican Americans for education and a successful transition into society. In 1878, the first public Historically Black College and University was establishedin Southwest Texas. Alta Vista Normal College for Negroes became the first Blackpublic school for freed slaves. The school was built upon the ruins of a slave plantationowned by Jared and Helen Kirby in Waller County in 1876. Many public schools of
  30. 30. 25Higher Education in the South became training grounds for teachers who served in thefield teaching uneducated former slaves (Woolfolk, 1986). According to Bennett and Yu Xie (2003), Historically Black Colleges andUniversities were an answer to the racial reprise that African Americans were inferior toWhites; therefore, Blacks were excluded from Public White Institutions. Although Blackschools were considered inferior in terms of building and financial support, schoolleaders were 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 pathto overcoming political, 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 Yu Xies (2003) studyon the role of HBCUs in education, collective data showed that HBCUs accounted for asignificant number of college degrees awarded to African American students than otherinstitutions. The research further asserts that African American students preferredHBCUs over PWIs because Black universities had a more nurturing environment, whichmade them to feel connected to the university. Students also felt the faculty and staffwere more supportive at HBCUs by providing academic and financial assistance(Bennett & Yu Xie). Black Colleges and Universities have historically served as institutions that haverecruited, 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 of African American history, and social interactions among the schoolcommunity. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) have made
  31. 31. 26contributions 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 notvictimize all. There were remnants of Blacks who rose to power and leadership in spite oflaws that worked against them. According to DuBois (2003), leadership had to comefrom Blacks themselves because they felt their white counterparts did not have their bestinterest in mind. During the 50s, emerging Black leaders needed the power of the ballotin order to make political changes for their race. DuBois (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, weredeterred from exercising their right to vote. In the final analysis, Blacks viewed politicsas a vice for personal gain by those who participated. As a result of non-participation inpolitics, Blacks became victims of dehumanization with no protection under the law. From 1876 to 1965, the Jim Crow Laws were mandated as local and state lawsacross the United States. These laws were designed to create artificial separation betweenBlacks and Whites, especially in the South. Blacks were disadvantaged at the political,economical, educational, and social levels. Civil rights and civil liberties were alsodenied to Blacks. In the Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Courtruled segregation unconstitutional and the Jim Crow laws were dismantled by the CivilRights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (DuBois, 2003; Harper, 2008;Woodson, 2005).
  32. 32. 27The Jim Crow Laws and Segregation The Jim Crow Laws were designed to reinforce political, economical, and socialsuppression among African Americans (Woodson, 2005). In the face of challenges andadversity experienced by African Americans, some have developed the mental fortitudeto rise above temporary setbacks. DuBois (2003) and Woodson (2005) articulated thatwhile segregation was prevalent throughout the South, soldiers of the United States Army(through World War 1) were segregated as well. African American males playedsupportive roles in the army, but most did not see combat.The Black Power and Civil Rights Movements The Black Power Movement of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movementbecame two critical moments in African American history and leadership. In the fight foran end to racism and the quest for equality, the Black Power Movement took a militantapproach to assuage the problem of African Americans living in America. Their politicalideology involved race pride, political and cultural institutions, and Black interests. Themovement sought to separate African Americans from the mainstream and build a self-sufficient race (Herton, 1996). The Civil Rights movement has had a long history in the United States. Themovement, though mostly fought through non-violence, opened the door to social andlegal acceptance for African Americans. It also exposed the existence and price of racismin American history. The Civil Rights Movement refers to the political struggles and theneed for reformation for African Americans between 1945 and 1970. The movementspurpose was to end discrimination experienced by disadvantaged groups in America. Thekey players in the movement were the Black church and its focal leader, Dr. MartinLuther King Jr. Although the movement caused the death of Dr. King, it provided
