Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name



African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret N. Rowley


The purpose of this research is to examine the life of a courageous woman who pioneered in the development of social organizations for the elevation and betterment of the Black community in the early twentieth century in Atlanta. The research will show how Mrs. John Hope, a black woman, struggled against a hostile and racist society in an effort to help build a respectable and healthy black community in the city of Atlanta.

This research was executed by the careful examination of primary sources, such as speeches, letters, newspapers, minutes and Mrs. Hope's memoranda presently found in the Neighborhood Union Collection located in the Atlanta University Trevor Arnett Library Archives. Oral history, a new innovation in the field, is also used in the effort to present a biographical profile of this outstanding pioneer. The historical method of analyzing, categorizing, collecting, and communicating evidence and and documents are used in the presentation of this information.

It is the researcher's intention to show that Mrs. John Hope was instrumental in pioneering in the idea of self-help and community building in Black Atlanta. The research also examines the activities of Mrs. Hope as a prototype of the black woman's role in the struggle for black survival and dignity.