Equality is in the air we breathe: Soul City and an awakening from the American Dream

Soul City Book Cover
Soul City Book Cover

In the early 1970s, Civil Rights Attorney Floyd McKissick broke ground on a radical idea to foster economic equality. With the backing of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of North Carolina and private backers, McKissick began laying out Soul City, a planned community developed around the ideals of African American economic and political autonomy.

But Soul City’s grand vision came into conflict with the political realities of the time and its potential was never realized.

In the book Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia, author Thomas Healy takes a critical look at McKissick’s dream for Soul City, the project’s benefactors and detractors and how this all-but-forgotten chapter of the American Civil Rights movement laid bare structural iniquities that continue to haunt America today.

This conversation between Georgia College Center for Georgia Studies Director Mark Huddle and author Thomas Healy marks the seventh collaboration between WRGC 88.3 FM and the Center for Georgia Studies to present compelling conversations about history and life in the American South.

Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia is out now from Macmillan Books. You can learn more at us.macmillan.com/books/9781627798624

You can hear the full conversation at https://soundcloud.com/wrgc/equality-is-in-the-air-we-breathe-soul-city-and-an-awakening-from-the-american-dream