  33. 33. 28marginalized 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 familymembers. As slavery ended, many longed to reunite and find displaced members of theirfamilies. According to DuBois (2003), the separation of male slaves from theirhouseholds left single mothers the burden of leadership in a paternalistic society. AfricanAmerican family and community considered strong family bonds, great respect forelders, and the acceptance of others as a major part of their value system. The familystructure gradually deteriorated due to poverty and the lack of education. Segregation became a social tool that brought the African American communitytogether. The African American community has been pivotal in the development of theAfrican American culture (Woodson, 2005). Although African American communitiessuffer with poor housing, inadequate schools, and less law enforcement protection, theBlack church was its nucleus. DuBois (2003) confirmed that the religious growth ofmillions of male slaves contributed to the rise of the Baptist and Methodist faiths. Itappears that the nature of the African American struggle has set Black churches as acornerstone of spirituality for African Americans who experience racism and inequality. African American Leadership and National Leaders Strong and effective leadership is imperative to any organization that desires toremain competitive in a global society. Research cannot deny that disparities amongracial groups exist. Berry (2001) asserts that organizational and societal factors such asincome, education, and occupation, health, and environment impact the quality of life foran individual. The researcher further argues that leaders who are democratic, nurturing,
  34. 34. 29and culturally sensitive create a climate that is conducive for racial diversity in leadership(Berry, 2001). Strategies in helping people of color climb to leadership positions includeprofessional development in cultural competence, flexible scheduling, and support groupsthat address diversity issues and structured mentoring programs (Preachlin, 2008). If these strategies previously mentioned were available during the plight ofAfrican Americans, perhaps their destiny would have been different. In spite of fierceopposition, there were those of the African American community who would rise fromthe ashes. Although the United States has had a history of racial discrimination andinequality, 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 defineleadership styles that served as guides in how the African community would respond tosocial injustices in mainstream society (Dubois, 2003; Woodson, 2005). 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 theharsh treatment of the American society. Some leaders chose the militant or non-violenceapproach, while others promoted nationalism.Frederick Douglass In Biographical Profiles (2010), Fredrick Douglass was an activist, who spoke-out against racism and discrimination. Douglass was born around 1817 and wasacclaimed as the first African American leader in United States History. FrederickDouglas was raised by a single mother around 1817; he never knew his father. Throughhis literary work, he characterized his life as a slave, as one filled with hard work, family
  35. 35. 30detachment, and incredulous inhumanity. Despite the push to withhold education fromslaves, Frederick Douglass practically educated himself. His resilience not only spreadthrough his quest for education, but through his longing for freedom as well(“Biographical Profiles”, 2010). Upon several attempts to escape, he disguised himself as an American sailor, andmarried a free African American woman from the South while in New York. Douglassfinally purchased his freedom and traveled to England to expose the cruelty of slaverythrough speaking and writing. Douglass political activism awarded him the title of theunofficial spokesperson for the African American community. During the Civil War, hewas asked by President Lincoln to help recruit Black soldiers into the army. His courageto speak-out against racism and discrimination against Black soldiers influenced thedecisions of Lincoln, who provided better treatment on their behalf. Douglass displayed acharismatic and servant leadership style in that he was a powerful orator who spoke forthe rights of people of color, as well as women. Frederick Douglass continued to fight forthe rights of his people until his death in 1895 (“Biographical Profiles”, 2010).Henry Highland Garnet In direct opposition to Frederick Douglass leadership style, was hiscontemporary, Henry Highland Garnet. In Biographical Profiles (2010), Henry Garnetwas born in 1815-1882 to the Garnet family. Garnets parents were slaves but eventuallyescaped to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they were later separated. Garnet, consideredan activist and great orator as well, advocated slave rebellion and emancipation throughmilitant abolitionism. He urged Blacks to take action against social injustice throughpolitics and claim their own destiny, even if it meant by force. Garnets form of
