America's Black Capital

How African Americans Remade Atlanta in the Shadow of the Confederacy


By Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar

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$25.99 CAD



  1. ebook $19.99 $25.99 CAD
  2. Hardcover $35.00 $45.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 14, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The remarkable story of how African Americans transformed Atlanta, the former heart of the Confederacy, into today’s Black mecca  

Atlanta is home to some of America’s most prominent Black politicians, artists, businesses, and HBCUs. Yet, in 1861, Atlanta was a final contender to be the capital of the Confederacy. Sixty years later, long after the Civil War, it was the Ku Klux Klan’s sacred “Imperial City.”

America’s Black Capital chronicles how a center of Black excellence emerged amid virulent expressions of white nationalism, as African Americans pushed back against Confederate ideology to create an extraordinary locus of achievement. What drove them, historian Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar shows, was the belief that Black uplift would be best advanced by forging Black institutions. America’s Black Capital is an inspiring story of Black achievement against all odds, with effects that reached far beyond Georgia, shaping the nation’s popular culture, public policy, and politics.

  • “An illuminating and thought-provoking history of Atlanta from the 19th century to the present…Ogbar’s meticulous account is both an eye-opening reassessment of the origins of African American political power and a significant contribution to American history.”
    Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “A revealing history that points to a Black Atlanta destined to be an ever more important economic and political center.”
  • “Elegantly written and exhaustively researched, America’s Black Capital is a brilliant chronicle of both Atlanta, the Southern city, and Atlanta, the metaphor for a segment of the American experience. Here is a saga of race, aspiration, war, ambition, and the tide of history told through the story of a single metropolis. Jeffrey Ogbar has produced a book that is every bit as vital and essential as the place he writes about.”
    Jelani Cobb, coeditor of The Matter of Black Lives
  • “Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar’s America’s Black Capital is a towering achievement. It powerfully captures the dynamism of Black politics in Atlanta—in great depth and sheer brilliance. This remarkable book is an inspiring work of history in which Black people take center stage as the key architects of their own destiny.”
    Keisha N. Blain, coeditor of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Four Hundred Souls and award-winning author of Until I Am Free
  • “Jeffrey Ogbar has crafted a first-rate work of historical consciousness-raising. America’s Black Capital is a stirring testament to the generations of Black Atlantans who, from the ashes of the Confederacy, raised a bastion of Black political power and cultural excellence. A tremendous feat.”
    Peniel Joseph, author of The Third Reconstruction
  • “Spectacular! America’s Black Capital is a landmark in Black history. Jeffrey Ogbar provides an expert excavation of how Atlanta came to be seen as the ‘Black Mecca,’ including a deftly drawn origin story for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A dazzling book.”
    Gerald Horne, author of The Counter-Revolution of 1776

On Sale
Nov 14, 2023
Page Count
544 pages
Basic Books

Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar

About the Author

Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar is professor of history and founding director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music at the University of Connecticut. He earned his PhD in US history from Indiana University Bloomington and his BA in history from Morehouse College in Atlanta. He lives in Hartford, Connecticut.

Learn more about this author