Brothers in Charge

Black Male Leadership in Higher Education and Public Health

by Sterling J. Saddler (Volume editor) Maureen P. Bezold (Volume editor)
©2019 Textbook XII, 150 Pages


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) reported that in 2011, black males held 9.7 percent of management positions in the United States. Brothers in Charge: Black Male Leadership in Higher Education and Public Health offers the unique perspectives of a number of black males who have attained leadership positions against many odds in higher education or in public health. This book includes contributed chapters by Dr. Alphonso Simpson, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, Dr. Sherwood Thompson, Dr. John C. Williams, and others. Brothers in Charge is meant to inspire leaders of today and tomorrow to seek positions in disciplines where they are underrepresented, especially within the education and health fields. Brothers in Charge is intended for professionals in both higher education and public health who aspire to be leaders in these disciplines.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • Chapter One: Effective Leadership (Sterling J. Saddler / Janice L. Glasper / Maureen P. Bezold)
  • Chapter Two: I REMEMBER MAMA SAID … (The Black Male Leader, His Attitudes, Motivation, and Instruction) (Alphonso Simpson)
  • Chapter Three: A Call to Lead (Georges C. Benjamin)
  • Chapter Four: Footsteps of My Father (John R. Lumpkin)
  • Chapter Five: A Darker Shade of Gray: Perpetual Validation of an African American University Administrator (Sherwood Thompson)
  • Chapter Six: Black Male Leadership: Preparing for the Hit in the Gut (Keith B. Wilson)
  • Chapter Seven: How Did I Get Here?: Telling My Story (Adewale Troutman)
  • Chapter Eight: Black Male Leadership (John C. Williams)
  • Chapter Nine: Some Concluding Thoughts (Maureen P. Bezold / Sterling Saddler)
  • About the Editors
  • About the Contributors
  • Series index

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This book would not have come into being without the assistance of a great number of people, and we thank each and every one of you. A number deserve special thanks, among them Georges Benjamin, for his guidance on public health practitioners, and Jerlando Jackson for his conversation about future leaders in higher education. We especially want to extend our gratitude to each of our chapter authors: Georges Benjamin, John Lumpkin, Alphonso Simpson, Sherwood Thompson, Adewale Troutman, John Williams and Keith Wilson. We also thank graduate students Oluwatosin Omoniyi and Ife Oyebode for their diligent work searching for articles relevant to the topics covered in this book. And finally, but by no means last, thank you to Rochelle Brock for having faith in this project, offering valuable suggestions, and exhibiting boundless patience as we worked to complete the manuscript. Again, to each and every one of you, we extend a heartfelt thanks.

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“Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”


Picking cotton. Surviving New York winters without heat. Living in the projects. Is this the stuff of leaders? You will learn that it is. You will read the stories of seven African American men who have risen to leadership positions in their fields, most of whom come from humble beginnings. But first we want to introduce you to what leadership really is. It will become apparent to you that no single definition, list of descriptors, or specific style of leadership works for every organization and that the future of effective leadership will mean having an understanding of yourself as leader, your followers, and your organization’s vision for future endeavors. We have identified some sobering statistics pertaining to leadership.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) reported that in 2011, black males held 9.7% of management positions in the U.S., and its data indicates black males are more likely to be represented in education. Jackson (2006) states:

national-level data demonstrated that, although white males continue to hold the overwhelming majority of academic leadership positions, African American males have made modest advancements in upper level administrative positions at specific types of higher and post-secondary educations institutions (e.g., 2-year and private institutions). More specifically, these results suggested that a disparate impact exists ← xi | xii → between the hiring of African American males and white males in academic leadership positions. (p. 316)

It is difficult to enumerate the public health workforce because the field is exceptionally broad. However, in 2012, local governmental public health officials reported that 40% of the leaders are men, a drop of 4% since 2005 (National Association of County and City Health Officials [NACCHO], 2013). In addition, only 7% of these leaders were not white, a drop of 1% since 2005 (NACCHO, 2013).

While these numbers are low, this volume shares the stories of seven African American men who have attained leadership positions in both higher education and public health. We hope this volume inspires other people to seek leadership positions in these disciplines. We chose these disciplines because of the intimate relationship between education and health status. Research suggests that the greater one’s educational attainment, the better one’s health. Because of the significant chronic diseases found in the black community particularly among males, there needs to be more high-profile black male leaders and administrators in institutions that serve all Americans.

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Effective Leadership


“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”


Effective Leadership: Principles, Practices, and Styles in the Workforce Leadership Yesterday

The history of leadership begins with the Trait Theory of Leadership in which early descriptors of leadership assigned particular traits to those who became leaders (Daresh, 2001, p. 108). The traits of effective leaders were classified as those relating to personality, physical appearance, social background, intelligence and ability. People believed their presence separated leaders from followers, and even, effective leaders from ineffective leaders (Dessler, 1980, p. 206). Most of the early research related to trait theories was found to be inconclusive; that is, many of the traits were considered crucial to leadership in one study were not found to be crucial in another, as summarized by Taylor (1994). Although the search for specific traits in effective leaders has not produced a list that can be used exclusively, it is apparent from the literature that lists of attributes of “successful” or “effective” leaders continue to be generated. Other traits of effective leadership identified ← 1 | 2 → by researchers include interpersonal skills and the ability to inspire and motivate subordinates to carry out the vision necessary for organizational survival (Trott & Windsor, 1999).

According to Clark (1997) a leader needs to interact with followers, peers, seniors, and other people whose support is needed by an organization to accomplish its objectives. An effective leader must be able to understand and motivate the people around him. To do this, the leader must have an understanding of human nature that is the common quality of all human beings and crucial to becoming an effective leader. In his leadership research on human nature, Clark takes an in-depth look at the theories of experts in the field of human nature. These theories and experts include: Abraham Maslow’s—Theory of Hierarchical Needs; Frederick Herzberg’s—Hygiene and Motivational Factors; and Douglas McGregor’s—Theory X and Theory Y, to name a few. By understanding some of these theories of human nature, and how they help motivate followers, Clark proposes that one can become an effective leader.

Another theory of leadership, the Situational Theory, maintains that leadership is determined less by the characteristics of the individual than by the requirements of the group or setting in which the individual works (Daresh, 2001, p. 109). The Situational Theory of Leadership proposes that leadership is brought about more by the goals and demands of the group and that these acts of leadership are a direct result of group interactions. Taylor (1994) summarized the concept of situational leadership by saying: “It is useful to think of leadership as a generic term which refers to the processes characterized by the interrelationships among people as they work together in the formulation and achievement of shared goals”.

The final theory to be discussed from the early years of leadership development is the Behavioral Theory of Leadership, which tends to focus more on how leaders behave, rather than their leadership traits or their interactions with groups. Daresh (2001) proposes that a leader’s behavior is the result of a combination of both personal characteristics as well as the situations in which the leader must act.


XII, 150
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2019 (March)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2019. XII, 150 pp.

Biographical notes

Sterling J. Saddler (Volume editor) Maureen P. Bezold (Volume editor)

Sterling J. Saddler received his Ph.D. in workforce education and development with an emphasis in leadership from the Pennsylvania State University. Maureen P. Bezold received her Ph.D. in management from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech and her Master’s in Public Health with a focus on community health education from University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.


Title: Brothers in Charge