Abandonment in Dixie
Underdevelopment in the Black Belt
By Veronica L. Womack
A twenty-first century look at America’s Black Belt
The Black Belt region has been described as America’s Third World. Although this region has been defined historically by eminent scholars such as W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, and Arthur Raper, a new twenty-first century definition is needed to address current conditions within the region. The author specifically focuses on the rural African American population as it explores the history and experiences of this group. This group remains ravaged by poverty in the twenty-first century and continues a legacy for many that began with the importation of enslaved Africans into the region many centuries ago.Womack addresses the interdependence of political ideology, history, culture, public policy, and present-day social, political, and economic conditions that influence and encompass the Black Belt experience.A fascinating look into the political history of the region and the creation of a distinct Black Belt political culture, Womack focuses on the development of both nonviolent and Black nationalistic political ideologies, the rise of African American elected officials, as well as the influence of political conservatism and the Republican Party to explain how these factors have resulted in a distinct rural sociopolitical experience by those who live there.
Veronica L. Womack attended the University of Alabama where she received her BS in Public Relations, M.S. in Public Administration, and Ph.D. in Political Science with areas of concentration in American Politics, African-American Studies, and Public Administration. She then joined the faculty at Georgia College & State University in the Department of Government and Sociology. Womack is an associate professor of Political Science and Public Administration and the coordinator of the Master of Public Administration program. Her research areas of interest include regional poverty, public policy, and rural economic development.