Term of Award

Winter 2004

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Delores D. Liston

Committee Member 1

Elaine Clift Gore

Committee Member 2

Patrick J. Novotny

Committee Member 3

Leon E. Spencer


This study uses oral histories from selected participants as well as primary and secondary resources to examine a rural African American school in Evans County, Evans County High School. Evans County is located on the periphery of the Black Belt in rural southern Georgia. This school will be examined from the mid-1950s to the end of segregation in 1971. During these years, the African American child was a vital link in the work force of the farms operated by owner/farmers and sharecroppers in southern rural Georgia. Schooling, therefore, became a political force in the rural communities. The recollections and reflections of the participants of this study relate the schools' educational impact and lend insight into rural Southern life.

Former students, teachers, a Jeanes supervisor, and an administrative assistant furnished oral histories about the school's facilities and curriculum. The struggle for African American education in rural Georgia between 1954-1971 is examined politically, economically, and socially through their experiences. Three research questions guided this study. What was the significance ofthis school to the African American community? What was the African American perspective on the history of education in Evans County, and how did the demise of this school affect the African American community? What is the educational significance of this study?

Through examination of these events through oral history, a perspective was revealed that would not have been available through an examination of historical documents alone. The struggle by parents and students to realize their dream for an education and a better life is one that was best told through qualitative research so the informants' voices, passions, and personal histories of the years from 1954-1971 are preserved for posterity.

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