Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/Advisor

Havice, Pamela

Committee Member

Cawthon, Tony

Committee Member

Satterfield, James

Committee Member

Fleming, David


This study sought to understand the process by which Black undergraduate men on predominately White college campuses become leaders of predominately White organizations. Using the theoretical frameworks of Black and White racial identity development (Helms, 1990), Critical Race Theory (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001), and Wijeyesinghe's (2001) Factor Model of Multiracial Identity the researcher sought to understand the process, challenges, and strategies Black college men employ as they emerge as leaders at predominantly White colleges. Specifically the researcher sought to answer the following research question: What is the process by which Black men become leaders of predominately White organizations on predominately White college campuses?

Additionally the researcher sought to answer three secondary questions: What support systems do successful Black leaders develop and utilize? What challenges do Black men face in the leadership development process? What coping mechanisms do Black men develop when they encounter challenges in the leadership development process?

The researcher interviewed nine Black men at two large research universities in the southeastern United States who held leadership positions for a minimum of one year in at least one predominantly White organization. Using grounded theory methods of analysis, the Black Male Leadership Emergence on Predominately White Campuses (BMLEPWC) model emerged from participant stories. The BMLEPWC is comprised of five multi-dimensional process elements that describe the emergence of leadership for the participants. The model chronicles a process that contained five thematic elements: the African American community, emerging leadership, threats to leadership emergence, strategies for leadership success, and establishing a leader identity. Each of the elements contained multiple thematic dimensions that illustrated a process originating in the support of the African American community proceeding through exploration of opportunities and cultural difference, developing strategies to counteract threats of bias, and resulting in a leader identity focused on social justice and representing a broad and inclusive campus community.

Results indicated the need for a greater understanding of threats to Black male leadership development, specifically in establishing a new paradigm for understanding the subtleties of bias, examining the relationship between RID status and leadership emergence, and the impact of multiple identity factors on leadership emergence.



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