Geographies of race in the American south the continuing legacies of Jim crow segregation

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The modern study of the American South has undergone a decade long resurgence in Geography and has come to be defined by questions of inequality and social justice. This resurgence represents an innovative approach to geographic scholarship, the outlines of which, contribute to a broadly theorized social justice/critical geographic engagement. Building upon this foundation this paper incorporates recent methodological and intellectual engagements with the American South through a focus on the 1901 Alabama State Constitution in an effort to outline scholarship grounded in social justice. The 1901 Constitution created the legal justification for the segregation of the races and was the product of white supremacist ideology. This in itself is unremarkable. Almost all state constitutions in the South were written under similar circumstances. Instead what makes the Alabama State Constitution an interesting case study is the fact that it was never rewritten. Thus the Alabama Constitution is an example of how the legacy of Jim Crow Segregation, and the white supremacy that formed a foundation for larger political, social, and economic inequality, continues to haunt the landscapes of the American South. Finally this paper is an opportunity to think about the broader legacies of inequality in the U.S. South and how legacies of displacement and racial segregation continue to operate long after the last vestiges of segregation were supposedly torn down.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-577
Number of pages14
JournalSoutheastern Geographer
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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