Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Gabriel Reich, PhD


This dissertation examines African American students’ perspectives of African American agency during the Civil War. It also seeks to understand where their knowledge of African Americans during the Civil War comes from. The topic fits within the Critical Race Theory framework and utilized a mixed methods approach to understand the study findings. The methodology included an online survey completed by forty-two participants at a Historically Black university and 3 semi-structured interviews using the interview protocol. Descriptive statistical demographic data, open-ended responses and interview transcripts were analyzed using the agency rubric developed by the researcher. The themes that emerged from the study included the limited agency of African Americans during the Civil War, silenced voices of African American women, students’ limited knowledge of ancestors’ emancipation and emancipation narratives, and little specific knowledge of African Americans involvement in the Civil War


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Date of Submission