Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Chara Haeussler Bohan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Beverly Armento, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kristen Buras, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Chantee Earl, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Joseph Feinberg, Ph.D.


Six years after Brown v. Board of Education, Atlanta reluctantly complied with the order to desegregate its school system rather than risk having schools closed due to noncompliance. Out of 132 students, nine black high school seniors desegregated four of Atlanta's all-white high schools. The purpose of this study is to explore and document the missing voices of Atlanta’s 1961 school desegregation movement and provide an analysis of the students’ experiences. Using historical research, five of the nine students engaged in oral history interviews where they described their feelings about the desegregation process. W. E. B. DuBois’s double consciousness theory and Tara Yosso's community cultural wealth theory serve as lenses for understanding and explaining the experiences of the Atlanta students who were the first to desegregate the public schools in “the city too busy to hate.”


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