Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Liberal Studies

Major Professor

Bruce Cochrane, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Silvio Gaggi, Ph.D

Committee Member

Deborah Plant, Ph.D


African Americans, Education, College, Atlanta University, Du Bois


In 1910 Atlanta University published the findings of an extensive study of universities in the United States which Negroes attended. For this, study both quantitative and qualitative data was collected. The quantitative data was derived from the school catalogs and information provided directly from the Negro colleges (Du Bois & Dill, 1910). Data was collected on student enrollment, courses of study selected by the students and degrees conferred. The qualitative data was derived from survey information provided by 800 Negro, college graduates¹. In addition to basic statistical information respondents were asked to provide information on their hopes, aspirations and expectations upon obtaining a college degree. This information was then correlated by gender and presented in the study titled The College-Bred Negro American.

While this study illuminates the agreement among the respondents that the acquisition of college education is the key to success for the Negro---one can also hear a divergence of opinion regarding what type of college education (liberal or industrial) would lead to success for the Negro American.

This thesis analyzes the implications of the Atlanta study, using a variety of methods combining autoethnography with analysis of the data from the US Census Bureau. Further the thesis concludes with a proposal to initiate a survey that is comparable to the 1910 surveys administered as a part of the Atlanta study.

I have chosen to combine an autoethnographic approach with an objective analysis of the 2004 US Census data in order to determine if the growth in college degrees earned within the African American community represented by the study's original respondents is still occurring in the African American community today.