How Black and White Southern Children Learned Race
Author: Jennifer Ritterhouse
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Category: Social Science
In the segregated South of the early twentieth century, unwritten rules guided every aspect of individual behavior, from how blacks and whites stood, sat, ate, drank, walked, and talked to whether they made eye contact with one another. Jennifer Ritterhouse asks how children learned this racial "etiquette," which was sustained by coercion and the threat of violence. More broadly, she asks how individuals developed racial self-consciousness. Parental instruction was an important factor--both white parents' reinforcement of a white supremacist worldview and black parents' oppositional lessons in respectability and race pride. Children also learned much from their interactions across race lines. The fact that black youths were often eager to stand up for themselves, despite the risks, suggests that the emotional underpinnings of the civil rights movement were in place long before the historical moment when change became possible. Meanwhile, a younger generation of whites continued to enforce traditional patterns of domination and deference in private, while also creating an increasingly elaborate system of segregation in public settings. Exploring relationships between public and private and between segregation, racial etiquette, and racial violence, Growing Up Jim Crow sheds new light on tradition and change in the South and the meanings of segregation within southern culture.
Growing Up in the South with Jim Crow and All His Kinfolk
Author: Andrew Johnson
Publisher: Joseph Naeem
The concept of Jim Crow, or rather the written and unwritten racist codes and laws used to oppress black people, can be abstract to most. Or something that may have only affected people under it every once in a while. However, if you were a poor, single parent, Black family in the 50's, Jim Crow and his 'kin folk' permeated every part of your existence. In his narrative, Andrew Johnson tells the story of his family's sojourn under this system. Told from the prospective of being the youngest child of ten, the reader is taken through stories that will bring tears, laughter and pride. Yes. Jim Crow was an awful scourge on this family as well as the country. However, through this book, the family through tears and terror shall triumph and show the reader how 'Momma Slapped Jim Crow.'
"These writings are portraits of light and dark and the bittersweet realities of childhood and adolescence. Stories reveal how the joy of black-white friendships gives way to larger cultural forces and the necessary secrets and behaviors that keep the scaffolding of everyday life from toppling. A trip to see her father late in his life opens long buried wounds and questions about the family, childhood experiences and the corrosiveness of secrets and denials. Her essays dare to look at the past in sweet and unsweet ways, careful to let go of nostalgia when trumped by later insights. She holds on to what she finds true and though the costs of truth seeking are great, we come to see the mirror of her life constantly changing as she adds insight to inform what she sees reflected back to her. Would that we could do the same, and stand before a mirror that more accurately reveals what we dare to learn." - Kendall Dudley
A bravely honest and richly detailed account of life in Jim Crow Memphis on the white side of the color line in the turmoil of the Sanitation Workers' Strike and the Viet Nam war. One woman's dogma-defying 1950's childhood and 1960's coming-of-age in the midst of a large Irish-Catholic family in the Baptist Bible Belt.
African American Women and Memories of the Segregated South
Author: L. Brown,A. Valk
Using first-person narratives collected through oral history interviews, this groundbreaking book collects black women's memories of their public and private lives during the period of legal segregation in the American South.
Struggling Through the Legacy of Slavery and Jim Crow Segregation
Author: Garnett S. Huguley
Category: Family & Relationships
I was born in a small Kentucky town named, “Richmond”. I had no concept of color or cultural differences during the first four years of my life. The one common background of African Americans is our Antebellum Slave heritage. Antebellum Slavery replaced the culture of African people brought into the system with a new aberrant slave culture. Remnants of this culture appear to exist in the modern African American culture due to the continued isolation of the culture during Jim Crow Segregation. I found these remnants were in me. I was subjected to many of the negative images of race during my early life in Jim Crow Segregation. Initially my scope of our race, self –perception, and self-definition were affected by the molding of Jim Crow Segregation. My experience again demonstrated to me that self-determination is the best possible scenario for success in life. We can prosper by embracing the positives of the American culture and benefit from the “American Dream”. I survived the violence, social and psychological impacts of Jim Crow Segregation. I resisted the social and psychological molding of Jim Crow Segregation therefore; I am not the product of Jim Crow Segregation. I am not perpetuating the legacy of Antebellum Slavery or Jim Crow Segregation in everyday life. I am proud of my heritage. Genetically I am African, Welsh English-Caucasian and Cherokee-Native American. I am an American.
