Before Jim Crow
The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia
Publication Year: 2000
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Series: Gender and American Culture
Title Page, Copyright
I owe so many people my thanks for their support during the writing of this book that I scarcely know where to begin.The clearest debts are to institutions. Princeton University, the Virginia Historical Society, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Princeton’s Council on Regional...
In Jazz, Toni Morrison’s novel set in the Harlem of the 1920s, the narrator fills in the past of the main characters, Violet and Joe Trace. They had come to the city from Virginia in the years just before the Great War, in search of diversion and anonymity, and to get away from want...
Chapter 1. Origins of the Readjuster Movement
White southerners in the antebellum era liked to argue that racial slavery, far from being incompatible with democracy, was in fact the basis for equality among white men. ‘‘In this country alone does perfect equality of civil and social privilege exist among the white population...
Chapter 2. Expanding the Circle of Honor: The Politics of Patronage
William Mahone never intended to challenge white supremacy in Virginia. He did not mean to be, as he was later depicted by John Mercer Langston, a white Moses leading black Virginians out of the political wilderness they found themselves in after 1873.1 But the 1880 national...
Chapter 3. Drawing the Line between Public and Private: Sex, Schools, and Liberalism
As the battle over the Petersburg public schools shows, black Virginians made tangible gains under Readjuster rule. Yet black power in Petersburg, and in Virginia generally, had its limits. Despite considerable agitation on their part, African American Readjusters in the...
Chapter 4. Deference and Violence in Danville
As he finished his autobiographical Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter’s Son, William Alexander Percy—planter, writer, and (as he supposed) racial liberal and ‘‘friend of the Negro’’—fretted over the increasingly acrimonious state of race relations in the South. Published...
Chapter 5. Making Black White and White Black: The Politics of Racial Identity
Classifications—social, racial, sexual—are constantly disputed in everyday social interactions and in the civic and political sphere. Danville’s citizens argued about such classifications on sidewalks. Other Virginians clashed in more esoteric settings. Legislation and court...
Epilogue: The Voice of the People
What lessons can we draw from the defeat of the Readjusters in 1883? Certainly the potency of race as a political issue cannot be denied. As one Richmond party leader concluded in December of that year, ‘‘There is no doubt that every issue was absorbed in the one issue, [the]...
Page Count: 292
Illustrations: 4 illus., 3 maps
Publication Year: 2000
Series Title: Gender and American Culture
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