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Leading While Black

Reflections on the Racial Realities of Black School Leaders Through the Obama Era and Beyond


Floyd Cobb

What does it mean to lead while Black in America? How do Black educators lead for equity to ensure a quality academic experience for Black children when calls for equality are routinely discredited in our post-racial context? Through this book, Floyd Cobb passionately and honestly draws from his personal and professional experiences to describe his path to accepting the harsh realities of being an equity-minded Black leader in K–12 schools. Offered through the performance of autoethnography, Cobb highlights and gives voice to the often-unacknowledged vulnerability of equity-minded Black leaders who work in suburban contexts. Using the era of the Obama presidency as the backdrop for this work, Cobb illuminates the challenges and complexities of advocating for marginalized children who come from a shared racial heritage in a society that far too often are reluctant to accept such efforts. Through Leading While Black, emerging and aspiring Black leaders will be reminded that they are not alone in their struggles, but must nonetheless persist if we are to do our part in making education a better experience for our children.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Cobb, Floyd, author. Title: Leading while black: reflections on the racial realities of black school leaders through the Obama era and beyond / Floyd Cobb. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2017. Series: Black studies and critical thinking; vol. 76 | ISSN 1947-5985 Identifiers: LCCN 2017000774 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3444-9 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3443-2 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4140-9 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-4141-6 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4142-3 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Educational equalization—United States. Racism in education—United States. | Educational leadership—United States. African American children—Education. | African American school administrators. Classification: LCC LC213.2 .C59 2017 | DDC 379.2/6—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b10905 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2017 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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