Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Jim Crow and the New South Granite Industry in DeKalb County, Georgia Public Deposited
  • Stone Mountain’s famous monument to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy and its association with the revitalized Ku Klux Klan from its rebirth on the mountain’s summit in 1915 connected the granite mountain to a twentieth-century culture of white supremacy. Stone Mountain’s material history of work and social change that characterized the end of the nineteenth century reveals a forgotten foundation beneath the emergence of Confederate memory as the dominant interpretation of the mountain’s past and illustrates how anti-Black racism in the United States has never been limited to cultural or linguistic expressions. Specifically, processes that unfolded in DeKalb County, Georgia in the decades that followed Reconstruction connected the history of the region’s nascent granite industry with the development of Jim Crow. First, the quarrying of granite encouraged industrial and urban development, attracted workers to the region, and precipitated new ways of living and working in this landscape. Then in their efforts to build an empire of granite at the end of the nineteenth century, white capitalists embraced the burgeoning Jim Crow racial order to segregate workers and weaken the local labor movement. Ultimately, even as unions fought to organize and both white and Black workers honed their skills, the geology of granite itself provided a metaphor of the supposed permanence of the Jim Crow order and helped transform DeKalb County’s granite from a New South natural resource into a symbol of white supremacy.
Date Issued
  • 2022-04-18
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
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Commencement Year
Last Modified
  • 2022-09-14
Resource Type
Rights Statement