ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Elsa Dra. Camargo


Black male teachers in PK-12 make up less than 2% of the teacher workforce with an undetermined representation in elementary education. Although there have been efforts to increase their representation in the field, there remains a lack of Black males entering the classroom as teachers. In addition, there has been limited research examining ecological systems' influence on Black male teachers' elementary teacher experiences and their decisions to teach in early childhood education. In response, this proposed qualitative Endarkened Storywork study examined Black male elementary teachers' experiences and highlighted the perceived influence of Black males teaching in early childhood education through the ecological systems. Grounded within the African American Male Theory (AAMT) construct, this study captured the voices of six Black male elementary teachers currently serving in Texas and Louisiana schools and examined their decisions to teach through an ecological system. The findings from this study revealed that Black male elementary teachers understand their experience through a web of different systems that were expressed through the following threads/patches: intersections of gender and race, media influence, intentional investment, self, and superhero complex. The findings provide insight into how the mesosystem ultimately influenced their purpose of becoming a Black male elementary teacher and provide implications for improved practices and response efforts for school leaders, educator preparation programs, and policy makers for recruiting, retaining, and increasing Black male representation into the teaching profession.


Black male teacher, Blackness, Gendered racism, Elementary teacher, Ecological systems, Endarkened storywork


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington