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Oral History Interview with Floyd Adams, August 16, 2002. Interview R-0168. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Floyd Adams Jr., the son of a newspaper publisher, grew up known as "Little Press Boy" in Savannah, Georgia. Adams followed his father into the publishing business, taking control of the Savannah Herald, the paper his father had published since 1949. He also found success in politics, becoming Savannah's first African American mayor in 1996 and winning reelection in 1999. In 2007, he failed in his attempt to win a third term. Adams does not discuss his political or journalistic career in this interview; instead, he describes the destruction of Currytown, a black neighborhood in Savannah that fell prey to urban renewal. The project swept out black businesses, allowing white investors to take their places; it razed black churches; and it forced out middle-class black Savannans, replacing their homes with public housing projects. He also describes contemporary urban renewal projects that, with input from community members, promised to be less destructive to Savannah's African Americans. This interview offers researchers insights to the history of African Americans in Savannah and some reflections on the complex task of keeping a city healthy.
    Excerpts
  • Urban renewal drives blacks from homes and businesses
  • Development destroys a black community
  • Church group leads community empowerment efforts
  • A new style of urban renewal and new challenges
  • Vocational education benefits black community
  • Clean Air Act clears Savannah's skies
  • The challenge of balancing growth and preservation
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.