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262Southern Cultures tionize public affairs. Like other states of the former Confederacy, Louisiana produced a large number of elected black officials. With dizzying abruptness, even obdurate racists changed sides under the pressure of black votes. Flip-flops are nothing new in Louisiana politics. How durable, though, were these alliances? Fairclough relates how Governor McKeithen, who governed Louisiana from 1964 to 1972, once conducted simultaneous negotiations in the mansion with the Klan and the Bogalusa Deacons, testimony to his ability, as the author writes, "to mix political oil and water." Each party was closeted in separate rooms, oblivious of the other's presence. The mansion episode exemplifies the vulnerability of biracial politics, which balance rather than blend racial interests. When oil prices collapsed in the mid-1980s, plunging the state's patronage politics into zero-sum factionalism, Louisiana's poor whites turned on black have-nots. The economic crisis presented a strategic opening for David Duke. Despite his Republican camouflage, Duke surged to prominence by draining blue-collar white votes from the Democratic coalition. Fairclough concludes his study with Duke's two statewide campaigns, conceding that they underscore "the failure of conventional politics to bring blacks and whites together in any real sense." Nonetheless, he believes Edwin Edwards's decisive 1991 victory helped clarify the race issue after decades of obfuscation. In actuality, though, Duke scored perhaps a classic victory-in-defeat by dragging the political spectrum to the right. If Louisiana does follow the rest of the South in moving into the Republican column, the realignment is likely to deepen rather than diminish the racial polarization currently dividing cities and suburbs. Race and Democracy ends on a cautionary note: "Like politics itself, in a democracy the struggle for racial equality is a struggle without end." With the centennial of the U.S. Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 that sanctioned "separate but equal" public transportation, less than a year away, the admonition is timely. As Reconstruction attests, revolutions can go backward. Along Freedom Road: Hyde County, North Carolina, and the Fate of Black Schools in the South. By David S. Cecelski. University of North Carolina Press, 1994. 235 pp. Cloth, $32.50; paper, $14.50. Reviewed by Michele Foster, professor at the Claremont Graduate School and a former Carolina minority postdoctoral scholar at the University ofNorth Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has written extensively on the social and cultural contexts ofAfrican American education, and is currently completing a book that includes life-history nanatives ofAfrican American teachers. When Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan published their book Beyond the Melting Pot in 1963 they wrote, "Without a special language and culture and without the historical experiences that create an élan and a morale what is there to lead them to build their own life, to patronize their own. . . . The Negro is only an American. He has no values and culture to protect." Beginning in the late 1960s, scholars working within the field of African American studies challenged this assertion. Seminal work by scholars from various fields—Albert Raboteau's Slave Religion, John Szwed and Norman Whitten's edited volume Afro-American Anthropology, Robert Far- Reviews263 ris Thompson's Flash of the Spirit come to mind—carefully documented the existence of rich cultural traditions, patterns, and retentions within the African American community. Unfortunately, within the field of education, particularly in regard to studies of school desegregation, the dominant ideology has maintained that segregated black schools lacked merit. This conclusion exists despite claims of African American scholars and anecdotal comments of ordinary citizens who attended such schools and observed that African Americans managed to cultivate rich historical traditions and nurture distinctive cultural values, traditions, and orientations. With the publication of Along Freedom Road, Cecelski provides a much needed and substantial corrective to this controlling ideology. He does so by chronicling the history of the Hyde County school boycott in North Carolina. Employing the techniques of social history, Cecelski carefully combines data from numerous interviews and a variety of written documents: newspaper accounts; archives of state, federal, and national organizations; minutes from the Hyde County School Board of Education; and files from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 262-264
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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