NEH banner

Funded Projects Query Form
One match

Grant number: FZ-250371-16

Query elapsed time: 0.031 sec

Save this query
Export results to Excel

FZ-250371-16

Thomas Joseph Healy
Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ 07079-2697)

Soul City -- The Lost Dream of an American Utopia

Soul City, North Carolina, a community founded in 1969 by civil rights leader Floyd McKissick, was designed to serve as a model of black economic empowerment. This book tells the story of the city and its eventual demise in 1979, asking what this failed experiment tells us about the struggle to provide economic opportunity for all Americans.

This is a book about Soul City, N.C., an experimental community founded by civil rights leader Floyd McKissick in 1969. Located on a former slave plantation in one of the poorest areas of the country, Soul City was designed to ease overcrowding in the ghettos of the north and serve as a model of black economic empowerment. Although supported by the Nixon Administration, the city ran into opposition from conservatives who viewed it as a form of welfarism and from liberals who worried about its separatist implications. Caught between these two forces and hampered by a weak economy, Soul City struggled to fulfill its potential and was eventually shut down in 1979. Today it is a twentieth century ghost town. My book will tell the story of Soul City’s rise and fall, exploring the political, social, and economic factors that led to its demise. It will also consider what Soul City’s failure tells us about the continuing struggle to provide economic opportunity for all Americans.

Project fields:
African American History; Legal History; U.S. History

Program:
Public Scholar Program

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017