  36. 36. 31leadership style caused tension between him and Douglass, which developed intopolitical debates. Garnet also formed the idea of Black emigration out of America andinto 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.Annas Bay, Jamaica. His leadership style began as a result of the influence of Africannationalism, which contested that African Americans should establish their own statesand political power by leaving America in place of safer havens. Garveys father had atremendous influence on him. Upon leaving the printing business in Jamaica, Garveycame to America. The racial tension that Garvey experienced inspired him to join thefight by speaking openly against racism; his passion for equality ignited a spark in theAfrican American community. In 1914, he formed two organizations and a newspaperthat spread throughout the world regarding the injustices experienced by Blacks. Garveyadvocated for the Black Nationalism and the return back to Africa. He encouragedAfrican Americans to enterprise and build social and political clout (“Marcus GarveyBiography”, 2010). After a bad business deal, Garvey was imprisoned then shipped back to Jamaica.Garvey had a strong spiritual connection with God. He was married twice and fatheredtwo sons. His legacy included various Black symbols, a forerunner of liberation andnationalism among African American youth (“Marcus Garvey Biography”, 2010). The two most influential African American male educational leaders of the late
  37. 37. 3219th and early 20th Centuries were Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois.According to the Biographical Profiles (2010), both men graduated from HBCUs andwere highly respected among the African American community. Washingtons influenceafforded him the job as the principal of Tuskegee Institute while W. E. B. DuBoisscholarship on the lived experiences of African Americans in the United States gainednational attention.Booker T. Washington Booker T. Washington was raised by a single mother. His father was a slaveowner of a nearby plantation. While growing-up, Washington desired education so muchthat he worked as a janitor for room and board. After receiving his degree, he beganteaching at Hampton University (“Biographical Profiles”, 2010). DuBois (2003) described Washingtons leadership style as the politics ofaccommodation, which suggested that African Americans should not rush to demandtheir rights fresh out of slavery, but should demonstrate their usefulness to WhiteAmerica through strong work ethics. While Washington publicly endorsed Whitesupremacy, he secretly funded activities which spoke against it. Washingtons charismawas so convincing that White Northerners and Southerners named him the officialspokesperson for the Black community (“Biographical Profiles”, 2010). This title openedpolitical opportunities and power for Washington among White political meetings. Hissubservient behavior, however, was ridiculed by W. E .B. DuBois. These two prolificleaders were polar opposites on how to address inequality and which curriculum wouldbest serve the African American community. According to Woolfolk (1986), DuBoisfavored a Liberal Arts curriculum for the freedman, while Washington advocated a
  38. 38. 33curriculum which would train students for industrialism Woodson, 2005). In the Biographical Profiles (2010), Booker T. Washington advocated thatAfrican Americans could acquire constitutional rights by their own efforts throughindustry rather than politics. Washington refrained from creating friction and unrestamong the African American community, which earned him the name "The GreatAccommodator." According to DuBois (2003) and Kritsonis (2002), the hardships oflynching, segregation, and the Jim Crow Laws, compelled Washington to secretly helpfinance activists fight against equality. Washingtons legacy includes educationalprograms for rural extension work and the development of the National Negro BusinessLeague. In 1901, Booker T. Washington received an Honorary Doctorate degree fromHarvard University.William Edward Burghardt DuBois In Biographical Profiles (2010), William Edward Burghardt DuBois lived from1868 to 1963 and was deemed the most important Black intellect of the 20th Century.DuBois earned his B.A. degree at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and becamethe first Black to receive a Ph.D. at Harvard University. DuBois was very controversial inthe injustices and unequal treatment of African Americans. He advocated for AfricanAmericans and spoke-out against racism and inequality through intellect and liberaleducation. His life was a mixture of scholarship, protest activity, and polemics. Allefforts channeled toward gaining equal treatment for Blacks in mainstream America andpresenting evidence to refute myths about racial inferiority. He shared in theestablishment of the National Advancement Association for Colored People (NAACP) in1906 (“Biographical Profiles”, 2010; DuBois, 2003; Kritsonis, 2002; Woodson, 2005).
