What’s Up with This Leadership Thing? Voices of African American Male College Undergraduates

This study investigates the perceptions of leadership of African American undergraduate males who attend a predominately-White institution in the Southwest after participation in a leadership development program. Research concerning African American undergraduate males in education has been from a deficit-orientated narrative and focused primarily on academic achievement or lack of involvement, with little attention paid to African American males performing leadership. As society continues to focus on graduation and college attendance by African American males, it is important to explore African American undergraduate male leadership as a viable method to engage and influence graduation and attendance. This study examines the way in which African American undergraduate males make meaning and define leadership. Results indicated that African American undergraduate males defined leadership as either leader behaviors or specific characteristics that leaders possess. The study indicates a need for leadership educators and student affairs professionals to develop and implement a common language concerning leadership with student leader