Most of the debates about race relations focused on the railroads of the New South. Travel was a different story, for members of both races had no choice but to use the same railroads. As the number of railroads proliferated in the 1880s, as the number of stations quickly mounted, as dozens of counties got on a line for the first time, as previously isolated areas found themselves connected to towns and cities with different kinds of black people and different kinds of race relations, segregation became a matter of statewide attention.
Copyright © 2002 Bedford/St. Martin's. This book chapter first appeared in When Did Southern Segregation Begin?
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Ayers, Edward L. "Why Were the Railroads the "Contested Terrain" of Race Relations in the Postwar South? In When Did Southern Segregation Begin, edited by John David Smith, 85-102. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002.