Historians and Journalists on the Generation-X South


“Southern states did comparably better than others, but all flourished, at least in comparison with the past. The region was no longer the nation’s number-one economic problem not the nation’s number-one moral problem, but economic and racial problems persisted.”

— from the last paragraph of Numan V. Bartley’s The New South, 1945 – 1980

“The most obvious example of the persistence of the New South development tradition was the emphasis on low-wage, nonunion labor that continued to characterize industry-seeking efforts. As long as southern communities based their appeals to new industries on a surplus of cheap, unorganized workers, chambers of commerce and local development commissions has experienced no difficulty in wooing new plants while shooing away union agents.”

— from the chapter “A New South with Old Problems” in James C. Cobb’s The Selling of the South

“Between 1970 and 1990, the population of the eleven states of the Old Confederacy, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Lousiana, Texas, and Arkansas, plus Kentucky (a fairly conservative notion of the South), grew by 40 percent – more than 20 million people – twice the national growth rate.”

— from the chapter “The Southernization of America” in Peter Applebome’s Dixie Rising

“For many black southerners, the widespread assault on Confederate icons and symbols went hand in hand with the creation, preservation, and renovation of a new set of icons and monuments memorializing the crusade to free the South from the racial system constructed on the ruins of the Confederate legacy. By 1996, the cities and towns of the old Confederacy accounted for 77 percent of the nations streets named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

— from the chapter “Divided by a Common Past” in James C. Cobb’s Away Down South

“Twenty years after African Americans gained control of the courthouse, the public schools continued to underperform. In fact, they were in jeopardy of being taken over by the state. Segregation in education also endured. The public schools were 99 percent black, while Lowndes Academy, the original private white academy, was 100 percent white. In addition, glaring wealth disparities persisted. The per capita income for African Americans was $8,763, while for whites it was $23,236.”

— from the chapter “Black Politics in the Post-Civil Rights Era” in Hasan Kwame Jeffries’ Bloody Lowndes


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