White Flight: The Strategies, Ideology, and Legacy of Segregationists in Atlanta

Princeton University
Published November 28, 2005
Overview 

On November 3, 2005, Dr. Kevin Kruse of Princeton University's History Department spoke at Emory University about several themes developed in his book White Flight (2005), a study of segregationists' strategies and ideologies in Atlanta. White Flight argues that the movement of whites out of southern cities from the 1940s through the 1970s was part of a broader political withdrawal prompted by the civil rights movement, and that the roots of modern southern conservatism can be found in this confrontation.

Kevin Kruse
Princeton University

Video

Part 2: Dr. Kruse explores how segregationist used "freedom of association" as a defense of segregated schools in Atlanta

Part 3: Dr. Kruse discusses resistance to desegregation via Atlanta School Board's "freedom of choice" plan and white flight

Part 4: Dr. Kruse outlines the growth of religiously affiliated private schools as a refuge for segregationists in Atlanta

Part 5: Dr. Kruse explores continued white flight from public schools and the city in the form of "suburban secessionism"

Excerpts from Question and Answer Session

Part 2: Dr. Kruse compares engagement with issues of desegregation amongst Atlanta's black population and northern cities

Part 3: Dr. Kruse contrasts Atlanta with Charlotte, NC, focusing on state laws regarding the expansion of city limits

Part 4: Dr. Kruse traces the rise of southern suburban Republican power in the 1990s as an expression of privatized white flight

Part 5: Dr. Kruse discusses a current wave of white flight from increasingly racially mixed Atlanta suburbs to whiter exurbs

Part 6: Dr. Kruse explores how many white voters refuse to support bond issues for public spaces that would desegregate the city

About the Presenter

Kevin Kruse is a scholar of the political, social, and urban/suburban history of twentieth century America with particular interest in the making of modern conservatism. Focused on conflicts over race, rights, and religion, he also studies the postwar South and modern suburbia. Raised in Nashville, Tennessee, he attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, graduating in 1994. He earned a PhD in history at Cornell University in 2000 and joined the Princeton History Department the same year. His first book, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (2005), argues that the movement of whites out of southern cities from the 1940s through the 1970s was part of a broader political withdrawal prompted by the civil rights movement, and that the roots of modern southern conservatism can be found in this confrontation. He is coeditor with Thomas Sugrue of The New Suburban History (2005), an innovative collection looking at the history of postwar suburbia in America. Currently, Professor Kruse is working on a new book on the origins of the Religious Right in American politics, from the 1950s through the 1980s.

doi:10.18737/M7NC88

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