Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Cynthia P. Smith

Second Supervisor

Loretta Quigley


Black civilians experience the highest rates of disparate treatment by police officers when compared to all other races. Research on policing disparities highlights that Blacks encounter higher instances of over-policing, excessive use of force, and higher incarceration rates for drug crimes compared to other racial groups. This study, through a qualitative methodology and interpretative phenomenological analysis, explored Black business owners’ perceptions of policing in predominately Black urban communities in the Capital Region of New York State. This study also explored how these business owners perceived their role in addressing policing disparities through the lens of critical race theory and asset-based community development theory. The semi-structured interviews of three Black male business owners who resided and owned a business within the predominately Black community were analyzed, and the findings revealed three major concepts: intersectionality, motivation to act, and relationships to build a community. The findings in this study yielded three superordinate themes and four subordinate themes. The superordinate themes were (a) duality, (b) creating access, and (c) community inclusion. The subordinate themes were (a) Black man in America, (b) changing the narrative, (c) educating the youth, and (d) giving voice to Black communities. It is recommended that future studies include business owners of all genders, races, and ethnicities within predominately Black communities to increase opportunities for relationship building and expanding the knowledge of police practitioners. Further consideration should be given to exploring the perspectives of young Black males within predominately Black communities to understand how they interpret policing practices

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