This qualitative study examined the influence and repercussions of the educational laws and policies in the United States public school system for African American students in K-12 and analyzed the alternative of Black independent schools to impact the effects of racism, segregation, and prejudice for educational equality for African American students. Despite the increased segregation in public school education in the United States, there has been little to no change or alternatives to this phenomenon. The collection of research for alternative education or all Black educational institutions for African American students in the K-12 setting is minimal in their effects of overall educational experiences, academic achievement, and overall success for African American students. Most students have focused on the idea of modifying previous laws either post Jim Crow era or post-Civil Rights era, which have both resulted in disguised or soft segregation as an academic challenge instead of a systematic problem. The emergence of Black independent schools in the United States is often negated as anti-patriotic, resegregation, or altogether omitted from educational history as well as the conversation about possible solutions. The successes of the top Black independent schools in the United States are often overlooked. Thus, a representation of these achievements and their impact on African American students, as perceived by Black independent school principals, offered a comprehensive understanding of the idea in which policy and practices can combat the effects of segregation. Therefore, this study used the hermeneutic phenomenological theory in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of the best practices and the meaning of equality in educational experiences of African American students in Black independent schools versus public schools in the United States from the standpoint of Black independent school principals. The data were a combination of literary analysis and Hyncer’s (1999) five step process.

In summary, the discoveries and conclusions of this study were intended to inform and educate about the best practices and successes of Black independent schools as policy alternatives and practices through data collection of the perspectives of school principals of Black independent schools in the United States.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

African Americans--Education; African American schools; Alternative schools--United States

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Farzin Madjidi