Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Aram Goudsouzian

Committee Member

Beverly Bond

Committee Member

Brian Kwoba

Committee Member

Sarah Potter


This work examines Black activism in education in Jonesboro, Arkansas since 1920. For over a century, Jonesboro’s Black community mounted deliberate and organized defiance to Jim Crow. As the color line solidified in Jonesboro, African Americans employed various tactics and strategies to ensure Black children had access to educational facilities. Securing these opportunities for Black children was central to Jonesboro’s Black freedom movement. Their methods changed as the face of white supremacy evolved over time. The fight transitioned from access to equal facilities to equal treatment, supports, and curriculum inside the walls of newly desegregated schools. Both Black and white racial consciousness and expression played a pivotal role in these fights. From the creation of the Colored School Improvement Association in 1918, student protests against “Dixie” in the 1960s, and the establishment of Rights in Education for Students and Parents Educating Citizens of Tomorrow in 1993, members of Jonesboro’s Black community were active in advocating for themselves and their children. This work adds an important narrative to Arkansas and regional history as Jonesboro’s Black activism indicates the longer post-desegregation fight for equitable education and provides formerly untold stories about Black activism in education.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Embargoed until 7/14/2024

Available for download on Sunday, July 14, 2024