Die Wahl von Barack Obama im November 2008 markierte einen historischen Wendepunkt in den USA: Der erste schwarze Präsident schien für eine postrassistische Gesellschaft und den Triumph der Bürgerrechtsbewegung zu stehen. Doch die Realität in den USA ist eine andere. Obwohl die Rassentrennung, die in den sogenannten Jim-Crow-Gesetzen festgeschrieben war, im Zuge der Bürgerrechtsbewegung abgeschafft wurde, sitzt heute ein unfassbar hoher Anteil der schwarzen Bevölkerung im Gefängnis oder ist lebenslang als kriminell gebrandmarkt. Ein Status, der die Leute zu Bürgern zweiter Klasse macht, indem er sie ihrer grundsätzlichsten Rechte beraubt – ganz ähnlich den explizit rassistischen Diskriminierungen der Jim-Crow-Ära. In ihrem Buch, das in Amerika eine breite Debatte ausgelöst hat, argumentiert Michelle Alexander, dass die USA ihr rassistisches System nach der Bürgerrechtsbewegung nicht abgeschafft, sondern lediglich umgestaltet haben. Da unter dem perfiden Deckmantel des »War on Drugs« überproportional junge männliche Schwarze und ihre Communities kriminalisiert werden, funktioniert das drakonische Strafjustizsystem der USA heute wie das System rassistischer Kontrolle von gestern: ein neues Jim Crow.
This book tells the story of how people struggled to define, reform, and overturn racial etiquette as a social guide for Southern Rhodesian politics. Underlying what appears to be a static history of racial etiquette is a dynamic narrative of anxieties over racial, gender, and generational status. From the outlawing of "insolence" toward officials to a last-ditch "courtesy campaign" in the early 1960s, white elites believed that their nimble use of racial etiquette would contain Africans' desire for social and political change. In turn, Africans mobilized around stories of racial humiliation. Allison Shutt's research provides a microhistory of the changing discourse about manners and respectability in Southern Rhodesia that by the 1950s had become central to fiercely contested political positions and nationalist tactics. Intense debates among Africans and whites alike over the deployment of courtesy and rudeness reveal the social-emotional tensions that contributed to political mobilization on the part of nationalists and the narrowing of options for the course of white politics. Drawing on public records, legal documents, and firsthand accounts, this first book-length history of manners in twentieth-century colonial Africa provides a compelling new model for understanding politics and culture through the prism of etiquette. Allison K. Shutt is professor of history at Hendrix College.
ITLL ALL COME OUT IN THE WASH is a vivid account of a tenderfoot Negro girls negative experiences while coming of age under Jim Crow laws. Deeply depressed by what she perceived to be a national disaffection for Negro children, debilitating physical and emotional symptoms asserted themselves in the authors early childhood and continued unabated into maturity. In an effort to manage her frequent bouts with depression, she would eventually seek mental health therapy as an adult. A book of many genres, this memoir is chock-full of nostalgia, situational humor, melancholy, loving family portraits, short stories, and philosophical musings on the pernicious effects of racial insensitivity. 2010 Semi Finalist Library of Virginia People's Choice Award
Wenn in den USA schwarze Teenager von Polizisten ermordet werden, ist das nur ein Problem von individueller Verfehlung? Nein, denn rassistische Gewalt ist fest eingewebt in die amerikanische Identität – sie ist das, worauf das Land gebaut ist. Afroamerikaner besorgten als Sklaven seinen Reichtum und sterben als freie Bürger auf seinen Straßen. In seinem schmerzhaften, leidenschaftlichen Manifest verdichtet Ta-Nehisi Coates amerikanische und persönliche Geschichte zu einem Appell an sein Land, sich endlich seiner Vergangenheit zu stellen. Sein Buch wurde in den USA zum Nr.-1-Bestseller und ist schon jetzt ein Klassiker, auf den sich zukünftig alle Debatten um Rassismus beziehen werden.
