Sites of Danger and Risk: African Americans Return to the Rural South
In this chapter, the author describes Anthony Giddens’ conceptions of the dangers of modern, urban places, which he compares to the safety of the hinterlands. The migrations of African Americans along well worn paths between urban and rural locations in the North and South provide a fulcrum for constructing connections between rural and urban. The South, which held untold grief and suffering for African Americans, has become a new promise to many urban dwellers. African Americans in the United States are participants in the unexpected twentieth century drama. Why African Americans are returning to rural southern communities is an exploration linked to many larger issues and global trends that seed the contradictions facing urban industrial sectors. One of the main stories in the post-war economy of the United States, especially as it affects African American working men and women, has been the decline in importance of goods production, especially in the regions of the North that were traditionally manufacturing-intensive.