Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Division of Education and Counseling

First Advisor

Renee Akbar

Second Advisor

Walter Breaux

Third Advisor

Timothy Glaude


African American women (AAW), bridge, cave, critical race theory, fire, intersectionality, leadership theory, metaphor.


This phenomenological qualitative research explored the effects of race and gender on the capacity of five African American women leaders. Although women are occupying more top posts in the American workforce, leadership opportunities for African American women remain elusive despite record post-secondary degree attainment. The purpose of the study was to examine how each woman navigated leadership and derived meaning from the journey through the metaphorical lens of Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” and the intersectionality of Critical Race Theory. The researcher collected data via questionnaires and interviews. Results of the analysis revealed four themes: leadership etiquette, leadership preeminence, leadership tenacity, and leadership truths. A finding confirmed that culture influenced the African American woman’s approach to and definition of leadership responsibilities. The results indicate a need to expand leadership theory that includes the realities of a diverse nation.

Dissertation-3-student-agreement.pdf (451 kB)
Student Agreement