Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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List of Figures

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p. xi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

Many individuals and institutions have made indelible imprints on this book, forwarding its interpretations, progression, and completion. Jacquelyn Hall expressed her faith in the project and its author at numerous junctures. Her careful reading of multiple drafts always disclosed an essential revelation...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

In January 1900, Congressman George H. White, representative of North Carolina’s Second Congressional District, joined a coalition of other leading blacks from thirty-six counties to oppose a proposed disfranchisement amendment. The stripping of the franchise, White stressed, would “blunt our aspirations...

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1. What Can He Do?: African-American Churchmen Confront the Black Women’s Era

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pp. 17-51

At the 1908 general meeting of the North Carolina Black Baptist Convention, corresponding secretary Calvin Scott Brown addressed the tender subject of women’s position within the church body. The question of women’s place had generated considerable debate among the churchmen in their...

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2. Solving the Boy Problem: Fashioning Boys into Respectable Race Men

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pp. 52-103

In a 1909 address before the North Carolina Baptist Sunday School Convention, President Nicholas Frank Roberts discussed the boy problem. “Is he bad?” he asked. “Is he worse now than he was forty years ago? Has the boy changed?” Roberts responded emphatically that the environment, not the boy, had...

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3. “Badge of a man”: Gender and Fraternity in North Carolina’s Black Secret Society

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pp. 104-129

At the appointed hour, Robert McRary ordered his grand marshal to assume command of the street parade. The dignified procession wearing Masonic regalia wound its way through Raleigh’s principal streets, ending the public ritual at St. Paul’s A. M. E. church. There, grand orator J. E. Dellinger shared...

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4. “Let the white man put himself in the negro’s place”: Black Men Navigate the Terrain of Race Ambassador

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pp. 130-166

In March 1904, an overflowing crowd of Asheville’s black men and women gathered at the YMI assembly hall to attend a meeting that was billed with the title “Solve the Problem.” There they received advice that the Asheville Citizen-Times described as “practical, timely, beneficial.” Using blunt and gendered language...

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Conclusion

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pp. 167-171

Though black women came into their own as an autonomous force at the end of the nineteenth century, partially because black men were stripped of their formal political identities, which made women’s work all the more visible, the degree to which black women exercised their autonomy has been overemphasized...

Notes

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pp. 173-220

Bibliography

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pp. 221-236

Index

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pp. 237-244