Sharing the Prize The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South

ISBN-10: 0674049330
ISBN-13: 9780674049338
Edition: 2013
Authors: Gavin Wright
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Description: The civil rights movement was also a struggle for economic justice, one that until now has not had its own history. Sharing the Prize demonstrates the significant material gains black southerners made—in improved job opportunities, quality of  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 2/25/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.364
Language: English

The civil rights movement was also a struggle for economic justice, one that until now has not had its own history. Sharing the Prize demonstrates the significant material gains black southerners made—in improved job opportunities, quality of education, and healthcare—from the 1960s to the 1970s and beyond. Because black advances did not come at the expense of southern whites, Gavin Wright argues, the civil rights struggle was that rarest of social revolutions: one that benefits both sides.From the beginning, black activists sought economic justice in addition to full legal rights. The southern bus boycotts and lunch counter sit-ins were famous acts of civil disobedience, but they were also demands for jobs in the very services being denied blacks. In the period of enforced desegregation following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the wages of southern black workers increased dramatically. Wright’s painstaking documentation of this fact undermines beliefs that government intervention was unnecessary, that discrimination was irrational, and that segregation would gradually disappear once the market was allowed to work. Wright also explains why white southerners defended for so long a system that failed to serve their own best interests.Sharing the Prize makes clear that the material benefits of the civil rights acts of the 1960s are as significant as the moral ones—an especially timely achievement as these monumental pieces of legislation, and the efficacy of governmental intervention more broadly, face new challenges.

Preface
Civil Rights, Economics, and the American South
The Political Economy of the Jim Crow South
Southern Business and Public Accommodations: An Economic-Historical Paradox
Desegregating Southern Labor Markets
The Economics of Southern School Desegregation
The Economic Consequences of Voting Rights
The Downside of the Civil Rights Revolution
Civil Rights Economics: Historical Context and Lessons
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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