Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Elwood D. Watson

Committee Members

Stephen G Fritz, Tommy D. Lee II


This thesis examines the first Citizenship School, its location, participants, and success. Johns Islanders, Esau Jenkins, Septima Clark, Myles Horton, Bernice Robinson, and the Highlander Folk School all collaborated to create this school. Why and how this success was reached is the main scope of this manuscript. Emphasis is also placed on the school's impact upon the modern Civil Rights Movement. Primary sources such as personal accounts, manuscripts, and archive collections were examined. Secondary sources were also researched for this manuscript. The conclusion reached from these sources is that faith was the driving force behind the success of the Citizenship School. The schools unlocked the chains of political, social, and economic disenfranchisement for Gullah Islanders and African Americans all over the South, greatly affecting the outcome of the Civil Rights Movement. African Americans, who had once been forced into second-class citizenship, now through faith and the vote, obtained first-class citizenship.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.