During the turbulent 1960s, civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr. devised a new and effective strategy to achieve equality for African Americans. Young blended interracial mediation with direct protest, demonstrating that these methods pursued together were the best tactics for achieving social, economic, and political change. Militant Mediator is a powerful reassessment of this key and controversial figure in the civil rights movement. It is the first biography to explore in depth the influence Young's father, a civil rights leader in Kentucky, had on his son. Dickerson traces Young's swift rise to national prominence as a leader who could bridge the concerns of deprived blacks and powerful whites and mobilize the resources of the white America to battle the poverty and discrimination at the core of racial inequality. Alone among his civil rights colleagues -- Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, John Lewis, and James Forman -- Young built support from black and white constituencies. As a National Urban League official in the Midwest and as a dean of the School of Social Work at Atlanta University during the 1940s and 1950s, Young developed a strategy of mediation and put it to work on a national level upon becoming the executive director of the League in 1961. Though he worked with powerful whites, Young also drew support from middle-and working-class blacks from religious, fraternal, civil rights, and educational organizations. As he navigated this middle ground, though, Young came under fire from both black nationalists and white conservatives.
The Roots of Jewish Benevolence in the Jim Crow South
Author: Caroline E. Light
Publisher: NYU Press
“It has ever been the boast of the Jewish people, that they support their own poor,” declared Kentucky attorney Benjamin Franklin Jonas in 1856. “Their reasons are partly founded in religious necessity, and partly in that pride of race and character which has supported them through so many ages of trial and vicissitude.” In That Pride of Race and Character, Caroline E. Light examines the American Jewish tradition of benevolence and charity and explores its southern roots. Light provides a critical analysis of benevolence as it was inflected by regional ideals of race and gender, showing how a southern Jewish benevolent empire emerged in response to the combined pressures of post-Civil War devastation and the simultaneous influx of eastern European immigration. In an effort to combat the voices of anti-Semitism and nativism, established Jewish leaders developed a sophisticated and cutting-edge network of charities in the South to ensure that Jews took care of those considered “their own” while also proving themselves to be exemplary white citizens. Drawing from confidential case files and institutional records from various southern Jewish charities, the book relates how southern Jewish leaders and their immigrant clients negotiated the complexities of “fitting in” in a place and time of significant socio-political turbulence. Ultimately, the southern Jewish call to benevolence bore the particular imprint of the region’s racial mores and left behind a rich legacy.
The Frontier Nursing Service and Rural Health in Appalachia
Author: Melanie Beals Goan
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In 1925 Mary Breckinridge (1881-1965) founded the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS), a public health organization in eastern Kentucky providing nurses on horseback to reach families who otherwise would not receive health care. Through this public health organization, she introduced nurse-midwifery to the United States and created a highly successful, cost-effective model for rural health care delivery that has been replicated throughout the world. In this first comprehensive biography of the FNS founder, Melanie Beals Goan provides a revealing look at the challenges Breckinridge faced as she sought reform and the contradictions she embodied. Goan explores Breckinridge's perspective on gender roles, her charisma, her sense of obligation to live a life of service, her eccentricity, her religiosity, and her application of professionalized, science-based health care ideas. Highly intelligent and creative, Breckinridge also suffered from depression, was by modern standards racist, and fought progress as she aged--sometimes to the detriment of those she served. Breckinridge optimistically believed that she could change the world by providing health care to women and children. She ultimately changed just one corner of the world, but her experience continues to provide powerful lessons about the possibilities and the limitations of reform.
This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture addresses the cultural, social, and intellectual terrain of myth, manners, and historical memory in the American South. Evaluating how a distinct southern identity has been created, recreated, and performed through memories that blur the line between fact and fiction, this volume paints a broad, multihued picture of the region seen through the lenses of belief and cultural practice. The 95 entries here represent a substantial revision and expansion of the material on historical memory and manners in the original edition. They address such matters as myths and memories surrounding the Old South and the Civil War; stereotypes and traditions related to the body, sexuality, gender, and family (such as debutante balls and beauty pageants); institutions and places associated with historical memory (such as cemeteries, monuments, and museums); and specific subjects and objects of myths, including the Confederate flag and Graceland. Together, they offer a compelling portrait of the "southern way of life" as it has been imagined, lived, and contested.
