Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

I’d like to begin by thanking my parents for telling me to be the best at what I did and for showing me the value of hard work. My ability to wake day after day and take my licks came from your example. I only wish, Dad, that you had lived to see this moment. A special thank-you goes to my uncle Stan, who convinced me to go to college...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-23

On Saturday mornings just after World War I, subscribers to the city’s leading black newspaper, the Atlanta Independent, read Captain Jackson McHenry’s weekly column, comprising equal parts gossip, political news, and opinion. Here, they would regularly encounter bits of homespun wisdom such as the one above. On the surface, the meaning of this parable...

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1. “Manhood Rights”

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pp. 24-60

The most telling indicator of the political position that the state’s black leadership found itself in was the cartoon on the front page of the Atlanta Journal on the day following the defeat of the Hardwick bill in 1899 (see figure 1). This bill, authored by state representative Thomas W. Hardwick, was modeled after similar disfranchisement bills...

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2. “To Humiliate the Progressive Negro”

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pp. 61-105

When the polls opened at 7 a.m., it was still cool outside, though the mercury would hit a steamy 92 degrees by midafternoon. Despite the heated rhetoric voiced by supporters of both Hoke Smith and Clark Howell, the day passed without incident. Throughout the day, partisans from every campaign sweated and swarmed...

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3. “Respectable Militants”

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pp. 106-147

Through the vehicle of the biracial Atlanta Civic League, the politics of respectability reasserted itself in the aftermath of the riot. While this allowed black elites to reestablish a relationship with the city’s leading white men, critics of the new dispensation were forced to choose between silence and exile. Fearing for his life, Jesse Max Barber...

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4. “Close Ranks”

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pp. 148-195

In 1917, the Neighborhood Union would recall its bittersweet victory as it fought off another attack on black public education. That year, facing unprecedented growth in the size of Atlanta’s school-age population, the city abruptly announced that it would abolish the seventh grade in the city’s thirteen black grammar schools in order to...

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5. “A Satisfied Part of Our Composite Citizenship”

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pp. 196-234

The end of World War I meant a renewal of the fight for equal schools in Atlanta. Given the inability of Atlanta’s black progressive leaders to persuade the city to address the overcrowded and unhealthy conditions in black schools, they took advantage of the city’s postwar fiscal crisis to shift their strategy from defense to offense. Since 1900, the city had relied...

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Epilogue

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pp. 235-242

Despite the magnitude of the victory in the March 1921 bond vote, the gains for the city’s black schools proved meager. Ultimately, Atlanta’s black schools only received a fraction of the money that black voters were promised in exchange for their support of the 1921 bond issue. A budget crisis caused by the extra costs of eliminating...

Notes

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pp. 243-280

Bibliography

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pp. 281-290

Index

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pp. 291-306