Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Memphis, Tennessee, was on the cutting edge of black political mobilization in the Jim Crow South. An unusually large number of black Memphians could vote compared with their counterparts in the rest of the South, and many African Americans, both in the South and elsewhere...

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1. "To Regain the Lost Rights of a Growing Race"

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pp. 13-50

W. Herbert Brewster grew up in a community “with very little opportunity” in rural West Tennessee near the small village of New Castle.1 Until a life-changing night in 1916, he had never been in an auditorium before and did not even know what one was. When he and...

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2. "The Fight . . . to Make America Safe for Americans"

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pp. 51-92

The Lincoln League’s 1916 victory at the polls inaugurated a new era of formal political mobilization for black Memphians. They also expanded their activism into new avenues such as NAACP and Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC) chapters. They pressed for...

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3. "Come . . . and See What a Negro Democrat Looks Like"

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pp. 93-136

The years from 1928 to 1939 brought new political challenges for black Memphians. The Republican Party became less attuned to African American concerns with Herbert Hoover’s election to the presidency in 1928. Edward H. Crump, who became more powerful...

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4. "As Un-American as Any Dictator-Ridden Country in Europe"

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pp. 137-174

At a time of increased political opportunities for African Americans across the country during World War II, black Memphians confronted Edward H. Crump, who attempted to further restrict their political power. At the same time, he supported their voting rights to...

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5. "A New Day Breaking" in the City and the South

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pp. 175-210

In the postwar years, Memphis saw the growing political independence of its citizens. Black Memphians joined forces with white unionists and reformers to hand Edward H. Crump his first electoral defeat in decades in 1948. Their effort resulted in the Crump machine’s...

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Conclusion

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pp. 211-220

For black Memphians, the Brown v. Board of Education ruling was a call to action. A new generation of leaders, including Maxine and Vasco Smith, Jesse Turner Sr., A. W. Willis Jr., and Russell and Laurie Sugarmon, joined Benjamin Hooks and H. T. Lockard in giving new...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 221-230

It is appropriate to begin by thanking my dissertation committee. My appreciation especially goes to my adviser, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, for all the time and intellectual energy that she poured into shaping this book. A remarkably gifted writer and editor, she generously provided...

Notes

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pp. 231-300

Bibliography

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pp. 301-326

Index

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pp. 327-356

Further Reading

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pp. 357-358

Images

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