Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Black, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deidre Cobb-Roberts, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brenda Walker, Ph.D., J.D.


Anti-Blackness, Black Misandry, Historical Consciousness, Medicine, Health, Null Curriculum, Parasocial Mentors, Vocational Anticipatory Socialization


There is a recognized need for more Black male healers who pursue careers in medical fields.Thus, the purpose of this study was twofold: to explore historical documents to tell the histories of men of African descent who practiced healing in Florida and, from those histories, create a virtual heritage tour to support teaching about leadership through African American history and narratives of healing. The research questions were: How does the heritage curriculum history about Black men healers of FL provide a historical counter-narrative about Black men and their leadership in connection to health/medicine?How do historical counter-narratives about Black men support teaching about leadership through African history and narratives of healing? Critical Race Theory and Vocational Anticipatory Socialization (VAS) were paired into a conceptual framework. The findings were that (1) Black male healers from 1528-1965 were inspired by VAS messages to pursue careers as healers, (2) demonstrated leadership in their fields of study and communities, and (3) navigated various expressions of anti-Black racism. These findings and their contributions informed the curation of a heritage tour that critiques Anti-Blackness and offers counter-narratives to dominant ones that diminish Black men and their capacity to heal. These findings are discussed along with implications for curriculum leadership in building vocational aspirational capital among Black males in middle/high school needed to pursue careers in STEMM. Recommendations for continued research of Black male healers/parasocial mentors in other cities in Florida and throughout the U.S. are provided.