Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Bobby Donaldson


This thesis explores a 1956 case study in which over twenty African American teachers at one school were either dismissed or did not have their contracts renewed due to their refusal to confirm or deny their membership in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Through newspapers, magazines, oral histories, as well as the correspondence of the NAACP, White Citizens Councils, and other organizations, this study argues that African American teachers possessed a sociopolitical currency that white segregationists found threatening and were eager to stymie. This thesis further argues that the Elloree teachers’ case and the larger 1950s civil rights movement foreshadowed and laid the groundwork for the better-known 1960s movement.

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