Paperback / softback
July 7, 2014
maps, graphs, tables
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
.61 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD, £21.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Separate City

Black Communities in the Urban South, 1940-1968

A ground-breaking collaborative study merging perspectives from history, political science, and urban planning, The Separate City is a trenchant analysis of the development of the African-American community in the urban South. While similar in some respects to the racially defined ghettos of the North, the districts in which southern blacks lived from the pre-World War II era to the mid-1960s differed markedly from those of their northern counterparts. The African- American community in the South was (and to some extent still is) a physically expansive, distinct, and socially heterogeneous zone within the larger metropolis. It found itself functioning both politically and economically as a "separate city"—a city set apart from its predominantly white counterpart.

Within the separate city itself, internal conflicts reflected a structural divide between an empowered black middle class and a larger group comprising the working class and the disadvantaged. Even with these conflicts, the South's new black leadership gained political control in many cities, but it could not overcome the economic forces shaping the metropolis. The persistence of a separate city admitted to the profound ineffectiveness of decades of struggle to eliminate the racial barriers with which southern urban leaders—indeed all urban America—continue to grapple today.

About the Authors

Christopher Silver is associate dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University.

John V. Moeser is chairman of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University.


"An ambitious and informative investigation of African American community and political culture in the three distinct urban settings of Richmond, Atlanta, and Memphis."—Choice

"The Separate City is a fine work of comparative urban history valuable especially for its careful documentation of how public policy and community activism make a difference in both creating and solving problems."—Journal of Southern History

"Their book ambitiously weds themes of urban redevelopment, racial change, and emergent black political power. It is a provocative, pioneering effort that will undoubtedly stimulate further inquiry."—American Historical Review

9780813156255 : the-separate-city-silver-moeser
Paperback / softback
232 Pages
$45.00 USD

Other Titles in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural Heritage

The Horses Pulled Me Back To Them

Aubrey Dawne Edwards
Aug 2020 - University of New Orleans Press
$30.00 USD - Hardback

The Tao of Raven

Ernestine Hayes
Feb 2019 - University of Washington Press
$26.95 USD - Hardback
$18.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Roy Wilkins

Yvonne Ryan
Mar 2018 - University Press of Kentucky
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback