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The Rural Face of White Supremacy

Beyond Jim Crow

Mark Roman Schultz

Publication Year: 2005

Now in paperback, The Rural Face of White Supremacy presents a detailed study of the daily experiences of ordinary people in rural Hancock County, Georgia. Drawing on his own interviews with over two hundred black and white residents, Mark Schultz argues that the residents acted on the basis of personal rather than institutional relationships. As a result, Hancock County residents experienced more intimate face-to-face interactions, which made possible more black agency than their urban counterparts were allowed. While they were still firmly entrenched within an exploitive white supremacist culture, this relative freedom did create a space for a range of interracial relationships that included mixed housing, midwifery, church services, meals, and even common-law marriages.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Figures

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

History lies close to the surface in Hancock. Tom Harrison, formerly of Linton, owns a rifle once used by his revolutionary ancestors. The lock and hammer are missing, removed by cautious but not malicious Union soldiers as they passed through on their way to Savannah. ...

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pp. xiii-xvi

I am deeply conscious that I am a hopeless debtor. This study would not have been possible without the support of more people than I have space to name. Although all responsibility for errors lies wholly with me, I wish to thank some of those who have contributed to the completion of this project. ...

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Introduction: A Place in Time

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pp. 1-12

We learn best about history through an ongoing dialogue between two approaches: on the one hand, overarching regional and national studies drawn from generalized sources, such as census reports and major newspapers; on the other, narrow, local, more highly textured studies. ...

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1. "Friendship Was Better than Money"

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pp. 13-43

One day in 1936 thirteen-year-old Carlton Morse was at school with his brothers and sisters. His family—black—worked on shares for a white Hancock planter. Midway through the schoolday a brother who had stayed home sick arrived with a note for Carleton to give his teacher. Before he delivered it, curiosity nudged him to open the note. ...

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2. The Other Rural Workers: Landowning and Working for Cash

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pp. 44-65

Many sharecroppers hoped that sharecropping would be a transitional stage—a rung on a ladder that would eventually lead to greater economic independence and possibly landownership. It usually didn’t work out that way. Mary Worthening’s father, a black Hancock County farmer, worked hard his entire life and never progressed beyond sharecropping. ...

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3. Beyond Segregation: The Outlines of Interracial Social Relations in Rural Hancock

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pp. 66-96

Race relations in rural Hancock County contrast sharply with our dominant image of a solidly segregated South. There, in the 1920s, it was possible to participate in an interracial social world. Children and adults could find interracial company in which to play sports, fish, hunt, or talk. ...

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4. The Solid South and the Permissive South

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pp. 97-130

Nonsegregated rural residential patterns in the age of Jim Crow led to many forms of interracial intimacy. Some, such as the play of children, are quite well known to historians, even if they have been less well examined. The interracial recreation of rural adults has been occasionally noted, although it has been even less well studied. ...

Photographs follow page 130

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5. Race, Violence, and Power in a Personal Culture

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pp. 131-174

Throughout American history, violence and the threat of violence have been the ultimate means by which European Americans have subordinated African Americans. Violence was, of course, the cornerstone on which slavery was built. ...

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6. