Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



Advisor/Committee Chair

Kendra Smith-Howard

Committee Member

Michitake Aso, Ph. D.


This paper examines the experiences of African Americans living in Mount Olive, North Carolina during the 20th century. Life in Mount Olive afforded African Americans a multitude of opportunities such as economic, educational, and access to healthcare. Though African Americans' situation in Mount Olive was better than Black people living in other locations throughout North Carolina, an exodus still occurred in the latter half of the 20th century. I argue African Americans stayed in Mount Olive because of the stability and economic opportunities provided to them by staying post-great migration, but that the persistence of racism and segregation made living there untenable, especially as these opportunities dissipated.