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Combating racism toward and among African-American females in public education administration through the use of networking

Doretha Pressey, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The need for professional equality in this country has been long recognized by many historical and influential public officials. Over the decades much blood has been shed and tremendous resources have been utilized to ascertain equality for all American citizens in the workplace. Agencies have been established and laws have been passed (such as The Civil Rights Act; Affirmative Action; and others) to cement this principle into our way of life. An often quoted and written Equal Employment Opportunity statement, such as the following: "It is the policy of (whatever company or institution) not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or political affiliation. The (whatever company or institution) shall take affirmative action to insure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated fairly during employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or handicap. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, the following: recruiting, employment, training, assignment, transfer, career development, and promotion of minorities, women, and handicapped will be addressed at all levels of employment ... " (Springfield Public Schools Affirmative Action Plan, 5/22/87), vskip18pt contributes to the perception that there is equal access and opportunity in the professional world. Consequently, it is perceived that women settle in beside their male counterparts at the top. However, this perception has never been converted to reality in a noticeable way. The imbalance between women and men is certainly a problem in and of itself, but the focus of this dissertation is on the imbalance of African American women in public school administration. This imbalance exists in all community types. If we, African American females, do not rise to the occasion and unite our forces to aggressively combat this inequality, we will become "endangered species" in public school administration. This study evaluates in depth the statistical imbalances of African American females in public school administration. Through in depth interviews, the experiences of influential African American females in education and other professions are analyzed to more fully understand the problem and how these prominent individuals dealt with it. The final goal of this study is to develop an innovative "Network" which focuses on making it easier for young African American females in middle and high school who have a desire to work public education.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Womens studies|Black studies|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Pressey, Doretha, "Combating racism toward and among African-American females in public education administration through the use of networking" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9737572.