Leadership entails the presence of legitimate power in the individual leader so as to influence and impart authority amongst their followers. Female African American women can only derive this sort of power from either shared similarities or differences with their followers. This mindset clearly brings out a problem for African American women trying to make it as leaders in predominantly white organizations. With critical race feminism they are accorded an audience with which they share both similarities and differences and where their leadership is highly authenticated. Female African American leadership has rather been designed by historical and cultural forces. They have worked towards eliminating the oppressive barriers that are somewhat accompanied by their culture and history. In addition, race and gender is what challenges African American women leaders the most.
Byrd (2009) illustrates the case of African American women in educational leadership who continue to experience tentative power play with other stakeholders especially in white institutions. In particular instances these women have had their contributions in these institutions undermined and are rarely recognized. In order to bridge this gap, critical race feminism offers strong support for African American women. This is mainly because African American women are at a crossroad position where they have been interlocked by gender, race and social class differential constraints. Following this, their experiences as leaders cannot be understood in a general perspective but instead on concentrating on the African American women leaders only. Critical race feminism unravels this underlying cover and exposes African American women to a view which is crucial to their success as leaders.
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