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America's Johannesburg: Industrialization and Racial Transformation in Birmingham

America's Johannesburg: Industrialization and Racial Transformation in Birmingham

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In some ways, no American city symbolizes the black struggle for civil rights more than Birmingham, Alabama. During the 1950s and 1960s, Birmingham gained national and international attention as a center of activity and unrest during the civil rights movement. Racially motivated bombings of the houses of black families who moved into new neighborhoods or who were politically active during this era were so prevalent that Birmingham earned the nickname “Bombingham.”

In this critical analysis of why Birmingham became such a national flashpoint, Bobby M. Wilson argues that Alabama’s path to industrialism differed significantly from that of states in the North and Midwest. True to its antebellum roots, no other industrial city in the United States depended as much on the exploitation of black labor so early in its urban development as Birmingham.

A persuasive exploration of the links between Alabama’s slaveholding order and the subsequent industrialization of the state, America’s Johannesburg demonstrates that arguments based on classical economics fail to take into account the ways in which racial issues influenced the rise of industrial capitalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820356280
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 12/01/2019
Series: Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Series , #46
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288

About the Author

BOBBY M. WILSON is a professor emeritus at the University of Alabama. He is the author of Race
and Place in Birmingham: The Civil Rights and Neighborhood Movements.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 1 Introduction: Race and Capitalist Development Chapter 2 2 The Origins of Racism: Discursive and Material Practices Chapter 3 3 The State’s Role in Sustaining Race-Connected Practices Chapter 4 4 Capital Restructuring and the Transformation of Race Chapter 5 5 The Slave Mode of Production Chapter 6 6 A Regime of Accumulation Based on Slave Labor Chapter 7 7 Reconstruction Chapter 8 8 From Slave to Free Black Labor Chapter 9 9 Development of the Birmingham Regime Chapter 10 10 Industrialization with Inexpensive Labor Chapter 11 11 Noncompetitive Labor Segmentation and Laissez-Faire Race Relations Chapter 12 12 Accommodating the Racial Order: The Rise of Institutionalized Racism Chapter 13 13 Scientific Management and the Growth of Black/White Competition Chapter 14 14 The Growth of Corporate Power: The Emergence of Fordism Chapter 15 15 The Great Depression and the Transformation of the Planter Regime Chapter 16 16 The New Deal and Blacks Chapter 17 17 The Southern Shift of Fordism and Entrepreneurial Regimes Chapter 18 18 Conclusion