The Kinetic South
Outside Waco, Texas, a staged train collision from 1896 known as the "Crash at Crush" illuminates how movement and speed formed an organizing principle and perceptual framework for everyday life in the modern New South. After the Civil War, Waco remained unscarred by battles and unphased by Reconstruction. On the promise of starting anew on antebellum terms, white southerners moved to Central Texas in mass migrations that set off a boom in the region's physical and economic development. Looking at directories, city guides, and newspapers, this article traces how white southerners sacralized movement as a racialized privilege that structured their perceptions of their natural, built, and social geographies.