  39. 39. 34 According to Biographical Profiles (2010), DuBois demonstrated his agitationtoward whites through his harsh criticism of their practices against Blacks. Racialprotests following World War 1 focused on anti-lynching legislation, spear-headed byDuBois and the NAACP. DuBois began moving toward a Nationalist approach, in whichAfrican Americans could position themselves to alter their political, schools, economical,and social outlook. DuBois became a member of the Socialist party from 1910-1912. Hislegacy includes several books that reflected his disappointment with the American systemwhich seemed to work against people of color, while working toward the advantage ofthe majority race. Despite the inequality of the system, DuBois used his keen intellect andliterary skill to rally the African American community to fight for rights (“BiographicalProfiles”, 2010; DuBois, 2003; Kritsonis, 2002).Malcolm X In the Biographical Profiles (2010), Malcolm X was a civil rights leader and amajor spokesman for Black Nationalism during his time. Malcolm was born in 1925.Malcolms father followed the leadership style of Marcus Garvey. Because of the familiesdesire to challenge racism and discrimination, Malcolms father was murdered, thereforeleaving Malcolms mother to raise eight children. She later became mentally ill and thechildren were divided among family members. Most of Malcolms adolescence wasunstable. In the Biographical Profiles (2010), Malcolm eventually dropped-out of schoolby the age of 15 and moved into the workforce. Lacking a sense of direction andmentoring, he turned to a life of crime, which confined him to ten years in prison.Malcolm demonstrated resilience through a relationship with God and educated himself
  40. 40. 35through the American dictionary. His family supported him while in prison and exposedhim to the works of the Nation of Islam and the prophet Elijah Mohammad, the leader ofthe Black Muslims. The Muslim doctrine taught hate and demonization of WhiteAmericans. After serving his prison sentence, Malcolm married and fathered sixdaughters. He eventually became a follower and new spokesman for the Nation of 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 andorganized two organizations of his own. He later traveled to Mecca, Africa, and Europe,where he experienced a transformation. He returned to America and leaned more towardthe view of Dr. Martin Luther King and worked with White and Black organizations thatshared the same cause. Malcolm X continued to fight for civil rights and equality until hisassassination in 1965 (“Biographical Profiles”, 2010).Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Martin Luther Kings view of how to address racism and inequality was incontrast to Malcolm X. Although King resented racism and the mistreatment of Blacks,he chose to fight injustices through a non-violence strategy. Born in 1929, King wasraised in a stable family environment, unlike Malcolm X. King attended public schoolsand earned a Doctorate degree in Theology from Boston University in 1955. King laterbecame a minister and married Coretta Scott, who bore him five children. In 1954, Kingcarried the legacy of W. E. B. DuBois, when he became an active member, and laternational spokesman for the NAACP. Boycotts against segregation went before the U.S.Supreme Court which ruled that segregated busing was unconstitutional. King became anovernight success and eminent leader of the Civil Rights Movement (“Biographical
  41. 41. 36Profiles”, 2010). While his life was in constant danger, Kings resilience, dependence onGod, and unwavering courage provided him with the strength to endure. According to theBiographical Profiles (2010), Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. His legacy includes aNobel Peace Prize and schools and streets across the nations that bear his name. His lifeand 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 ofAfrican American male youth in public education, African American faculty areunderrepresented across the board among most U.S. colleges and universities. Allen’sdata confirmed that African American faculty was systematically and significantlydisadvantaged in measures such as opportunity structure, resources, appointed positions,and advancement opportunities. Wiley (2001) purports that African Americans are systematically andsignificantly disadvantaged, which could lead to potential meltdown in the recruitmentand retention of African American faculty and future leaders. This presents a problemwhen considering the influx of African American males and females attendingmainstream universities and community colleges (Allen, 2000; Jackson, 2001). Allen (2000) and King and Watts (2004) further purport that theunderrepresentation of African American faculty at the Post Secondary level is apersistent problem in the American education system. Allens study showed that AfricanAmericans represented 4 % of the professorate and associate professorates in the system,
  42. 42. 37while their white counterparts represented 87% of tenured professors. African Americanscomprised a larger scale of instructors at 7% while white instructors represented 82% ofthe faculty pool. Allen, King, and Watt’s research on the underrepresentation of AfricanAmerican faculty and leadership positions point to contributing factors such as racism,inequality, and discrimination in higher education. Jackson (2008) confirms that previous studies have suggested that AfricanAmerican males lag behind their White peers in the academic workforce. The studyfound that human capital and merit-based performance were favorable for White malesbut unfavorable for African American males. The findings suggest the need for furtherinvestigation of hiring practices of public institutions in higher education. At the professorate level, African American faculties are sometimes treated withless respect than their White counterparts and are expected to perform with minimalsupport from the respective university (Hobson, 2004). With the increased pressure formainstream colleges and universities to diversify its staff ethnically and racially, theseinstitutions still fall behind in hiring faculty of color. In an article on hiring practices andconditions for hiring, Predominately White Institutions (PWI) hiring practices for facultyof color were based on job descriptions stating the need of a candidate of color, specialhiring, and the utilization of racial groups to recruit and hire candidates of color. Theargument further exposed White institutional leaders and department chairs belief in theidea of the "narrow" pipeline. This notion implies the high demand and the lack ofpotential candidates justify the marginality of African Americans (Smith et al, 2004).
