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Title:The “Brown” of higher education: Ayers and the struggle for African American equality in Mississippi higher education
Author(s):Moton III, Theopolies J.
Director of Research:Anderson, James D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Anderson, James D.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Zamani-Gallahger, Eboni; Pak, Yoon; Span, Christopher; Trent, William T.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Black Educational History
Abstract:This study examines the critical issue of desegregation of American higher education through the historical saga of what would be known as the Ayers case. The primary research questions ask why and how the Ayers case developed in Mississippi following the Civil Rights Movement. Moreover, this dissertation explains the complexity of Mississippi’s higher education system as it systematically undermined and educationally neglected its Historically Black College and Universities. As such, this dissertation reconstructs the story of the Black Mississippian community as they strove for equality in their state system higher education. Due to a thirty-year legal debate, their demands for equality created chances for the possibility of enhancing Historically Black Colleges and Universities within the state and across the nation. This dissertation not only reconstructs this educational story but also confounds the familiar narrative context of the desegregation of American higher education. Through archival research and secondary source analysis, this history revealed an alternate narrative that differs from the traditional desegregation tactic of seeking admission into the prominent Historically White Universities. This narrative emphasizes a new development tactic of Historically Black Colleges to a standard comparable to its white counterparts. The legacy of the Ayers case is witnessed in institutional survival and the ongoing tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities being a viable educational option for all students who seek to attend. This comprehensive critical analysis of the Ayers case contributes to the history of American education and higher education, because these fields are pretty void of research focused singularly on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their impact on desegregating of higher education in the United States.
Issue Date:2021-10-08
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Theopolies Moton III
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-04-29
Date Deposited:2021-12

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