The Diocese of Savannah and Desegregation, 1935-73

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Abstract

During the civil rights era, the Diocese of Savannah faced conflicting pressures from white segregationists and African Americans who were committed to overturning racial discrimination. Diocesan leaders moved cautiously, desegregating schools in tandem with public school desegregation, while taking a leading part in negotiations to desegregate public facilities in Savannah. Some black Catholics participated in the civil rights movement and many objected to the diocese closing black Catholic schools and churches on behalf of desegregation. Bishops paid little heed to African American Catholic concerns and residential segregation, reinforced by white suburban flight, limited the impact of diocesan desegregation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-311
Number of pages29
JournalCatholic historical review
Volume106
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2020

Keywords

  • African American Catholics
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • desegregation
  • Diocese of Savannah

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