Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Fred Dobney

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Hearit

Third Advisor

Dr. Sharon Carlson


The struggle for equality along racial lines has long been a part of American history. Regardless of where people perceive the progress of race relations and equality to be currently, few would contend that the desegregation of America's public schools was as big of a civil rights landmark as any other major event. While anyone can name the 1954 Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board, that was simply the most famous of the cases across the country because it was the first of its kind. The entire nation was certainly affected by the ruling however the issue of integrating schools on an everyday basis played out in school districts in local communities across every city and town in every part of the United States. The commonly held modern perception of the issue of a single movement would be more accurately described as the sum of the parts that occurred in every state in the U.S. Since it is impossible to chronicle the entire civil rights issue of equal schools in the whole country, I would like to show how the events taking place in one district, that of Kalamazoo Public Schools in Kalamazoo, an urban center in Southwest Michigan, as a district share a similar chronology to other northern cities undergoing school integration in the second major wave of the civil rights movement.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only