  43. 43. 38 African American Male Administrators in Higher Education The representation of African American male educational leaders at HBCUs iscritical to the development of future leadership because their numbers are few, especiallyat PWIs (Predominately White Institutions). The presence of African American maleleadership can have a significant impact on young African American males who entercollege without such examples (Jackson, 2001). A growing body of research shows that African American male leadership isseverely underrepresented compared to the population of educational leadership acrossthe nation (Guillory, 2001; Jackson, 2001; Wiley, 2001). Although African Americanmales who attain their advanced degrees have ascended to leadership positions, they arestill operating in a climate that subtly implies Blacks are inferior to Whites. Factors thatcontributed to African American males dissatisfaction in working at PredominatelyWhite Institutions included tokenism, isolation, lack of support, and voicelessness(Jansen, 2005). A History of Prairie View A & M Educational Leaders as Administrators Scholarly literature on African American males and the myriad of problems theyface is evident, however, the inception of HBCUs have provided the opportunity to placeAfrican American males in positions of leadership. The Freedmans Bureau paved theroad for public education for African American youth. It was the one singleness of effortby the government to ameliorate racial tension in the nation. With the help of Whitephilanthropy, government support, and financial savings of the Black community,African Americans gained access to education. Their education began through the
  44. 44. 39formation of state supported colleges which focused on educating young black youth inpreparation for the transition from slavery to freedom (DuBois, 2003). Prairie View A&M University, the oldest state supported HBCU in Texas, wasestablished on August 14, 1876 under the state legislature in response to the neglect anddeprivation of education for Black youth. Representative William H. Holland, consideredthe Father of Prairie View, helped establish the legislative body that would create AltaVista College for Colored Youth. The school was placed under the control of the TexasA&M Board of Directors and the Texas A&M president from the schools inception to1948. The school was managed by the first African American male leaders who werecalled "principals" at the time. Principals of the school were appointed by the TexasA&M president and Texas A&M School Board (Jackson, 2007; Woolfolk, 1986). The first cohort was comprised of eight students and after the following year ofclosing down, the school re-opened its doors to fifteen men and women. In the same year,the schools name was changed to Prairie View Normal College on October 6, 1879. Theinclusion of females made Prairie View the first co-education school of higher educationin Texas (Jackson, 2007; Woolfolk, 1986). The first principal of Alta Vista College for Colored Youth was Mr. L.W. Minorfrom Mississippi. His administration was followed by two brothers, E.H. Anderson andL.C. Anderson. L.C. Anderson demonstrated educational leadership by using his politicalinfluence and spirit of advocacy toward Black education. His affiliation with the StateColored Teachers Association of Texas helped establish the Prairie View NationalAlumni Association. Professor Edward L. Blackshear succeeded the Andersons and wasnoted for introducing the colleges first curriculum, the construction of new buildings for
  45. 45. 40the campus, and an interscholastic athletics program in 1901. Although Prairie Viewunderwent many challenges such as lack of funding and inadequate facilities, the strongleadership of additional leaders such as Dr. Osborne and W.R. Banks (student andpersonal mentee of Dr. DuBois) kept the school open for service to the community. W.R.Banks was instrumental in the fight for educational equality and social justice for AfricanAmericans in Texas (Jackson, 2007; Woolfolk, 1986). Professor Banks instituted many of the ideals of Dr. DuBois and establishededucational conferences that were research-based, since Prairie View contributed to alarge number of African American teachers in Texas. This new concept of incorporatingresearch and teaching elevated these men and women of the faculty of Prairie ascommunity leaders. Dr. E.B. Evans succeeded Professor Banks and became the lastprincipal and first president of Prairie View. Dr. Jessie Drew became the universitiessecond president, who was replaced by Dr. Alvin I. Thomas as the third president ofPrairie View A&M University. In addition to overseeing an extensive building programand the first Naval Reserve Officer Training Program at an historical black publicinstitution, Dr. Thomas advocated for the Texas constitutional amendment in recognizingPrairie View A & M University as one of the three first class institutions (which includedthe University of Texas and Texas A&M). Dr. Thomas also coined the popular lexicon"Prairie View Produces Productive People" (Jackson, 2007). Succeeding Dr. A.I. Thomas was Prairie Views fourth president, Dr. Percy A.Pierre. Dr. Pierre brought new ideas such as decentralization of administration in contrastto the schools previous leaders centralized administrative style. Dr. Pierre establishedgood public relations within and outside the university. His administration fell into
