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Historically, there remains an underrepresentation of Black women in and en route to the highest levels of organizational leadership. The divide is all the more pronounced in the field of education, one in which women represent a large share of the community. Particularly relevant for Black women is the incongruence between their heightened educational attainment levels compared to their lower status in the organizational pecking order. To advance both theory and research in this domain, social justice leadership theory (SJLT) serves as the framework for this paper, rooted in the context of the United States. This paper explores the multilayered journeys of Black women aspiring to and operating in senior-level leadership roles (i.e., executives, directors, and CEOs) in US-based education, highlighting the unique and intersectional experiences of one Black woman educational leader. Indeed, there is a need to increase collective consciousness about the impact of leadership cultures on Black women, their experiences, their personal and professional choices, and the ensuing ramifications. In addition, the education leadership sector can benefit from the advancement of more research and theory development relevant to the progression of Black women educational leaders in the United States.


Accepted manuscript version of an article published by Taylor & Francis in School Leadership & Management


Available for download on Wednesday, July 02, 2025