Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jennifer Schulman


The purpose of this study was to examine the phenomenon of African American storytellers who provide culturally relevant education in urban public schools. This qualitative study was grounded in portraiture methodology to explore the pedagogy and lived experiences of six professional African American storytellers working in their respective cities. Freire’s (1970) critical pedagogy and Bell’s (1980) critical race theory are the two theoretical frameworks that informed this study. The findings show that African American storytellers see their presence in the classroom as part of providing a caring environment for students, challenges students in critical thinking, supports character education, and fosters respect for diversity. The research also suggests that African American storytelling supports classroom teachers and promotes self-efficacy, cultural identification, and pride in the lived experiences of students. Recommendations were made to promote African American storytelling as a viable tool to enhance culturally relevant education in urban public schools in the United States.

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