Date of Award

7-1-1988

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. William Boone

Second Advisor

Mr. Milton Crook

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to conduct a descriptive analysis of the Freedom Incorporated Organization (Fl) and the rise of black political empowerment in Kansas City, Missouri. The study will attempt to analyze and examine the impact that Freedom Incorporated had in altering the social and economic status of the black electorate in Kansas City, Missouri. This study will also examine the political activity of Freedom Incorporated during its early years and the role of the organization in the City Council race of 1979 to elect a black as mayor and member of the city council in Kansas City, Missouri. To measure the political effectiveness of black elected officials and black organizations in improving economic, political and social conditions of blacks, the following indicators are to be utilized in this research study: (a) the ability of Freedom Incorporated to end discrimination in the public and private sector; (b) the ability of Freedom Incorporated to improve the number of blacks on city council, city boards, office of the mayor, county commission, Missouri Senate and House seats and the United State Congress; (c) ability of Freedom Incorporated to obtain employment and economic development projects for the black community; (d) the ability of Freedom Incorparted to improve housing, street lights, crime and health care; and (e) ability of Freedom Incorporated to improve the distribution of goods and services to the black community. Data presented in this study are designed to focus specifically upon several objectives. First, the data should allow us to empirically assess economic and social conditions of the black electorate and the relationship of these environmental factors to political activity and organizational development. Secondly, a critique, such as we have begun will help us to trace, ponder and examine black political activity in the Midwest during the pre and post Civil Rights Era. Finally, the data presented in this study seeks to explore for the first time a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the black electorate and black political activity in Kansas City, Missouri. It is hoped that this study, will contribute to the growth of scholarly research about the black political experience in Kansas City, Missouri. The findings of this research study nevertheless, demonstrate that voting and the election of blacks to public office has contributed to only a few gradual and remedial changes in the social and economic conditions of blacks in Kansas City, Missouri.

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