A 'Demonstration Plot' for Equality: A Qualitative Analysis of Clarence Jordan and Koinonia Farm

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study is to explore the biography of a white, Southern Baptist-reared Clarence Jordan and his goals in the creation of Koinonia Farm. This thesis explicitly evaluates these motives through the examination of archival material—specifically Jordan’s sermons and speeches—that uncovers Jordan’s own words and testimony. This thesis answers the following questions: (1) What was Clarence Jordan’s aim in founding Koinonia Farm and continuing to implement it over time? (2) How did he go about methodically achieving his aim? And (3) How effectively were the objectives achieved as reflected in measurable outcomes—did Jordan’s sermons frame his position so as to make Koinonia Farm work over its lifetime? Additionally, this thesis challenges the methods of Clarence Jordan and Koinonia Farm in the way they employ the agricultural and industrial educational models as a means of liberation and uplift for African Americans and poor whites in Sumter County, Georgia.

Social Movement Theory of Framing, Civil Rights, Discourse Analysis, Koinonia Farm, Clarence Jordan