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Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc. (Atlanta, GA 30302-3999)
Timothy J. Crimmins (Project Director: March 2011 to April 2016)
The Problem of the Color Line: Atlanta Landmarks and Civil Rights History

Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers on southern segregation and the civil rights movement in Atlanta.

"The Problem of the Color Line: Atlanta Landmarks and Civil Rights History" consists of two one-week NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops held during summer 2012 for eighty school teachers on southern segregation and the Civil Rights movement in Atlanta. The project is anchored in an observation made by W. E. B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk (1903): "The Problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." In addition to Atlanta University's Stone Hall, where Du Bois penned this famous reflection, the project uses other Atlanta sites as touchstones for examining the history of the "color line," race relations, and the Civil Rights movement in twentieth-century America. Sites include Piedmont Park, the site of Booker T. Washington's 1895 "Atlanta Compromise" speech; the residence of Alonzo Herndon, a former slave who became Atlanta's first black millionaire; the Fox Theatre, which still bears the marks of the segregation era; the State Capitol, which retains monuments to both Jim Crow and the triumph over the color line; and the Auburn Avenue National Landmark District (the site of Ebenezer Baptist Church) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Georgia State University faculty members Timothy J. Crimmins, Glenn Eskew, Clifford Kuhn, and Akinyele Umoja address such topics as the South before the color line, the debate between W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906, and race relations in Atlanta from the 1930s to the 1990s. In addition, Dana White (Emory University), Beverly Guy Sheftall (Spelman College), and Vickie Crawford (Morehouse College) lecture about patterns of segregation in Atlanta during the Jim Crow era and women in the Civil Rights movement. Readings are drawn from varied primary sources (such as Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, Ray Baker's Following the Color Line, and autobiographies by Walter White and John Lewis), secondary works (such as William Chafe's Remembering Jim Crow and Aldon Morris's Origins of the Civil Rights Movement), and literary texts (from such writers as Margaret Mitchell, Joel Chandler Harris ["Uncle Remus"], Flannery O'Connor, Alice Walker, and Tom Wolfe).

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Landmarks of American History and Culture

Education Programs

$179,997 (approved)
$179,997 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2011 – 3/31/2013