Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies


Southern Studies

First Advisor

Andy Harper

Second Advisor

Catarina Passidomo Townes

Third Advisor

Barbara Combs

Relational Format



The city of Atlanta has long boosted itself as the city too busy to hate: a place where business and southern hospitality thrive, without the social strife associated with the rest of the region. The Sweet Auburn Curb Market is an almost-century-old municipal market located in the Old Fourth Ward, one of Atlanta’s historic inner-city neighborhoods. By taking a close look at its history, as well as the consumption practices and products associated with the space, alternate histories and stories of resistance become illuminated. Utilizing oral histories, archival research and anthropological theory to investigate the market, this thesis examines its function as a contested space within the city of Atlanta’s heralded narrative. The market’s history is delineated by time period as well as topic, focusing on its conceptualization and creation, the effects of urban renewal, and the influence of gentrification and internationalization on the space. Through this methodology, it can be seen how the Sweet Auburn Curb Market contains numerous narratives of integration within an imperiled neighborhood of a still-segregated city, as well as of a global South in a community space that remained typically relegated to a strict racial binary.



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