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There is an emergent body of scholarship about the specific ways in which Black women lead within the context of education. In the United States, women comprise three-quarters of the educational workforce. Yet, roughly four in five senior-level leaders in education are male. Although developments continue to be made, only very recently has significant advancement been made in what remains a historically male-dominated space. Black women represent the most educated group in today’s workforce; yet, they represent a small fraction of leaders who ascend above the ranks of mid-level management. In response to this, we were compelled to add to the existing research in this sphere. Our paper incorporates social justice leadership theory as a frame for the study of Black women in the context of educational leadership. Employing a hermeneutic phenomenology, we interviewed four Black women in educational leadership to examine the intersecting factors (i.e., race and gender) that impact these women’s ability to lead. Using in-depth, timed, semi-structured interviews, contributors reflected upon their unique experiences and perceptions as non-archetypal leaders. Participants’ recounted stories of resilience, community, struggle, and perseverance revealed the need for more US-based research specific to the intricate leadership journeys of Black women in education.
Natasha N. Johnson & Janice B. Fournillier (2021) Intersectionality and leadership in context: Examining the intricate paths of four black women in educational leadership in the United States, International Journal of Leadership in Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2020.1818132
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