Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Clifford Kuhn - Chair

Second Advisor

Jacqueline A. Rouse


This thesis explores the evolution, growth and sudden decline of the East Washington community, located in East Point, Georgia. This African-American community was strategically created in 1912, when the city council passed its first residential segregation ordinance. This research uses oral histories and other documents to analyze the survival techniques that enabled East Washington to endure the turmoil of Jim Crow racial segregation from its 1912 inception to its 1962 transformation due to urban renewal. First, it identifies the people who chose to migrate to this area, where they came from and what enticed them to settle in East Point. Second, it discusses the network of institutions that they built and depended upon, including businesses, schools and churches, in order to maintain their largely autonomous community. Finally, it illuminates East Washington’s demise through urban renewal.

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