Ph.D., History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009
M.A. American Studies/African American Studies, University of Alabama, 2002
B.A., History/African American Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1999
African American History
20th Century U.S. History
Oral History and Ethonography
History of Education (American South and South Africa)
Comparative Labor/Working Class History
Dr. Maurice Hobson is an Associate Professor of African American Studies and Historian at Georgia State University. He earned the Ph.D. degree in History, focusing in African American History and 20th Century U.S. History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests are grounded in the fields of African American history, 20th Century U.S. history, comparative labor, African American studies, oral history and ethnography, urban and rural history, political economy, and popular cultural studies. He is the author of award-winning book titled The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta with the University of North Carolina Press.
Dr. Hobson is a member of several organizations including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Southern Historical Association, National Council of Black Studies, Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. He has won numerous awards for scholarship, including the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. George E. Mears Memorial Scholarship, the UNCF/Andrew Mellon Faculty Fellowship and the recipient of the 2018 Book Award for Excellence in Documenting Georgia’s History, Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council the state’s advisory board to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia with respect to the Georgia Archives and historical records.
Dr. Hobson engages the social sciences and has created a new paradigm called the Black New South that explores the experiences of black folk in the American South, with national and international implications, since WWII. For this, he has served as an expert witness in court cases and as a voice of insight for public historical markers, monuments and museum exhibitions.
In popular media, Dr. Hobson was consulted for the Netflix documentary The Art of Organized Noize, which featured the Atlanta production team that changed the sound of hip-hop with their work with OutKast and Goodie Mob. Also, he was the chief historian for the documentary Maynard, which detailed the life and times of the honorable Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr., Atlanta’s first black mayor. He is also the chief historian for the forthcoming ESPN 30 For 30 documentary titled Michael Vick and Atlanta; David McMahon and Sarah Burns’ (Ken Burns’s daughter) East Lake Meadows Project, a documentary that focuses on East Lake Meadows, a former Atlanta housing project that opened in the early 1970s and faced crippling neglect and was replaced a few decades later with mixed-income housing.
Dr. Hobson has also done public works for the city of Atlanta such as the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs ELEVATE: Forever I love Atlanta (F.I.L.A.) to generate a heightened since of pride in the city and what it offers to the nation. In 2017, he wrote the 40th history of the Atlanta Jazz Festival titled “All that Jazz: Forty Years of Influence through the Atlanta Jazz Festival, A Brief and Concise History” in the official publication commemorating forty years of the Atlanta Jazz Festival titled Atlanta Jazz Festival: Forty Years.
The Black New South Studies
African American Studies
“Black Mecca or Must Unequal U.S. City: Will the Real Atlanta Please Stand Up?” As
Part of Guardian Atlanta week, The Guardian, October 22, 2018.
“Maynard the Movie.”
Featured Plenary Panelist, “Moving and Making the Beat: A Century of African American Migrations,” hosted by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Charleston, SC, October 3, 2019, C-Span (2019)
Roundtable Panel, “Music and Art in the Black Mecca: Atlanta’s Black Cultural Politics From Maynard to Keisha,” 2018 Atlanta Studies Symposium hosted by Emory University, Atlanta, GA, (April 20, 2018)
The Legacy of Julian Bond (2015)
Moderator for the “Taking a Stand: Activism Today” as a part of the National Conversation on Rights and Justice hosted by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and presented by the National Archives. C-Span (2016)
Radio Appearances and Links:
“Remembering the Life & Legacy of Civil Rights Leader Juanita Abernathy,” A Closer Look, NPR, WABE, Atlanta, GA, National Public Broadcasting, September 13, 2019
“The Economic Evolution of Atlanta’s Historic Black Neighborhoods,” A Closer Look, WABE, Atlanta Georgia, National Public Radio/Public Broadcasting Atlanta
“The Civil Rights Trail,” On Second Thought, WRAS, Atlanta, Georgia, National Public Radio/Georgia Public Broadcast
“Atlanta and ‘The Black Mecca,’” Closer Look, WABE, Atlanta, GA National Radio Affiliate
“The State of black America,” 1A NPR, WAMU, Washington, DC National Public Radio Affiliate
Selected Publications and Media Appearances
Hobson, Maurice J., The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017, 2019.
Refereed Articles and Book Chapters
Hobson, Maurice J. “Ali and Atlanta: A Love Story in the Key of the Black New South,” Phylon: The Clark Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture, Vol. 54: Iss. 1, Article 1, Summer 2017.
Hobson, Maurice J. “Tackling the Talented Tenth: Black Greek-Lettered
Organizations and the Black New South,” Book Chapter, The Black Intellectual Tradition in the United States in the Twentieth Century, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2018. (In press)
Hobson, Maurice J. “The King of Atlanta: Martin Luther King Jr. and Public Memory,” Black Perspectives, the blog of The African American Intellectual History Society, April 3, 2018.
Hobson, Maurice J. Shouldering the Burden as part of “Let’s Talk About Race: Fifty Years After King, 14 Atlantans on How Far We’ve Come—And How Far We still have to Go,” Atlanta Magazine, April 2018, pp.60-62.
Hobson, Maurice J. “All Black Everyth(A)ng: Aesthetics, Anecdotes and FX’s Atlanta,” Atlanta Studies Scholar’s Blog, Emory University, November 15, 2016.
Hobson, Maurice J. “Switching Dixies: Atlanta, Neo-Confederates and the Centennial Games,” Atlanta Studies Scholar’s Blog, Emory University, June 2015.https://www.atlantastudies.org/2015/07/09/switching-dixies-atlanta-neo-confederates-and-the-centennial-games/