Honors Program

Honors in History

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Daryl Carter

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Tom Lee, Elwood Watson


The purpose of this work is to identify the particular changes in the movement for social justice for African Americans. Great strides in the advancement of social justice began just after the Second World War. Issues of ideology, foreign policy, advancement in education, and growing activism led to what is known as the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was a determined effort by African Americans and their supporters to eliminate legal and societal oppression. Measured by the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Act of 1965, and the equal opportunity employment section of Lyndon Johnson’s Executive Order 11246, the movement was considered a success. Those victories certainly helped African Americans experience greater equality and opportunities to better their lives. The fact remains, however, that there was more work to be done.

This work will argue that social justice was advanced in large part because of the public school system. The public education system in America was and still is imperative to eradicating social injustice. Important new laws and policies regarding public schools such as affirmative action, the busing mandates, and the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 helped to bring social justice into the realm of possibility for African Americans. This work will show how the public education system was used in the struggle to secure social justice for African Americans in the years following the Civil Rights movement.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.