Dr. Nana Lawson Bush, V

Charter College of Education
Department of Educational Foundation & Interdiv Studies
Office KHA3040




Nana Lawson Bush, V, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Administration and Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and the former director of the University California Irvine and Cal State Los Angeles Joint-Doctoral Program in Urban Educational Leadership.

Rooted in Pan Africanism, Nana Dr. Bush employs a pentecostal-revolutionary-pedagogy – teaching from and to the spirit to foster a liberatory praxis.  His approach to teaching is reflected in his research as he aims to contemporaneously disrupt power relations and to build programs, institutions, and states on the best of African philosophies and practices. His publications are numerous and impactful. He has published 4 books, including The Plan: A Guide for Women Raising African American Boys from Conception to College and The Plan Workbook, and 35 academic articles. Most notably, he published, along with his brother, Dr. Edward C. Bush, the first ever comprehensive theory concerning Black boys and men called African American Male Theory (AAMT). His research foci situate him as the leading expert on the relationship between Black mothers and their sons, the development of Independent Black Institutions (IBIs) in the United States, and the theorization of Black boys and men.  Moreover, his research has become the framework and guide for families, programs, and organizations across the nation.


Building on a multigenerational family linage of service, struggle, and education, Dr. Bush started his first independent Black Saturday school at age 22 and continues to create Black independent educational spaces such as the Genius Project - a summer STEM academy.  He is highly sought after for his expertise in developing rites-of-passage programs which he has conducted for over 15 years working directly with hundreds of Black boys on manhood development.  He is the co-founder and chairman of the board of the Akoma Unity Center, a 501c3 nonprofit organization headquartered in San Bernardino, CA, that utilizes an African-centered framework and approach to educate, heal, and transform historically excluded communities by cultivating healthy families, organizing communities, and creating economic empowerment.  


Nana is a traditional African priest and healer of the Akan priesthood of West Africa. Yet, he draws heavily on the basic teachings of his parents and grandmothers to guide him in his approach to his ministry and treatment of those who society renders to be the least of us. He is the quintessential family man as he often states that he practices African spiritual traditions; but, family is his religion.




Bush, L., Bush, E., Mitchell, K., A. Majadi, A., & Faraji, S. (2013). The Plan: A guide for women raising African American boys from conception to college.Chicago: Third World Press.

Bush, L., Bush, E., Mitchell, K., A. Majadi, A., & Faraji, S. (2013). The PlanWorkbook: A guide for women raising African American boys from conception to college. Chicago: Third World Press.

Bush, L. (1999).  Can Black mothers raise our sons?  Chicago: African American Images.

Guest Editor

Issa, J., Newton, P., & Bush, L. (2017). Special Issue on Frances Cress Welsing, MD. Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, 10(6).

Refereed Articles

            Peer Reviewed

Bush, L., & Bush, E. (2018). A paradigm shift? Just because the lion is talking doesn’t mean that he isn’t still telling the hunter’s story: African American Male Theory and the problematics of both deficit and nondeficit models. Journal of African American Males in Education, 8(4) 1-18.

Issa, J., Newton, P., & Bush, L. (2017). Introduction: Warrior/Queen Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, a legacy of intellectual brilliance and perfect love Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies,10(6) 1-3.

Bush, L., & Bush, E. (2013). Introducing African American Male Theory (AAMT). Journal of African American Males in Education, 4(1) 1-12.

Bush, L., & Bush, E. (2013). “God bless the child who got his own”: Toward a comprehensive theory for African American boys and men.Western Journal of Black Studies, 37(1) 1-13.

Bush, E., & Bush, L. (2010). Calling out the elephant: An examination of African American male achievement in community colleges. Journal of African American Males in Education, 1(1) 40-62.

Burley, H., Marbley, A, & Bush, L. (2007). Apologia for K.W.: A brief tale of wounded love, schools, and being Black in America. Multicultural Education Magazine, 15(2) 7-12.

Burley, H., Butner, B. Causey-Bush, T., & Bush, L. (2007). African American alumni feelings of attachment to a predominately white research-intensive university. College Student Journal, 41(1) 203-216.

Bush, L., Bush, E., & Causey-Bush, T. (2006). The collective unconscious: New thoughts on the existence of independent Black institutions. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 1(6), 48-66.

Bush, L. (2004). How Black mothers participate in the development of manhood and masculinity: What do we know about Black mothers and their sons? Journal of Negro Education, 73(4), 381-391.

Bush, E., & Bush, L. (2004, April/May). “Beware of false prophets” (and promises): African American males and California community colleges.  Community College Journal, 74(5), 36-39.

