Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Elwood D. Watson

Committee Members

Stephen G Fritz, Dale J. Schmitt


Willis Duke Weatherford, a liberal pioneer in Southern race reform, argued that the ethics of Christianity obligated Southerners to address the social and economic problems faced by blacks in the early twentieth century. His strategy for improving race relations centred on educating Southerners and promoting economic uplift for blacks. Weatherford advocated race reform through the Young Men's Christian Association, the Southern Sociological Congress, and other voluntary organizations. He published books, taught courses, preached sermons, organized conferences, and raised funds from Northern philanthropists. Through an analysis of Weatherford's published writings and of his papers archived at the Southern Historical Collection, the present study provides a biographical profile of Weatherford's life and career, examines the development of Weatherford's racial views in the social and political context of his time, describes Weatherford's program of race education developed for college students, and discusses an interracial conference held at the Blue Ridge Assembly in 1917.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

History Commons