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Beyond Atlanta The Struggle for Racial Equality in Georgia, 1940-1980 by Stephen G.N. Tuck

Beyond Atlanta The Struggle for Racial Equality in Georgia, 1940-1980


Beyond Atlanta The Struggle for Racial Equality in Georgia, 1940-1980 by Stephen G.N. Tuck

This sweeping history of the civil rights movement in the South's largest state tells of many Georgias. On one extreme is Atlanta, a metropolitan center of relative black prosperity and training ground of many movement leaders. On another is Albany. A city deep in the black belt of the plantation South, it is the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest civil rights setback. Somewhere in between is yet another Georgia, a Georgia whose communities once constituted hundreds of Jim Crow fiefdoms. In places like Bad Baker County near the southern border, or in the relatively moderate town of Rome in the northern hills, black-white relations were as crude or as nuanced as the outlook of the local sheriff.Beyond Atlanta draws on interviews with almost two hundred people--black and white--who worked for, or actively resisted, the freedom movement. Among the topics Stephen Tuck covers are the absence of consistent support from the movement's national leadership and the frustration and innovation it alternately inspired at the local level. In addition, Tuck reveals friction, along urban-rural and poor-prosperous lines, about movement goals and tactics, and he highlights the often unheralded roles played by African American women, veterans, masons, unions, neighborhood clubs, and local NAACP branches.Tuck's narrative begins before, and continues after, the well-documented years of direct action protest in the 1960s. Though grounded in local and state matters, it is attuned to such national developments as World War II, the 1954 Brown decision, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964-65, and the growth of the Black Power movement. Perhaps most important, Beyond Atlanta makes clear the exorbitant cost of racial oppression, in terms of hampered economic and social progress, for all Georgians.


Shows how Georgia's special brand of politics influenced the struggle against discrimination. This impressive book makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the civil rights movement. - Adam Fairclough, author of To Redeem the Soul of America;

Tuck's account of the many movements in Georgia is both bold conceptually and persuasive in its contention that 'excessive Atlanta-centrism distorts the true picture of racial protest in Georgia.
A remarkable achievement.

- John Dittmer, author of Local People

About the Author

Stephen G. N. Tuck is Director of Studies in History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University.

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Book Info

Publication date

31st July 2003


Stephen G.N. Tuck

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University of Georgia Press


360 pages


History of the Americas
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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