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The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism by Matthew D. Lassiter, Joseph Crespino

By Matthew D. Lassiter, Joseph Crespino

Greater than one-third of the inhabitants of the USA now lives within the South, a sector the place politics, race kin, and the economic climate have replaced dramatically due to the fact international struggle II. but historians and newshounds proceed to disagree over even if the trendy South is dominating, deviating from, or converging with the remainder of the state. Has the time come to claim the top of southern heritage? and the way do the tales of yank heritage switch if the South is not any longer noticeable as a quarter apart--as the conservative counterpoint to a liberal nationwide excellent? the parable of Southern Exceptionalism demanding situations the belief of southern strong point so one can provide a brand new frame of mind approximately glossy American heritage. For too lengthy, the assumption in a great South has inspired distortions and generalizations concerning the nation's differently liberal traditions, particularly by means of compartmentalizing topics of racism, segregation, and political conservatism in a single portion of the rustic. This quantity dismantles well known binaries--of de facto as opposed to de jure segregation, crimson nation conservatism as opposed to blue kingdom liberalism, the "South" as opposed to the "North"--to rewrite the heritage of sector and country alike. Matthew Lassiter and Joseph Crespino current 13 essays--framed by means of their provocative introduction--that reinterpret significant themes resembling the civil rights flow within the South and the North, the connection among conservative backlash and liberal reform in the course of the nation, the increase of the non secular correct as a countrywide phenomenon, the emergence of the metropolitan Sunbelt, and lengthening suburban variety in a multiracial New South. through writing American historical past throughout neighborhood borders, this quantity spends as a lot time outdoor as contained in the conventional barriers of the South, relocating from Mississippi to big apple urban, from Southern California to South Carolina, from Mexico to Atlanta, from Hollywood to the Newport folks pageant, and from the Pentagon to the Attica felony uprising.

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Mayor Richard Daley answered the question by blaming the outside agitators in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, following Martin Luther King’s relocation to an inner-city Chicago neighborhood in order to dramatize the issue of residential segregation and pressure Congress to pass a federal open-housing law. S. 19 The Johnson administration did endorse federal open-housing legislation as a key pillar in the struggle for racial equality, but public debate about residential segregation continued to focus primarily on private property rights and individual acts of racism rather than the structural role of government programs in shaping the postwar metropolitan landscape.

Com/doc/200501/rauch. 11. For a recent example of a South-driven analysis of racial inequality that understates national culpability, see Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Norton, 2005). 12. , The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006); Thomas F. , and the Struggle for Economic Justice (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007); Matthew D. Lassiter, “The ‘Color-Blind’ Inversion of Civil Rights History,” Revue Francaise D’Etudes Americaines (Sept.

The American Jewish Congress labeled Taylor v. S. Civil Rights Commission concluded that the Brown mandate encompassed “racial segregation in the North and West resulting from official action, . . ”13 Civil rights litigation succeeded in proving official culpability in a small number of northern and western suburbs, but the NAACP’s pledge to “insure the end of all segregated public education in fact or by law” depended upon the unlikely proposition that federal courts would abandon the longstanding state action doctrine in favor of the abstract “inherently unequal” language of Brown.

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