Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The leadership gap: Where are African-American male students?
by Shin, Victor S., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2016, 197; 10244877
Abstract (Summary)

With incidences such as the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Freddie Gray death dominating the headlines, it is clear that racial tension and sensitivities are still prevalent in American society. These events highlight the struggles that many African-Americans are facing as a part of their daily lives. African-American males have had to overcome many obstacles and challenges to receive equal treatment, rights, and protections. Unfortunately, their journey for equality is long from over.

Cardinal Potter High School in Maryland was a diverse and supportive community. African-American males made up a large percentage of the student body. For many, opportunities associated with academic leadership activities had been underutilized. When it came to participation in Student Council and other formal leadership organizations, many African-American males were not choosing these organizations and mainly participated in athletics or cultural relevant clubs causing a leadership gap.

This qualitative research study looked at the various causes or influences on African-American males in participating in formal leadership activities. For this study, leadership is defined as the ability to positively influence others in an official position or through participation. By interviewing 25 graduates of the school, I was able to determine if there were structural issues within the school and societal influences that attributed to this leadership gap. Further, I explored various other factors such as media, family life, peer groups, and other areas. Finally, I was able to identify motivating factors that influenced African-American males to take leadership roles and countered internalized beliefs on masculinity, success, and leadership.

The following research questions helped to direct this study: 1. What factors do African-American male alumni of Cardinal Potter High School attribute to the underrepresentation of African-American males in student academic leadership roles? 2. What factors of school culture do participants attribute to this leadership gap? 3. What aspects of the African-American community contribute to promote African-American male leadership?

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thomas, Ebony E.
Commitee: Jordan, Will J., Stevenson, Howard C., Jr.
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Secondary education
Keywords: Leadership, Leadership gap, Masculinity, Role models, Success
Publication Number: 10244877
ISBN: 978-1-369-46900-4
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