  46. 46. 41financial mismanagement placing Prairie View under possible conservatorship. PresidentPierre was succeed by General Julius Becton, a three-star general and the first PrairieView A&M graduate to serve as president of the university. Acting as the fifth presidentof Prairie View A&M, General Bectons leadership put the university back in goodfinancial standing. The Bectons were actively involved in the school and local andsurrounding communities (Jackson, 2007). In 1994, Charles A. Hines became the sixth president of Prairie View A&MUniversity. President Hines improved the universitys facilities construction program, andwas later replaced by Mr. Willie Tempton. Mr. Tempton served as interim president untilthe administration of Dr. George C. Wright, the seventh and current president of PrairieView A&M University (Jackson, 2007). Dr. Wright graduated with a Master of Arts degree at the University of Kentuckyand a doctorate at Duke University. He has held many leadership positions such as Vice-President of Academics and Provost at the University of Texas Arlington. Dr. Wright hasserved as an educator and publisher of several books. He is an active leader in hiscommunity (“Promoting Scholarship from within the Black Diaspora”, 2010). Leadership Demands at HBCUs While African American male leaders experience their set of challenges atPredominately White Institutions, obstacles at HBCUs are somewhat different. HBCUsare confronted with the responsibility of recruiting African American students in order toincrease and maintain enrollment. Competent leadership is critical in the recruitment andretaining of quality students who make a significant contribution to society. Educationalleaders of HBCUs must be savvy in the recruitment of strong African American leaders
  47. 47. 42who are capacity builders for improved management that demonstrate the ability tostrategically plan. Educational leaders must possess the ability to effectively addressenrollment management and retention, funding, and be ethically sound in budgetmanagement. In addition, administrators must grapple with providing support forincoming students in the areas of financial aid and academic support when students aredeficient in these areas. The biggest challenges in recruiting African American maleleadership are putting-up with bureaucracy, raising private dollars, developing alumnisupport, and marketing the institution (Stupak, 2008). The Significance of Mentorship for African American Males According to a study by Foster (2005), mentorship programs were strongpredictors of success for African American males in Public and Higher education. Thestudy featured the effect of mentoring programs on the success of African Americanmales in Predominately White Institutions. Fosters study (2005) also revealed thatAfrican American male faculty experienced isolation and felt that the schools mentoringprogram was not fulfilling its purpose in developing a strong mentor/mentee relationshipand extinguishing the issue of race. Based upon the findings, the need for further study onthe practice and roles of universities mentorship programs is needed. Bashi (1991) asserts that mentoring first began as a tool used by corporateexecutives to successfully navigate the journey up the corporate ladder. The research ofmentoring in business settings indicated that two-thirds of successful corporateexecutives had a mentor. These same executives with mentors were more likely to earnmore and experience higher job satisfaction. The author further implies that mentoringexpanded into the academic settings in K-12 schools and college programs. It was ignited
  48. 48. 43by the "I Have a Dream" (IHAD) program in 1981 where a multimillionaire, EugeneLang, promised to pay for the college education of a group of sixth graders (in an inner-city school) if they graduated from high school. This program mentored the students inaddition to paying for their college tuition. According to Bashi (1991), mentoring is incorporated into every aspect of theacademic journey: K-12 schools, colleges & universities, graduate and professionalschools. Many programs are incorporated to work with diverse students: gifted,disadvantaged, at-risk, and underrepresented minorities. The effectiveness of mentoringprograms is unclear in the educational arena for at-risk or disadvantaged students. 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, and discrimination for many centuries. Their cry for freedom and equalityhardly aroused empathy from the dominant culture. Bell (1995), a catalyst for CriticalRace Theory (CRT), argued that racism has been a constant deeply embedded within theAmerican culture, though subtle in recognition (Ladson-Billings, 1999). Critical Race Theory indicates that relatively few individuals of the dominant racehave empathy for the marginal race, therefore, leaving African American males as targetsfor racism. Injustices within these systems have created racial tension in the past andpresent moments in time. (Ladson- Billings, 1999). Critical Race Theory (CRT) challenges the status quo by weighing discriminationand inequality by the dominant race against people of color who experienced such
