Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Daryl A. Carter

Committee Members

Elwood Watson, Dinah Mayo-Bobee


The Deliberate Speed of the Tar Heel State offers readers an examination of the efforts undertaken by North Carolina in hope of resisting public school desegregation between the Brown v. Board decisions of 1954, 1955, and 1966. It will examine the state’s use of a series of legal, legislative maneuvers, The Pupil Assignment Act of 1955 and the Pearsall Plan of 1956, which attempted to show definitive progress to the federal government while simultaneously ensuring the segregated public school system remained intact. By examining the efforts of individuals such as William Umstead, Luther Hodges, Terry Sanford, Thomas Pearsall, and others, this thesis will analyze how North Carolina attempted to use more “moderate” means of resisting federally mandated school desegregation and whether the state was successful in their efforts.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.