Cover: The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory, from Harvard University PressCover: The Southern Past in PAPERBACK

The Southern Past

A Clash of Race and Memory

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$29.50 • £23.95 • €26.50

ISBN 9780674027213

Publication Date: 04/30/2008

Academic Trade

432 pages

5-1/4 x 8 inches

23 halftones

Belknap Press

World

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.

Awards & Accolades

  • Finalist, 2006 John Hope Franklin Prize, American Studies Association
  • Finalist, 2006 National Council on Public History Book Award
  • 2006 Charles S. Sydnor Award, Southern Historical Association
  • 2006 Lillian Smith Book Award, Southern Regional Council and University of Georgia Libraries
Common Reads: First-Year Experience [picture of open book]

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, from Harvard University Press

“Predictive Policing” and Racial Profiling

While technology used in policing has improved, it hasn’t progressed, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, if racial biases are built into those new technologies. This excerpt from his book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, shows that for the reform called for by the current protests against systemic racism and racially-biased policing to be fulfilled, the police—especially those at the top—will need to change their pre-programmed views on race and the way they see the Black citizens they are supposed to “serve and protect.”