  49. 49. 44dehumanization because of their race. Critical Race attempts to give voice to people whohave suffered injustices within the dominant culture and seeks to eradicate discriminationdue to race. CRT aims to expose differences in sex, class, and equity that potentiallyinhibit the potential of these groups (Lynn, Yosso, Soloranzo, & Parker, 2002). Glenn (2003) argues that African American male leaders must help young AfricanAmerican youth resist the nations negative view of "Blackness" through stereotypes,definitions, and social constructs. African American educational leaders can help youngAfrican American males to off-set negative imaging by replacing negative models withpositive and purpose-driven initiatives (Glenn). Resilience Theory According to Van Breda (2001), Resilience Theory grew out of the need to moveaway from deficit models of vulnerability and move toward more protective models ofstrength. Researchers identify the characteristics of resilience as having the ability tocope in the face of adversity. Resilience is compassionate, flexible, keeps one in touchwith life, and provides the ability to bounce back under pressure. Resilience theory isrooted in studies of children who were resilient in spite of negative social environments(Van Breda). Resilience is the ability to remain competent in the face of adversity. Resilience isdescribed as possessing the ability to bend without breaking and if broken, having thepower to spring-back. Resilience involves the utilization of skills, abilities, knowledge,and insight that develops over a period of time, as people struggle to surmount adversityand meet challenges. It is an on-going kind of energy that is used upon current struggles(Reivich & Shatte, 2002; Van Breda, 2001).
  50. 50. 45 Van Breda (2001) argues that protective factors such as personal, familial, social,and institutional safeguards serve as the elixir by which resilience is produced. Withoutsuch protection, people who have been victimized through discrimination and injusticebecome even more alienated from the reality of the situation they have constructed withintheir minds. In the mind of the victim, the essence of the experience and the certainty ofthe experiences potential harm are real. Therefore, possessing a strong sense of self,having a degree of social mobility and strong social networks that evolve around family,can help minimize uncertainty that would otherwise limit the capacity to overcomebarriers. Resilience is activated by external factors that pose vulnerability upon theindividual (Van Breda). Polk (1997) constructed a set of patterns that categorize individual resilience. Thedispositional pattern involves an individuals positive ego of self, which includes aheightened confidence in ones ability to overcome obstacles. These individuals havedeveloped the ability to rise above stress through a sense of self-reliance in decision-making. People who have a strong sense of self may possess good health and physicalattraction, which may add to their resilience. Polk (1997) explains that relational pattern involves a persons relationshipswithin and outside of the broader community. For individuals who are victimized bysociety, the development of relationships is critical to their degree of resilience. Trustingrelationships allows the person to feel safe and free from fear and anxiety. They are ableto find refuge among others who share or are sympathetic to their experiences. Theserelationships can be intimate, as in the case of a loving and supportive spouse, or a closefriend or relative who acts as a mentor to the victim of a particular situation.
  51. 51. 46 Polk (1997) further describes resilience as the ability to thrive, mature, andincrease competence in the face of adversity by drawing upon external and internalfactors. Contextually, resilience relies on such factors and causes the individual tobecome more apt to control their internal locus of control, rather than their environment.Resilience is multi-dimensional and draws its strength upon internal and external stimuli.In essence, resilience grows and develops through successful overcoming ofinsurmountable obstacles. Therefore, the more triumphant experiences the individualgains, the stronger the motivation to tap into the resilience state. Resilience Theory aims to take in consideration the overcoming of racial andenvironmental barriers that scholarly literature tends to overlook. Lack of attention is alsogiven to protective factors that are shared by the oppressed. Strong indicators ofresilience among African Americans have been cultural identity and racial socialization(Van Breda, 2001). Risk Factors that threaten African American Male Youth As stated earlier, African American males have had a history of resistingoppression, yet succeeding in-spite of the odds. Although some African American maleshave been resilient in overcoming barriers to success, many have not. According toRoderick’s (2003) study, the overrepresentation of African American males in the areasof Special Education, discipline referrals, low performance on standardized tests, andhigh drop-out rates have become a growing concern. The study revealed that AfricanAmerican males declined academically and were viewed more negatively by theirteachers at the ninth grade than African American females. The implication is that unless the nations schools serve the African American

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