Theses Doctoral

"A Matter of Building Bridges": Photography and African American Education, 1957–1972

Choi, Connie Hoyean

This dissertation examines the use of photography in civil rights educational efforts from 1957 to 1972. Photography played an important role in the long civil rights movement, resulting in major legal advances and greater public awareness of discriminatory practices against people of color. For most civil rights organizations and many African Americans, education was seen as the single most important factor in breaking down social and political barriers, and efforts toward equal education opportunities dramatically increased following the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. My dissertation therefore investigates photography’s distinct role in documenting the activities of three educational initiatives—the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, the Mississippi Freedom Schools formed the summer of 1964, and the Black Panther liberation schools established in Oakland, California, in 1969—to reveal the deep and savvy understanding of civil rights and Black Power organizations of the relationship between educational opportunities and political power.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Art History and Archaeology
Thesis Advisors
Jones, Kellie
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 5, 2019