Reference by Thomas C. Holt,Laurie Beth Green,Charles Reagan Wilson
Author: Thomas C. Holt,Laurie Beth Green,Charles Reagan Wilson
Publisher: UNC Press Books
There is no denying that race is a critical issue in understanding the South. However, this concluding volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture challenges previous understandings, revealing the region's rich, ever-expanding diversity and providing new explorations of race relations. In 36 thematic and 29 topical essays, contributors examine such subjects as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Japanese American incarceration in the South, relations between African Americans and Native Americans, Chinese men adopting Mexican identities, Latino religious practices, and Vietnamese life in the region. Together the essays paint a nuanced portrait of how concepts of race in the South have influenced its history, art, politics, and culture beyond the familiar binary of black and white.
Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality
Author: Eric ARNESEN,Eric Arnesen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Category: Social Science
From the time the first tracks were laid in the early nineteenth century, the railroad has occupied a crucial place in America's historical imagination. Now, for the first time, Eric Arnesen gives us an untold piece of that vital American institution--the story of African Americans on the railroad. African Americans have been a part of the railroad from its inception, but today they are largely remembered as Pullman porters and track layers. The real history is far richer, a tale of endless struggle, perseverance, and partial victory. In a sweeping narrative, Arnesen re-creates the heroic efforts by black locomotive firemen, brakemen, porters, dining car waiters, and redcaps to fight a pervasive system of racism and job discrimination fostered by their employers, white co-workers, and the unions that legally represented them even while barring them from membership. Decades before the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the mid-1950s, black railroaders forged their own brand of civil rights activism, organizing their own associations, challenging white trade unions, and pursuing legal redress through state and federal courts. In recapturing black railroaders' voices, aspirations, and challenges, Arnesen helps to recast the history of black protest and American labor in the twentieth century. Table of Contents: Prologue 1. Race in the First Century of American Railroading 2. Promise and Failure in the World War I Era 3. The Black Wedge of Civil Rights Unionism 4. Independent Black Unionism in Depression and War 5. The Rise of the Red Caps 6. The Politics of Fair Employment 7. The Politics of Fair Representation 8. Black Railroaders in the Modern Era Conclusion Notes Acknowledgments Index Reviews of this book: In this superbly written monograph, Arnesen...shows how African American railroad workers combined civil rights and labor union activism in their struggles for racial equality in the workplace...Throughout, black locomotive firemen, porters, yardmen, and other railroaders speak eloquently about the work they performed and their confrontations with racist treatment...This history of the 'aristocrats' of the African American working class is highly recommended. --Charles L. Lumpkins, Library Journal Reviews of this book: Arnesen provides a fascinating look at U.S. labor and commerce in the arena of the railroads, so much a part of romantic notions about the growth of the nation. The focus of the book is the troubled history of the railroads in the exploitation of black workers from slavery until the civil rights movement, with an insightful analysis of the broader racial integration brought about by labor activism. --Vanessa Bush, Booklist Reviews of this book: [An] exhaustive and illuminating work of scholarship. --Publishers Weekly Reviews of this book: Arnesen tells a story that should be of interest to a variety of readers, including those who are avid students of this country's railroads. He knows his stuff, and furthermore, reminds us of how dependent American railroads were on the backbreaking labor of racial and ethnic groups whose civil and political status were precarious at best: Irish, Chinese, Mexicans and Italians, as well as African-Americans. But Arnesen's most powerful and provocative argument is that the nature of discrimination not only led black railroad workers to pursue the path of independent unionism, it also propelled them into the larger struggle for civil rights. --Steven Hahn, Chicago Tribune
Author: Marjorie Julian Spruill,Valinda W. Littlefield,Joan Marie Johnson
