The focus of this thesis is on the interaction between the declining economy and systemic school segregation in the post-Brown era, from 1954 to 1980, in Akron, Ohio. This thesis asks, how did Akron's economic decline influence desegregation in public schools and attitudes toward busing in the decades following the Brown v. Board of Education decision? This thesis is situated in scholarship over last fifteen years related to the "myth of southern exceptionalism" and debates around the usefulness of the de facto/de jure dichotomy. Akron, Ohio is an appropriate and interesting city to examine. As a Rust Belt city with a sizeable African American population, Akron provides an opportunity to understand the role of economic decline on the state of and attitudes toward desegregation in the Rust Belt. Desegregation was such a contentious issue that it was the subject of a major trial in Akron, Bell v. Board of Education.


Baumgartner, Kabria




Educational Administration and Supervision | History | Urban Education


desegregation, akron, ohio, rust belt

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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