Charleston in Black and White: Race and Power in the South after the Civil Rights Movement

Charleston in Black and White: Race and Power in the South after the Civil Rights Movement

by Steve Estes


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Once one of the wealthiest cities in America, Charleston, South Carolina, established a society built on the racial hierarchies of slavery and segregation. By the 1970s, the legal structures behind these racial divisions had broken down and the wealth built upon them faded. Like many southern cities, Charleston had to construct a new public image. In this important book, Steve Estes chronicles the rise and fall of black political empowerment and examines the ways Charleston responded to the civil rights movement, embracing some changes and resisting others.

Based on detailed archival research and more than fifty oral history interviews, Charleston in Black and White addresses the complex roles played not only by race but also by politics, labor relations, criminal justice, education, religion, tourism, economics, and the military in shaping a modern southern city. Despite the advances and opportunities that have come to the city since the 1960s, Charleston (like much of the South) has not fully reckoned with its troubled racial past, which still influences the present and will continue to shape the future.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469645506
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 08/01/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Steve Estes is professor of history at Sonoma State University and author of I AM a Man!: Race, Manhood, and the Civil Rights Movement and Ask and Tell: Gay and Lesbian Veterans Speak Out.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

There are a number of books that explore the conservative reaction to the civil rights movement and the rise of the Republican South and modern rights; Steve Estes's brilliantly written Charleston in Black and White complicates that story. Once again, we see how a local case study can provide the 'yes, but' story that illustrates the complexity of social trends often painted with too broad a brush.—Tracy K'Meyer, University of Louisville

Steve Estes brings to life fascinating characters and important changing dynamics in racial politics in Charleston since the 1960s. Charleston in Black and White is an illuminating book that suggests new ways of thinking about complex issues of continuity and change in the closing decades of the twentieth-century South.—Joseph Crespino, Emory University

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