Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes


The purpose of this study was to acquire accurate information concerning the motivations and methods utilized by Black males who have successfully achieved economic independence, as well as the ways in which they maintain their economic independence. The scope of this study was to examine adult Black males who had successfully completed a Family Self-Sufficiency program and are currently economically independent. Using a phenomenological methodology, their experiences and a description of the relationship connecting the problem statement, research question, theory and study design was completed. This study revealed perceptions that were contrary to popular mainstream beliefs about impoverished Black males. Family and an intrinsic motivation to succeed were echoed by the participants as the driver that leads them to economic independence. This study found three major implications; the first implication was participants expressed a belief that discrimination is a legitimate problem which can hinder one’s opportunities for employment and upward mobility. The second implication was that participants believe they are viewed as threatening and dangerous, especially to law enforcement. The last implication of this study was that the participants were conservative in their ideological perspective. Though their political affiliation was Democrat, ideologically their views were fundamentally conservative. Most importantly, these participants did not allow societal hindrance to deter them from their ultimate goal of economic independence for themselves as well as their families.

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