Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Sarah Gordon

Second Committee Member

Dr. John Freeman

Third Committee Member

Dr. Nancy Gallivan

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Richard Schoephoerster


Almost seven decades after the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v Board of Education decision, African American/Black men are still vastly underrepresented in the K-12 public education profession. For this qualitative, phenomenological research study, a small sample of this demographic of educators, who chose to enter and remain in the profession, shared their lived experiences. Three research questions informed this study: (1) What are African American/Black men’s perceptions of their representation in the K-12 public education profession? (2) What are African American/Black men’s perceptions regarding their entrance and retention in the K-12 public education profession? and (3)What are African American/Black men’s perceptions regarding the responsibilities African American men have to and within the K-12 public education profession? The lived experiences of these Black men before and during their tenure as educators in Arkansas public schools reveal their perceptions regarding their demographic’s recruitment, retention, and responsibilities to education. This research study has three key findings: (a) Black men are discouraged from entering elementary education; (b) The way the desegregation of schools was implemented had a negative impact on equitable representation, Black educators, and all students; and (c) The Black man educator is often seen as a disciplinarian, but his lived experiences and descriptions show that he is more of a sentimentalist. Findings also reveal that Black men often suffer isolation in schools among their colleagues and sometimes they are used as tokens rather than valued members of the faculty. This research can be useful to K-12 public school districts to resolve issues involving the disparity of discipline practices among races of students as well as the relegation of the Black man educator to disciplinarian. Colleges of Education can also use the research findings to aid in the development of much needed courses regarding equity, representation, cultural awareness, and the history of Black Education.