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Georgia State University

Photo of the Week: The Discomfiture of Southern Culture

Southeastern Fair, Atlanta, 1955

Significant subjects in photographs are not always apparent at first glance.  This crowd scene at the fair appears rather mundane.  A closer inspection reveals the attendees are all African-American and and the vendors are Caucasian.  Southern fairs would typically hold a “Negro Day” in order to conform to Jim Crow laws.

In The Politics of Whiteness, Georgia State University history professor Michelle Brattain reveals how working-class whites, and not just elites, actively supported segregated institutions.  This blue-collar bigotry eventually fed resistance to the civil rights movement.

What memories do you have of the segregated South?