Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Brydon-Miller, Mary

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Davis, Keith

Committee Member

Davis, Keith

Committee Member

Stark, Geneva

Committee Member

Reed, Teri

Author's Keywords

Black female educational leader; black feminist thought; othermother; activist


This dissertation is a qualitative portraiture study that explores Black female educational leaders’ lived experiences and the way those experiences cultivate knowledge formation. This study uses Black feminist thought as a theoretical framework. Black feminist thought grounds this research study in advancing intellectual traditions, equal educational opportunities, and the ethic of personal accountability. Black feminist thought serves as an ideal theoretical framework to ground this research study because its utility in clarifying the unique way Black female educational leaders translate theory into action (Loder, 2005; Lomotey, 1993; Tillman, 2008; Renix, 2016). The findings of this research study position Black female educational leaders at the nucleus of the knowledge validation process regarding declarations of expertise on implementing relevant pedagogical practices and policies that elevate Black and marginalized students’ lived experiences. Through the creation of portraits, the actors in this research study produce a counternarrative that reflects the journey along the rivers of their lives.