I have written here before about my beloved hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama. Forgive me if you’ve read this before, but Tuskegee was unique among small rural Southern towns because of its large, well-educated, and fairly empowered Black population. I wish I could find the reference source for this data, but years ago I read that the Black-to-White ratio in Tuskegee in 1960 was 11-to-1. The principles established by the great American educator and philosopher Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute were embedded in the Black population of Tuskegee, and although they obviously struggled with statewide Jim Crow laws, they were an established economic force in Tuskegee. A devastating Black boycott of White-owned businesses in Tuskegee in the 1950’s concerning a gerrymandering issue (Gomillion v Lightfoot) guaranteed that Whites recognized the survival necessity of treating the Black population with dignity and cooperation. To say that Whites thrived in Tuskegee by keeping Blacks suppressed and subdued is to be ridiculously naïve of the reality of the situation. Anyone who approached business that way in Tuskegee would have starved. It was truly an amazing symbiotic relationship between both communities for the time – well, for any time, really. That’s why I get a little upset when I see blanket historical anecdotes related to the Civil Rights struggle that are just outright lies intended to rewrite history to fit a forced, false narrative. For example, take the German POW situation in the South during World War II.
More @ The Abbeville Institute