The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory (Google eBook)

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Harvard University Press, Jul 1, 2009 - History - 432 pages
2 Reviews

Since the Civil War whites and blacks have struggled over the meanings and uses of the Southern past. Indeed, today's controversies over flying the Confederate flag, renaming schools and streets, and commemorating the Civil War and the civil rights movement are only the latest examples of this ongoing divisive contest over issues of regional identity and heritage. "The Southern Past" argues that these battles are ultimately about who has the power to determine what we remember of the past, and whether that remembrance will honor all Southerners or only select groups.

For more than a century after the Civil War, elite white Southerners systematically refined a version of the past that sanctioned their racial privilege and power. In the process, they filled public spaces with museums and monuments that made their version of the past sacrosanct. Yet, even as segregation and racial discrimination worsened, blacks contested the white version of Southern history and demanded inclusion. Streets became sites for elaborate commemorations of emancipation and schools became centers for the study of black history. This counter-memory surged forth, and became a potent inspiration for the civil rights movement and the black struggle to share a common Southern past rather than a divided one.

W. Fitzhugh Brundage's searing exploration of how those who have the political power to represent the past simultaneously shape the present and determine the future is a valuable lesson as we confront our national past to meet the challenge of current realities.

  

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Review: The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

User Review  - Audra Slaymaker - Goodreads

Dense, but surprisingly good! I read this for my Intro to Public History class. Read full review

Review: The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

User Review  - Kelly - Goodreads

Read this for school, but it was really engaging. Read full review

Contents

A Duty Peculiarly Fitting to Women
12
Celebrating Black Memory in the Postbellum South
55
Archiving White Memory
105
Black Remembrance in the Age of Jim Crow
138
Exhibiting Southernness in a New Century
183
Black Memorials and the Bulldozer Revolution
227
Contested History in the Sunbelt South
270
Conclusion
316
NOTES
345
INDEX
406
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

W. Fitzhugh Brundage is the William B. Umstead Professor of History at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.