Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name


Department of History


This study examines the leadership of community activists Ella Mae Wade Brayboy and Dorothy Bolden, and their contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia from 1964 to 1994. The study was based on three congruent factors: Ella Mae Brayboy and Dorothy Bolden organized and mobilized members of their communities to register to vote, both women ascended into leadership positions within their respective organizations, and both women were pioneers. Brayboy was the first African-American Deputy Voter Registrar in the state of Georgia, while Bolden founded the National Domestic Workers Union. Research was conducted via oral interviews with Ella Mae Brayboy's daughter; by examining the archives of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African- American Culture and History, the Southern Labor records housed at Georgia State University and Special Collections in the Robert W. Woodruff Library. While there has been documentation of their contributions, there is very little critical analysis focused on Ella Mae Brayboy and Dorothy Bolden's leadership. Their involvement with community activism and civil rights created agencies for change. These women were responsible for registering thousands of African-Americans to vote, as well as directly improving the daily living conditions of the residents in their communities. The conclusion drawn from this study confirms that Ella Mae Brayboy and Dorothy Bolden were pioneers in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as agents for social change. The progressive actions of these women uplifted members of their community by providing access to enfranchisement and economic empowerment.


Signature pages are on file with the graduate school. An archival copy of the documents is available in the Archives Research Center.

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