Semester of Graduation

Fall 2019


Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


The Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type



Andrew T. Hatcher rose to one of the highest positions in U.S. government when he became the first African American to serve as associate White House press secretary in 1960 under the administration of President John F. Kennedy and during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement. This is a historical content analysis that analyzes Hatcher’s role through primary sources, presidential archives, and select national, local, and minority newspapers.

The overarching purpose of this study was to ascertain Hatcher’s role as associate White House press secretary during civil rights. This study provides further insight into: 1) to what extent did Hatcher’s role as the first black associate White House press secretary help facilitate President John F. Kennedy’s priorities during civil rights; and 2) to what extent did Hatcher’s role contribute to meaning making for blacks in the U.S.? Lastly, this study provides historical and professional context for current or future public relations professionals—particularly minorities—who aspire to function in public relations or public information at high levels of government or politics.

Committee Chair

Jinx C. Broussard