The politics of urban secession
Allums, Coleman Alexander
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There is considerable and increasing public attention being paid to urban secession and the politics of cityhood in the American South. This project intervenes to explore the ways in which cityhood functions as a political project to maintain—and reproduce—racialized political and material power structures. I utilize qualitative methods to show how urban secession in Atlanta functions as a racial project in a context of organized forgetting, uniquely contoured by the neoliberal turn in American governance and policy at multiple scales in the last half century. Movements for urban secession reproduce racialized relations and spaces of power, consolidating the benefits of historical domination and marginalization and obscuring this reproduction as merely an artifact of apolitical economic reason, producing a fundamental misrecognition of the processes and histories that continue to shape space and politics in Atlanta.