Carla McNealFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Sharon Michael-Chadwell


Black Females, Female School Leaders, Intersectionality, School Administration


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Other Education | Other Educational Administration and Supervision


Black female school leaders remain underrepresented as educational leaders in the K-12 context as marginalizing factors persist in the field. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of Black female school leaders through the lens of intersectionality. For this research study, intersectionality was defined as the intersecting realities of oppression. For the Black female, it is her race and gender. The following research questions were addressed: How do Black female school leaders describe their experiences with the intersectionality of race and gender? How (if at all) do participants’ experiences w/intersectionality influence their leadership practices? How do Black female school leaders describe their awareness of intersectionality as it relates to their decision-making? The theories that guided this study were critical race theory and Black feminist theory as they each affect and inform the career trajectories of the Black female school leader, how she leads, and how she is viewed and perceived by society. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews, journaling, and document analysis. The analysis of data entailed a meticulous review of information, to include transcription, which revealed themes through coding methods. These themes include a) having to prove one’s self, b) having to deal with assumptions, c) having to be questioned by others, d) having to present concepts carefully, e) having their decisions challenged, and f) having a dedicated commitment to students.