Date of Award:
Master of Arts (MA)
F. Ross Peterson
The African-American community of Ogden, Utah started much of its growth in the early twentieth century. Prior to the early nineteen hundreds less than one hundred African Americans lived in Ogden. The availability of jobs with the railroads brought many African Americans to Ogden in search of steady employment. Through the decades Ogden's African Americans branched out from railroad and service work into business ownership. As the African-American community grew, its members established new churches in the city.
Racism and indifference had their impact on the African Americans. They found themselves segregated into specific neighborhoods and African-American males were unable to hold the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Racism was not confined to members of the Mormon Church as the Ku Klux Klan attempted to make inroads into Ogden in the early 1920s. The Klan's limited influence lasted less than two years and soon disappeared due to efforts by the Ogden City Commission.
In the 1990s African Americans still comprised a small percentage of Ogden City and Weber County. The L.D.S. Church ended priesthood denial for African Americans in 1978. The study of Ogden's African-American community provides insight into a minority community in the western United States and contrasts the differences between race relations in the West and other geographic areas of the United States.
Stene, Eric, "The African-American Community of Ogden, Utah: 1910-1950" (1994). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 4526.