Bush, L. (2004).  Access, school choice, and independent Black institutions: A historical perspective.  Journal of Black Studies, 34(3), 386-401.

Bush, L. (2002).  School choice: An opportunity to build independent Black institutions? Journal of Communications and Minority Issues, 7(1), 9-15.

Marbley, A., Butner, B., Burley, H., Bush, L., Causey-Bush, T, & McKisick, S.  (2002). It takes a village: The retention of students of color in predominantly white colleges. NASAP Journal, 5(1), 40-49.

Mitchell, K., Bush, E., & Bush, L. (2002).  Standing in the gap: A model for establishing African American male intervention programs within public schools.Educational Horizons, 80(3), 140-146.

Burley, H., Butner, B., Marbley, A., Bush, L., & Morgan-Fleming, B. (2001, May).Standardized testing: For richer or poorer, for democracy or meritocracy? Connections: Journal of Principal Development and Preparation, 3, 15-19.

Bush, L., Burley, H., & Causey-Bush, T.  (2001). Magnet schools: Desegregation or resegregation?  Students’ voices from inside the walls. American Secondary Education, 29(3), 33-50.

Bush, L. (2000).  Black mothers/Black sons: A critical examination of the social science literature.  Western Journal of Black Studies, 24(3), 145-154.

Bush, L. (2000).  Solve for X: Black women + Black boys = X. Journal of African American Men, 5(2), 31-53.

Bush, L. (1999). Am I a man? A literature review engaging the sociohistorical dynamics of Black manhood in the United States. Western Journal of Black Studies, 23(1), 49-57.

Bush, L. (1997).  Independent Black institutions in America: A rejection of schooling, an opportunity for education?  Urban Education, 32(1), 98-116.

            Editor Reviewed

Bush, L., & Bush, E. (2021, March 3 ).  African American male community college students must have educational abroad experiences in Africa. Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Retrieved from: https://diverseeducation.com/article/206964/.

Bush, L. (2013). The Plan: What Black moms need to raise healthy sons.  Essence.comhttp://www.essence.com/2013/05/12/plan-what-black-moms-need-raise-healthy-sons.

Cook, O., & Bush, L. (2009, April 30).  Perspectives: African-American Ph.D.s: Good enough for America’s educational institutions? Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Cook, O., Bush, L., & Bush, E. (2008, August 5).  More than gatekeepers: Counselors, African-American males, and college access. Diverse Issues in Higher Education,  25(13), 19.

Bush, L. (2005, August 11).  Stopping the stereotypes.  Black Issues in Higher Education, 22(13), 66.

Bush, E., & Bush, L (2005, March 14).  Black male achievement and the community college. Community College Week, p.4. [a reprinted invited article from Black Issues in Higher Education].

Bush, E., & Bush, L (2005, March 10).  Black male achievement and the community college. Black Issues in Higher Education, 22(2), 44.

Book Chapters

Issa, J., Newton, P., & Bush, L. (2021). Introduction: Warrior/Queen Dr. Frances Cress Welsing,a legacy of intellectual brilliance and perfect love Africology:  In L. Tarik (Ed.). Black Freedom Struggles: Africana Reader, Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Bush, L., Bush, E., & Mahnzili, A. (2020). ‘“Get Out!” Beyond the notion of“Acting White”: Schooling as spirit possession: Dismantling interpretations of African American student success’. In P. Jones (Ed.), Fostering Collaborations Between African American Communities and Educational Institutions, (pp. 34-55).  Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Collier, D., & Bush, L. (2012). Who am I? I am who you say I am: Black male identity and teacher perceptions.  In E. Dancy, & C. Brown (Eds.), African American males in education: Researching the convergence of race and identity (pp. 75-100). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Bush, E., & Bush, L. (2009).  One initiative at a time: A look at emerging African American male Programs in the California Community College System.  In H.

Frierson, W. Pearson, & J. Wyche (Eds.), Black American males in higher education: Diminishing proportions (pp. 253-270). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.

Johnson, R., & Bush, L. (2004). Leading schools through culturally responsive inquiry. In F. English (Ed.), Sage Handbook of Educational Leadership (pp. 269-296). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Bush, L. (1995). Africentric independent Black institutions: A means to social justice? In Darder (Ed.), Bicultural Studies in Education: Transgressive discourses of resistance and possibility (pp. 91-105).  The Institute for Education in Transformation: Claremont, CA.

Other Publications


Bush, L. (2011).  Today: A guide towards a lifetime of fulfillment.  Rancho Cucamonga, CA: Next Generation Press.