Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name


First Advisor

Dr. Abi Awomolo

Second Advisor

Dr. William Boone

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Robinson


Since the beginning of the 1990s, there has been a sharp rise in anti-tobacco activism, adverse public opinion, litigation, and new legislation to counter the tobacco industry and reduce use. Despite this sharp rise in activism, the role of African Americans

in this advocacy process has mostly escaped the analysis of the political science research community. This includes 1999 when payments to the states began from the historically significant Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), which was signed in 1998 between 46 Attorneys General and the tobacco industry. This research project analyzed the dynamics in the state tobacco coalitions in Arkansas and Georgia. It delved into the roles African Americans played in an effort to leverage resources for the black community. These funds represented needed resources for building capacity and infrastructure. The research used both primary and secondary data. The primary data were gathered by semi-structured interviews with state health officials, coalition members, and policy-makers all intimately involved in the allocation process. Secondary data were gathered from journals, newspaper articles, by-laws and program reports. Information was also gathered from publications and websites of reputable organizations working in tobacco prevention. These included the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids and Americans for Non Smokers’ Rights.Through the lens of Interest Group Theory research analyzed the role African Americans played in the initial allocation of Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement funds in Arkansas and Georgia. It was found that African Americans in leadership roles are important to the initial allocation process. Despite Arkansas’ success in securing 15% of State Tobacco Prevention funds allocated through an Historically Black College or University for minority communities, blacks in leadership positions were no guarantee that resources would be allocated to black communities.

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