Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Pan-African Studies

Degree Program

Pan-African Studies, PhD

Committee Chair

Jones, Yvonne

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Rajack-Talley, Theresa

Committee Member

Best, Latrice

Committee Member

Kinahan, Kelly

Committee Member

Byrd, W. Carson

Author's Keywords

Segregation; public education; Louisville, KY; busing to integrate, government and city policy involvement, residence to education attainment


This dissertation examines the governmental involvement in residential segregation, the public education ramifications and busing to integrate in Louisville, Kentucky. Racism is discussed through shared ideologies from false collective memory. Leading to racist government policy and a disadvantaged public education system.


Integration of the American public school system is often examined to figure out if integration worked. This dissertation examined busing to integrate into Louisville, Kentucky. Busing to integrate in Louisville, Kentucky, took place during that 1975-1976 school year. Louisville’s case is somewhat different. Not only did they finally follow federal mandates to integrate, they had to mix two totally separate school systems, one for the county (White) and one from the city (African American). The objectives are: (1) what were the experiences and perceptions of African American students in high school who lived in the West Louisville hyper-segregated neighborhoods and were part of the first wave of busing that sought to integrate the public schools within Jefferson County, KY in 1975; (2) what did the residential segregation (hyper-segregated neighborhoods) and busing of African Americans from their urban communities to White suburban schools look like geographically; and (3) what were some of the decision-makers on the school board’s apprehensions and rationale for busing to integrate. Triangulation was used to answer the research objectives, including open response interviews of African Americans who participated in the first wave of busing to integrate in Louisville, Kentucky, GIS mapping detailing the racial residential segregation during that era in Louisville, Kentucky, and archival research the school board that absolved the city district within its own. The research was conducted using race-based epistemology, critical race theory and a participatory approach with theoretical perspectives on structural racism, ideological racism, and color-blind racism. Detailing the explanation of forced racial residential segregation and the economic and social impact outcomes resulting from said forced segregation. Results show that the White superiority ideals of the Jefferson County school district enabled the White teachers to operate from their White ideals and disfavor their African American students. These results lead to the conclusion that busing to integrate did not work. The situation that the African American students were placed in to did them more harm psychologically than it did to provide them with a better education.