Date of Award

1970

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Bob Riley

Second Advisor

Dr. Jame C. Berryman

Third Advisor

Dr. Jim Ranchino

Abstract

This study gives critical analysis to a few selected problems of the town of Michellville, Arkansas. This small all-Negro town was incorporated in 1963, but does not give much evidence of development since that time. This critical analysis seeks to discover some reasons for this lack of development. This study will seek to objectively point out causes of certain problems, without giving undue attention to the motives of different personalities.

By recording the events and problems it is expected that they may be seen in a clearer perspective. As the events are recorded, an attempt will be made to see the relationship between them.

In order to make recommendations of improvement it will be necessary to point out certain weaknesses in past and present techniques; this will be done with the hope that the desired improvements will be made.

Such a study requires certain detailed information. Attention is here given to the location of the town in the United States and also in Arkansas. The race factor is involved in that the population of the town is all-Negro. Special attention will be given to the Federal Programs of assistance. The efforts necessary to receive such assistance and the effect of this federal money on the social relation of the town is noted.

This study can serve as a journal of a small town or area seeking development with federal aid. The effect of the program of development or improvement will be greatly dependent on certain positive and negative forces operating in and around the town.

The problems of citizen participation, with its encouragement and discouragement, is not overlooked. Jobs in and around the town, information of city government and the basic problem of small towns will be noted. Long-range and immediate goals are natural areas of concern. Political forces in and around the town are of vital concern and in such a study as this.

Cultural activities are discussed under the headings of education and recreation.

Solutions to the problems will involve an attempt to correct the problems after noting the causes.

The objective is to show that lack of development does not just happen; there are recognizable causes. We seek to show that many of these causes are selfish, and then to point out ways of overcoming hindering causes. The role of the government in developing such areas will be stressed.

This study is limited in that there are no books written on it. Another limitation is that of time; one will not have the time span to see suggested solutions actually work in Mitchellville. This study will be limited to project proposals, interviews, etc.

There is so much talk of aid to the underprivileged and so much money and talent spread around that this town would be a good place to bring ideals in touch with reality. This study seeks to do that.

This study considers only a few of the problems of the town of Michellville. An overall look at the many problems of this small all-Negro town in the Arkansas Delta points to deprivation. The deprivation referred to here is long-standing and in many instances it is legal, expected, and accepted. A look at some of the area of deprivation shows a marked interrelatedness. This critical analysis shows that the town suffered from a deprivation of certain educational opportunities, economic advantages, job skills, and progressive leadership.

The project of development under the OEO is seen as helping solve the problems analyzed in this study.

 
 

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