Maurice J. HobsonAssociate Professor of Africana Studies and Historian, Vice-Chair, Scholarship and Creative Advisory Board, Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora, Faculty Affiliate, Urban Studies Institute Africana Studies
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
Twentieth-Century U.S. History
Black New South Studies
African American Studies
Oral History and Ethnography
Dr. Maurice Hobson is an Associate Professor of Africana 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 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 consulting historian for the "ESPN 30 For 30: Vick," a documentary detailing the controversial career of NFL quarterback Michael Vick. Most recently, he served as a consulting producer and historian for HBO Documentaries’ "Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children," which details the dark history of the Atlanta Child Murders, where Atlanta’s most vibrant yet vulnerable population—its poor black children—were being hunted, kidnapped, murdered and left in fields around the Atlanta metro-area.
After graduating from Selma High School in Selma, Alabama, he went on to the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he was also a student-athlete, playing Fullback/H-Back for the Blazer Football team. He earned a B.A. Degree in History and African American Studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1999.
Black New South Studies
Civil and Human Rights
Southern History and Culture
Black Expressive and Popular Culture
“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.
“The King of Atlanta: Martin Luther King Jr. and Public Memory.”
“Can Atlanta’s New Mayor Revive America’s ‘Black Mecca”?”
“From Sacred Cow to Crooked Ass Jackson: An Interview with Maurice J. Hobson about The Legend of the Black Mecca.”
"All Black Everythang: Aesthetics, Anecdotes and FX's Atlanta."
"Switching Dixies: Atlanta, Neo-Confederates, and the Centennial Games."
"But for Bull Connor and Birmingham."
“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)
Historian States Income Disparity Will Eventually Drive African Americans Out of Historical Atlanta Neighborhood (April 3, 2018)
Race, Class, and Politics in Modern Atlanta as the signature Black History Month Lecture for C-Span’s American History TV (February 21, 2018)
African Clothing Stores in Atlanta Credit ‘Black Panther’ with Sales Boom (2018)
Maynard Jackson’s Family Reveals Untold Legacy in New Documentary (2018)
Georgia State University's Black History Month Faculty Spotlight (2018)
ATL Runoff Map Shows Stark Racial Divide
Still the Black Mecca as Part of the Facing Race Conference—Broadcast Worldwide (2016)
Paschal’s Restaurant a Journey behind the Soul Food—Oxford African American Studies Center (2016)
Mary Mac’s Tea Room: a journey behind the soul food – Oxford African American Studies Center (2016)
Frazier Café Society: a journey behind the soul food – Oxford African American Studies Center (2016)
A Brief and Concise History of Atlanta (2016)
The Legacy of Julian Bond (2015)
Streets by VICE: Atlanta (Ponce de Leon Ave.) (2016)
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
Atlanta Olympic Legacy 20-Years Later
What Atlanta Hip Hop Teaches us about 1996 Summer Olympics
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/