Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor's Name

Ethan Kolek

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Emily Anderson

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Maria Lovett

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Keisha McIntyre-McCullough

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Black female educator, Black feminist thought, critical race, public schools

Date of Defense



Black female educators (BFE’s) are becoming an anomaly in public school education. This decline, which can be traced back to the period of desegregation, has persisted, as Black female educators comprise only 5% of the current teacher workforce; and this at a time when their presence is needed and critically important to the successful educational experiences and outcomes of all students, but particularly Black students. While much of the research focused on Black female educators has centered around factors contributing to their decisions to leave the field, this dissertation, through the critical lenses of Critical Race Theory (CRT), and Black Feminist Thought (BFT) explored the lived experiences of Black female educators in public school education, to lift their stories and provide insight into why they remain in and committed to their work. Using qualitative research methods, a narrative inquiry study was conducted with five Black female educators teaching in high-poverty, high-minority schools in the urban core. Participants shared their lived experiences through a series of interviews and the resulting data was analyzed using Braun and Clark’s (2008) thematic analysis approach. The findings revealed that despite challenges faced – school disparities, organizational conditions, disparaging treatment, and school accountability – their faith, their resilience, their resistance (as activism), their connections with students and other colleagues, and their experience, speak to their commitment to and to remain in the work.






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