Andrew Pope’s research explores how race, gender, and sexuality affected social movement organizing in the 20th century. His book manuscript, tentatively titled “Living in the Struggle: Black Power, Gay Liberation, and Women’s Liberation Movements in Atlanta, 1964-1996,” examines the activism of poor and working class Southerners after the Civil Rights Act made Jim Crow illegal. His research indicates that a diverse set of activists collaborated to assert control over federal antipoverty programs. This collaboration led to thousands of residents forming coalitions across racial, gender, and sexual lines to continue what they called “the struggle”: a decades long effort to make Atlanta a more just place.
In a recently published Journal of American History article, “Making Motherhood a Felony: African American Women’s Welfare Rights Activism in New Orleans & the End of Suitable Home Laws, 1959-1962,” Andrew details how African American women who received money from Aid to Dependent Children in New Orleans made the American welfare state more equitable for black women throughout the United States. The black mothers in New Orleans organized an international campaign to end onerous “suitable home” laws that state legislatures passed in the 1950s. The article demonstrates that their protests compelled mainstream civil rights organizations and the federal government to address racist welfare policies.
Last year, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for African American Urban Studies & the Economy (CAUSE). He completed his PhD at Harvard University where he studied African American history.