The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta

The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta

by Maurice J. Hobson

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For more than a century, the city of Atlanta has been associated with black achievement in education, business, politics, media, and music, earning it the nickname "the black Mecca." Atlanta's long tradition of black education dates back to Reconstruction, and produced an elite that flourished in spite of Jim Crow, rose to leadership during the civil rights movement, and then took power in the 1970s by building a coalition between white progressives, business interests, and black Atlantans. But as Maurice J. Hobson demonstrates, Atlanta's political leadership--from the election of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta's first black mayor, through the city's hosting of the 1996 Olympic Games--has consistently mishandled the black poor. Drawn from vivid primary sources and unnerving oral histories of working-class city-dwellers and hip-hop artists from Atlanta's underbelly, Hobson argues that Atlanta's political leadership has governed by bargaining with white business interests to the detriment of ordinary black Atlantans.
In telling this history through the prism of the black New South and Atlanta politics, policy, and pop culture, Hobson portrays a striking schism between the black political elite and poor city-dwellers, complicating the long-held view of Atlanta as a mecca for black people.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469635361
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 600,751
File size: 12 MB
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About the Author

Maurice J. Hobson is associate professor of African American studies at Georgia State University.

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From the Publisher

Maurice Hobson keeps it real in this post–civil rights history of black Atlanta. He excavates the political contradictions in the city's politics by revealing what Atlanta's hip hop community dubbed the Dirty South. Here's a history where Outkast and Goodie Mob meet Atlanta's black mayors. The ironies are deliciously delectable and debatable. Hobson's history of Atlanta is not simply regional; it is a national story of neoliberal politics at the expense of the poor.—Randal Maurice Jelks, author of Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement

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