The Geography of Hate
About the BookDuring the Great Migration, Black Americans sought new lives in midwestern small towns only to confront the pervasive efforts of white residents determined to maintain their area’s preferred cultural and racial identity. Jennifer Sdunzik explores this widespread phenomenon by examining how it played out in one midwestern community. Sdunzik merges state and communal histories, interviews and analyses of population data, and spatial and ethnographic materials to create a rich public history that reclaims Black contributions and history. She also explores the conscious and unconscious white actions that all but erased Black Americans--and the terror and exclusion used against them--from the history of many midwestern communities.
An innovative challenge to myth and perceived wisdom, The Geography of Hate reveals the socioeconomic, political, and cultural forces that prevailed in midwestern towns and helps explain the systemic racism and endemic nativism that remain entrenched in American life.
About the AuthorJennifer Sdunzik is a postdoctoral research associate at the Evaluation and Learning Research Center at Purdue University.
“An important, underemphasized history of persistent attempted settlement by Black migrants from the U.S. South to the rural and small city Midwest. The author mounts a challenge to received wisdom and even the received archive that combines the meticulous use of traditional sources with innovative research strategies. The result is a fascinating account of how terror and exclusion were cleansed from historical memory.”--David Roediger, author of The Sinking Middle Class: A Political History of Debt, Misery, and the Drift to the Right