Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Philo Hutcheson

Second Advisor

Joyce King

Third Advisor

Hayward Richardson

Fourth Advisor

Susan Ogletree


This dissertation tells the local history of one of Georgia’s earliest all-black accredited high schools, Athens High and Industrial School/Burney-Harris High School (AHIS/BHHS), in an attempt to add to the collective history of the all-black segregated school. The study investigated the Clarke County, Georgia school system, pre- and post- Brown, focusing on the uncovered themes within new research interpretations - the value within the segregated schools, networks among the all-black segregated schools, the costs and consequences of desegregation, and the displacement of black educators.

Within the history of black education there is a recent effort to present alternative interpretations concerning the once stigmatized segregated school. Research now focuses on the value that was placed on black segregated schools by the local community, highlighting the schools’ strong leadership, caring teachers, academic curriculum and extra-curricular activities, and supportive community and parents. These factors were researched within AHIS/BHHS and found to have been substantial in assessing value to the school. Additionally, the study researched the involvement of H.T. Edwards, principal of AHIS/BHHS, within the national, state, and local networks determining that through its black principal, professional education associations, and professional development, AHIS/BHHS was a part of a system of networks among black schools. Reflecting the larger research indicating a loss within the black community upon desegregation, my study demonstrated this loss within the black community of Athens as a result of the closing of AHIS/BHHS and the displacement of its educators. The study employed historical methods such as archival data and oral histories.