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Title:The history of African American women at the University of Illinois, 1901-1939
Author(s):Hoff, Tamara Lynette
Director of Research:Span, Christopher M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Span, Christopher M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, James D.; Pak, Yoon K.; Perkins, Linda M.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):History
Education
Black Studies
Gender Studies
Abstract:The period known as the “nadir” of the African American experience—roughly between 1880 and 1920—happens to coincide with the matriculation of the first African American students at the predominantly white University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I). Most research conducted on the African American student experience at the U of I focuses on the Civil Rights-Black Power years, but few studies have examined the experiences of the earliest students—specifically African American women students—during the early twentieth century. These women created and sustained their own organizations—Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Gamma Chapter, and later, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Nu Chapter—to address the educational, social, and cultural needs of African American women students on campus. In conjunction with African American male students, they established a Negro Intelligentsia lecture series, along with an African American student magazine, The College Dreamer, to promote African American culture on campus and to showcase the intellectual achievements of African American students across the country. In addition, African American women students participated on the Interracial Commission of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) to educate the campus and Urbana-Champaign community on issues concerning race and to improve race relations on campus. This dissertation explores the multifaceted ways in which the earliest African American women students cultivated a collective consciousness while laying the foundation for their sense of agency, leadership development, and subsequent campus/community involvement. It also examines how the Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. served as a conduit through which the University, as well as the chapter members, recruited more African American women to attend the U of I. Moreover, this dissertation investigates the historical experiences of African American women, the obstacles they encountered, and the manner in which they confronted those obstacles in pursuing higher education at the U of I. It provides a framework for understanding the subsequent activism of African American students at the U of I during the Civil Rights-Black Power years.
Issue Date:2015-07-06
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/88159
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Tamara Hoff
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201


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