Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name



First Advisor

Dr. D.F. White


This thesis examines the forces that interacted to become elements against which black Atlanta struggled for development. Stimulated by a mentality existent in American society, the revised Ku Klux Klan developed enormous political power in Atlanta. In conjunction with “Jim Crow” and other forms of black repression, the Klan’s influence helped to create an atmosphere for struggle. However, determined to improve conditions affecting their lives, in 1919, black Atlantans organized to help defeat a proposed tax increase and bond referendum. The 1919 success caused sponsors of a 1921 referendum to seek black support, for which black Atlanta received improved educational facilities, including the first public high school. The location of the high school was determined by a racial zoning ordinance adopted by the city council. Although unconstitutional, the zoning plan was influencial in determining how black Atlanta was to develop. A number of sources were used. in this study, including: City Council Minutes, Ordinance Records, Board of Education Minutes, Court Cases, Interviews, Newspapers, primary and secondary books and articles.

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