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Covering an era from the early twentieth century to the present, this volume features twenty-seven South Carolina women of varied backgrounds whose stories reflect the ever-widening array of activities and occupations in which women were engaged in a transformative era that included depression, world wars, and dramatic changes in the role of women. Some striking revelations emerge from these biographical portraits--in particular, the breadth of interracial cooperation between women in the decades preceding the civil rights movement and ways that women carved out diverse career opportunities, sometimes by breaking down formidable occupational barriers. Some women in the volume proceeded cautiously, working within the norms of their day to promote reform even as traditional ideas about race and gender held powerful sway. Others spoke out more directly and forcefully and demanded change. Most of the women featured in these essays were leaders within their respective communities and the state. Many of them, such as Wil Lou Gray, Hilla Sheriff, and Ruby Forsythe, dedicated themselves to improving the quality of education and health care for South Carolinians. Septima Clark, Alice Spearman Wright, Modjeska Simkins, and many others sought to improve conditions and obtain social justice for African Americans. Others, including Victoria Eslinger and Tootsie Holland, were devoted to the cause of women's rights. Louise Smith, Mary Elizabeth Massey, and Mary Blackwell Butler entered traditionally male-dominated fields, while Polly Woodham and Mary Jane Manigault created their own small businesses. A few, including Mary Gordon Ellis, Dolly Hamby, and Harriet Keyserling exercised political influence. Familiar figures like Jean Toal, current chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, are included, but readers also learn about lesser-known women such as Julia and Alice Delk, sisters employed in the Charleston Naval Yard during World War II.
Finalist for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism: from Agee to Astaire, Steinbeck to Ellington, the creative energies of the Depression against a backdrop of poverty and economic disaster. Only yesterday the Great Depression seemed like a bad memory, receding into the hazy distance with little relevance to our own flush times. Economists assured us that the calamities that befell our grandparents could not happen again, yet the recent economic meltdown has once again riveted the world’s attention on the 1930s. Now, in this timely and long-awaited cultural history, Morris Dickstein, whom Norman Mailer called “one of our best and most distinguished critics of American literature,” explores the anxiety and hope, the despair and surprising optimism of a traumatized nation. Dickstein’s fascination springs from his own childhood, from a father who feared a pink slip every Friday and from his own love of the more exuberant side of the era: zany screwball comedies, witty musicals, and the lubricious choreography of Busby Berkeley. Whether analyzing the influence of film, design, literature, theater, or music, Dickstein lyrically demonstrates how the arts were then so integral to the fabric of American society. While any lover of American literature knows Fitzgerald and Steinbeck, Dickstein also reclaims the lives of other novelists whose work offers enduring insights. Nathanael West saw Los Angeles as a vast dream dump, a Sargasso Sea of tawdry longing that exposed the pinched and disappointed lives of ordinary people, while Erskine Caldwell, his books Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre festooned with lurid covers, provided the most graphic portrayal of rural destitution in the 1930s. Dickstein also immerses us in the visions of Zora Neale Hurston and Henry Roth, only later recognized for their literary masterpieces. Just as Dickstein radically transforms our understanding of Depression literature, he explodes the prevailing myths that 1930s musicals and movies were merely escapist. Whether describing the undertone of sadness that lurks just below the surface of Cole Porter’s bubbly world or stressing the darker side of Capra’s wildly popular films, he shows how they delivered a catharsis of pain and an evangel of hope. Dickstein suggests that the tragic and comic worlds of Broadway and Hollywood preserved a radiance and energy that became a bastion against social suffering. Dancing in the Dark describes how FDR’s administration recognized the critical role that the arts could play in enabling “the helpless to become hopeful, the victims to become agents.” Along with the WPA, the photography unit of the FSA represented a historic partnership between government and art, and the photographers, among them Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, created the defining look of the period. The symbolic end to this cultural flowering came finally with the New York World’s Fair of 1939–40, a collective event that presented a vision of the future as a utopia of streamlined modernity and, at long last, consumer abundance. Retrieving the stories of an entire generation of performers and writers, Dancing in the Dark shows how a rich, panoramic culture both exposed and helped alleviate the national trauma. This luminous work is a monumental study of one of America’s most remarkable artistic periods.