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America's Johannesburg and the Struggle for Civil Rights: A Critical Geography

From: Southeastern Geographer
Volume 42, Number 1, May 2002
pp. 81-93 | 10.1353/sgo.2002.0002



No American city symbolizes more than Birmingham, Alabama, the struggle for Civil Rights. After more than 40 years, the struggle continues to be a major part of the city's identity as a place What type of social movement was the Civil Rights struggle and why Birmingham, why this particular place? Is it purely coincidental that a city that became known as the most segregated city in America, "America's Johannesburg" and the place for one of the most significant battles for Civil Rights in America, also was the South's most industrial city, the "Pittsburgh of the South," the South's modern city?

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