Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. R. Barry Westin


This thesis offers a topical narrative of the history of the African American camrunity of Richmond, Virginia, during the early 1950s.A number of areas are explored including demographics, econcmic issues, housing, the black business camrunity, the church, social life, education, politics and the battle against segregation.Despite the hardships inposed by segregation, blacks in Richmond forrned a vigorous camrunity and during the period 1950 to 1956 won sane victories and suffered setbacks in their quest for a better life.

Newspaper accounts fran both black and white newspapers in Richmond were the major source for this paper.Government reports, city directories, church documents, census data and journal and magazine articles were also consulted. Interviews were conducted with several people who lived through the period.