America's Other Civil War

Ideas

The term "coup d'état" usually applies to the violent takeover of a nation. But the phenomenon has occurred within American cities as well. In the decades after the Civil War, four American cities over four decades saw white civilians -- and officials -- attack and destroy thousands of African-American properties, businesses and lives. Contributor Melissa Gismondi examines each incident to exhume the socio-cultural dynamics at work -- and how they persist today.

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