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Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory (Center Books on the American South)
by:Owen J. Dwyer, Derek H. Alderman
The creation of memorials dedicated to the civil rights movement is a watershed event in the commemoration of southern and American history, an important reversal in the traditional invisibility of African Americans within the preservation movement. Collective memory, to be sure, is certainly about honoring the past--whether it is Martin Luther King Jr.'s...
The creation of memorials dedicated to the civil rights movement is a watershed event in the commemoration of southern and American history, an important reversal in the traditional invisibility of African Americans within the preservation movement. Collective memory, to be sure, is certainly about honoring the past--whether it is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthplace in Atlanta or the memorial to Rosa Parks in Montgomery--but it is also about the ongoing campaign for civil rights and the economic opportunities associated with heritage tourism. Owen Dwyer and Derek Alderman use extensive archival research, personal interviews, and compelling photography to examine memorials as cultural landscapes, interpreting them in the context of the movement's broader history and its current scene. In paying close attention to which stories, people, and places are remembered and which are forgotten, the authors present an unforgettable story. As Dwyer and Alderman illustrate, there are reasons why memorials are not often located at the traditional core of civic space--City Hall, the Courthouse, or along Main Street--and location seriously affects their public impact. As the authors reveal, social and geographic marginalization has accompanied the creation and promotion of civil rights memorials, calling into question the relative progress that society has made in the time since the civil rights movement in America began. A volume in the Center Books on the American South series, George F. Thompson, series founder and director www.americanplaces.org
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