The purpose of this study is to understand the impact of racism and sexism in the development of the professional identity of African American women principals in public K-12 schools. African American women experience the principalship differently from their colleagues. Research on African American women in the principalship supports the notion that they encounter a different set of struggles. Many of the experiences of African American women principals involve racism and/or sexism. This qualitative study used constant comparative method to analyze the experiences of eight African American women who are current principals in K-12 public schools or have been principals in the last three years. The data for this study was collected through semi-structured interviews transcribed by the researcher. There are two themes that emerged from the data 1) narrow and unfounded judgment and 2) motivated to succeed for their students’ well-being. The first theme posits that African American women principals have an awareness of negative perceptions about them due to their race and gender and that they rely on a strong sense of identity to combat the discrimination they experience. The emotional effect of experiencing racism and sexism stimulated a sense of strength in the participants and coupled with encouragement that was both internal and external they were able to push through and do the job at hand. The second theme posits that African American women principals have characteristics that drive them to be successful. Having a strong assurance of their ability coupled with personality traits that correlate to effective leadership, African American women are prepared for the role of principal. The driving force behind them is a desire for their students to be successful. Inspired to set a positive example for students, African American women principals do not allow discrimination of any form to prohibit their success. The implications of this study are applicable for the K-12 education realm. Cultural and gender sensitivity training should become a requirement for all educators on a continuous basis. There is a need for an honest and open discussion on gender and racial bias’ in education with regard to who holds those bias’ and why.