Date of Award

Summer 2015

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies


Julian Chambliss

Second Advisor

Matthew Nichter


The present project centers on how the African American community of Parramore in Orlando, Florida, became a low-income neighborhood. Based on a timeline from 1880 to 1980 and the construction of the Interstate 4, this thesis investigates Parramore’s decline grounded in the effects of urban sprawl and racial oppression. Among the effects that contributed to the neighborhood's decline in the postwar era were the closing of black schools and the migration of black residents to other places after the 1960s; the disruption of the neighborhood with the construction of highways and public housing; and the lack of investment in new urban infrastructure. The social, economic, and cultural decay of this community begins with the racist ideology of the Jim Crow era and continues with the racialization of spaces and the control of the wealth distribution through the urbanization of the Sunbelt region. Divided into five chapters, the paper presents the following: Intersection of modern social black history and racial segregation; history of the American urban sprawl; historical development of racial segregation in Florida; history of the National Highway System; and history of Parramore. Ultimately, this thesis aims to draw awareness to how urban megaprojects serve as class and racial barriers. Thus, this paper presents the history of an inner city built upon the violence of the Jim Crow era, and the postwar development that led to the transformation of a thriving neighborhood into a low-income community.

Rights Holder

Yuri Kieling Gama

GamaY_Cover_MLS_2015.docx (12 kB)
Cover of the Thesis