The Underrepresentation Of African American Males In District Leadership or Principal Roles

This phenomenological research study explored the perceptions and lived experiences of African-American administrators related to the underrepresentation of African-American males in district leadership and principal positions. The study was guided by three research questions. The data were collected from eight African American male administrators in predominantly Latinx districts in Southern California. Data collection occurred through two forty-five-minute, one-on-one interviews with each participant. The findings of the study revealed perceived elements or influences that persuade African American male school leaders to pursue district leadership or principalship, as well as the perceived barriers that African American male district leaders or principals face and the advanced strategies districts can use to recruit and retain more African American male principals or district leaders. Through these findings, the researches identified seven emergent themes aimed at supporting the critical understanding of why African American males are being underrepresented in the administrative profession. These factors were the need for diversity in the system, political influence, mentorship, being identified as instructional leaders, bias, purposeful opportunities for recruitment, and support systems to promote upward mobility. The participants expressed a desire for the educational system to fully retain more African American male administrators as instructional leaders and to utilize their unique skills and abilities to have a positive impact on the educational system, especially for African American male students.