Andrew W. Kahrl

discusses

The Land Was Ours:
African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South

This event includes a book signing

Date

Apr
27
Friday
April 27, 2012
3:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome professor ANDREW W. KAHRL for a discussion of The Land Was Ours: African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South.

Driving along the coasts of the American South, we see miles of luxury condominiums, timeshare resorts, and gated communities. Yet, a century ago, a surprising amount of beachfront property in the Chesapeake, along the Carolina shore, and around the Gulf of Mexico was owned and populated by African Americans. In a pathbreaking combination of social and environmental history, Andrew W. Kahrl shows how the rise and fall of Jim Crow and the growing prosperity of the Sunbelt have transformed both communities and ecosystems along the southern seaboard. 

Kahrl traces the history of these dynamic coastlines in all their incarnations, from unimproved marshlands to segregated beaches, from exclusive resorts for the black elite to campgrounds for religious revival. His careful reconstruction of African American life, labor, and leisure in small oceanside communities reveals the variety of ways African Americans pursued freedom and mobility through the land under their feet. 

The Land Was Ours makes unexpected connections between two seemingly diverse topics: African Americans' struggles for economic empowerment and the ecology of coastal lands. Kahrl's innovative approach allows him fresh insights into the rise of African American consumers and the widespread campaigns to dispossess blacks of their property. His skillful portrayal of African American landowners and real-estate developers rescues the stories of these architects of the southern landscape from historical neglect. Ultimately, Kahrl offers readers a thoughtful, judicious appraisal of the ambiguous legacy of racial progress in the Sunbelt.

Andrew Kahrl
Andrew Kahrl

Andrew Kahrl

Andrew W. Kahrl is an assistant professor of history at Marquette University. He received his Ph.D. in history from Indiana University in 2008. Kahrl has received fellowships and support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the North Caroliniana Society, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina, and the John Hope Franklin Research Center at Duke University, and is the recipient of 2007 Louis Pelzer Memorial Award from the Organization of American Historians. Articles based on his research have been published in the Journal of American History and the Journal of Social History.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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