Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Committee Chair

Joseph Lariscy

Committee Member

Wesley James

Committee Member

Brian Kwoba


In this paper, I address the following question(s): what does inequality look like in Shelby County, Tennessee, and how does it differ from Prince George’s County, Maryland? I compare these two places because of the overall Black affluence and Black poverty of Prince George’s County and Shelby County, respectively. I am interested in finding what is different about Prince George’s County that results in a starkly contrasting level of prosperity compared with Shelby County. The Black population of Prince George’s County has managed to gain and maintain affluence where wealth, income, employment, and education gaps compromise Black Americans’ quality of living. A comparison of socioeconomic characteristics between these two counties that are both predominantly black but with different levels of black affluence may show whether components of Prince George’s County’s success could be implemented in Memphis in order to lessen some of the disparities that a large number of Black Memphians face. I find larger disparities in Black and white educational attainment, income, and poverty status in Shelby County than in Prince George’s County. Though Black residents of Prince George’s County still experience gaps in income and education, they are still faring better with educational success, income, and having a much lower poverty rate than in Shelby County.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.