Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert Kenzer


This research project is an analysis of the representation of race, class, gender, and age in local newspapers during the early 1960 civil rights' sitdown movement in Richmond, Virginia. Political figures and heads of media were predominantly older, elite, white- and male-oriented and -dominated. Through studying both white Richmond and African American Richmond newspapers, this thesis explores how these interlocking and interdependent systems of oppression and privilege affected the portrayal of groups and individuals in the media. Gender, race, class, and age cannot be studied in isolation from one another when analyzing the Civil Rights Movement and newspapers as primary sources because many of the individuals and groups involved often identified in multiple spheres. By focusing on newspapers and using Richmond as a case study, this thesis addresses the motivation as to what becomes reported and memorialized. This thesis analyzes how these groups were portrayed in news articles but also explores why certain groups were invisible or hyper-visible in articles and pictures. Questions addressed include: How was being African American, a woman, working-class, and/or a student used for and against civil rights activists? How did race, gender, class, and age legitimize or undermine action? When these groups did attain visibility in a news article, how were they portrayed? Investigating the effects of (in)visibility in the Civil Rights Movement will help us to understand the significance of all groups in a fight for justice.