A Narrative Inquiry of the Career Paths, Experiences, and Adversities Experienced by Black Principals at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Class During the Journey to the Principalship


Leon Chatman

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Fall 2021


The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to explore the career paths, experiences, and adversities experienced by Black principals at the intersection of race, gender, and class on the path to the principalship. The researcher utilized a narrative inquiry design to explore the perceptions of current, Black, public-school principals by utilizing a one-on-one, semi-structured interview protocol. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and reviewed by the researcher and the participants for correctness. The six participants shared their lived experiences while working towards and serving in the principalship, particularly focusing on how the intersection of race, gender, and class impacted their journey. Participants noted that they experienced negative stereotypes related to race and gender, issues with career advancement, issues related to race and class, differing expectations and double standards, and unfair hiring practices and placement. Participants cited resiliency, support, mentorship, and an unwavering dedication to students as factors that helped them overcome the adversities they experienced throughout their career path to the principalship. The researcher’s findings contribute to the lack of research on Black principals and may help address the underrepresentation of Blacks in campus administration.


Kriss Kemp-Graham

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision