Date of Award
This thesis analyzes the social and racial factors that contributed to the cultural significance of U.S. Highway 61. First, I explore the background of road building and transportation in the United States. Next I detail the history of convict labor in the South, from convict leasing to convict labor on roads as a result of the Good Roads Movement. Third, I describe how economic and social conditions contributed to the out-migration of southerners during the twentieth century. Lastly, I analyze how social conditions spawned the Mississippi Delta blues, and how Highway 61 became a symbol of opportunity for blues musicians.
Willcoxon, Samuel, "Highway 61: Good Roads, Great Migrations, and Delta Blues" (2019). Honors Theses. 1000.