Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


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Committee Chair

Henry McKiven


This thesis examines the changes in social relations after natural disasters, specifically hurricanes. The Hurricane of 1906 caused massive damage to Mobile due to the limited warnings. Tensions before the hurricane were already heightened from the Atlanta Race Riot and boiled over after the storm, resulting in a double lynching. Mobile received very little federal aid after the 1906 hurricane and relief heavily on their own communities and the Alabama National Guard. Hurricane Frederic in 1979 was much different because of its position in the Civil Rights Movement. The government relief was slow due to the overwhelming amount needed, and community members of all kinds joined together to help. There were no discussions of racial discrimination besides some lower-income African American areas receiving aid after other cities. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was similar to Hurricane Frederic in Mobile. However, low-income residents waited years for aid funds, and African Americans in New Orleans were discriminated against.