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Stanford Economist Gavin Wright, “The Civil Rights Revolution in the South: Who Won, Who Lost?” May 10 at PSU
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications, Portland State University
Posted: April 2, 2012

PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY | NEWS RELEASE

Stanford Economist Gavin Wright to present, “The Civil Rights Revolution in the South: Who Won, Who Lost?”

Harold Vatter Memorial Lecture at PSU May 10, 2012, 4:30 p.m.

(Portland, Ore.) April 2, 2012 — The American Civil Rights revolution has been an inspiration to oppressed minorities around the world and is now an essential component of both national and regional civic culture.

But was it also a revolution in economic life? Do such movements improve prospects for marginalized communities at the expense of others, or is there a net benefit to all members of society?

Gavin WrightStanford University’s Gavin Wright will address these topics in his invited talk, “The Civil Rights Revolution in the South: Who Won, Who Lost?”at PSU’s annual Harold Vatter Memorial Lecture.
 
WHEN: Thursday, May 10, 4:30–6:30 p.m. Gavin Wright’s talk will be followed by a question-and-answer period and a reception.

WHERE: Gathering Room, Native American Student and Community Center, Portland State University, 710 S.W. Jackson St., Portland, Ore. (Map it: http://bit.ly/NASCC-Map)

COST: This event is sponsored by the Department of Economics at Portland State University, and is free and open to the public.

ABOUT: Contrary to many pessimistic accounts, economic gains for black Southerners were real and substantial, sufficient to reverse a 50-year pattern of black migration out of the South, Wright says. He will also argue that with few exceptions Southern whites also benefited economically from desegregation. Thus the Civil Rights Revolution was not a program of redistribution, but rather reintegration of African-Americans into the economy of the South.

“Gavin Wright is one of those excellent economic historians whose work not only helps us to understand our past and the way it shapes the present—as in his notable book Old South, New South describing the one hundred year legacy of slavery for the economy of the U.S. South—but also provides insight into enduring questions relevant for the future,” said Mary King, professor of Economics at Portland State.

“In his study of the economic impact of the ‘Civil Rights Revolution,’ Professor Wright demonstrates the widespread economic benefit of inclusion, that almost everyone and the society as a whole is better off when previously marginalized groups are more fully incorporated into economic life,” King said.

Gavin Wright is the William Robertson Coe Professor of American Economic History at Stanford University, and an internationally recognized expert on topics such as American economic history; the U.S. South; technology; natural resources and economic development, and the economics of the Civil Rights revolution.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Economics (http://www.pdx.edu/econ/) at Portland State University, and is free and open to the public. Wright’s talk will be followed by a question-and-answer period and a reception.

NOTE: Wright will also lead an economics seminar on Friday, May 11, at 3 p.m., (Cramer Hall, room 150, 1721 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Ore.), at which he’ll present “Desegregating Southern Labor Markets.” This event is also free and open to the public.

The Harold Vatter Memorial Lecture was established in 2006 to honor PSU Professor of Economics Harold Goodhue Vatter, a pioneer of New Economic History. By integrating economic theory with history, Vatter achieved a level of thinking on par with the great economists. He taught at several universities, including the University of Chicago and Oregon State University, before coming to Portland State University in 1965. He passed away in 2000 at age 89.

Additional sponsors of Gavin Wright’s talk at PSU include Black Studies, History, Sociology, Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, the Portland Center for Public Humanities and the PSU Library.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (#12-031)
www.pdx.edu/news/EconLecture-GavinWright

By: David Santen, Office of University Communications
Portland State University
santend@pdx.edu | 503-725-8765

Source: Mary King, Department of Economics, Portland State University
kingm@pdx.edu | 503-725-3940