Dr. Harvey Jackson: The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera
Friday - November 30, 2012
About This Show
In his book, The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera, Dr. Harvey H. Jackson III traces the development of the Florida-Alabama coast as a tourist destination from the late 1920s and early 1930s, when it was sparsely populated with "small fishing villages," through to the tragic and devastating BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.
Jackson focuses on the stretch of coast from Mobile Bay and Gulf Shores, Alabama, east to Panama City, Florida—an area known as the "Redneck Riviera." Jackson explores the rise of this area as a vacation destination for the lower South's middle- and working-class families following World War II, the building boom of the 1950s and 1960s, the emergence of the Spring Break "season, and the severe hurricane destruction of the many small motels, cafes, bars, and early cottages that gave the small beach towns their essential character.
Jackson traces the tensions surrounding the gentrification of the late 1980s and 1990s and the collapse of the housing market in 2008. While his major focus is on the social, cultural, and economic development, he also documents the environmental and financial impacts of natural disasters and the politics of beach access and dune and sea turtle protection.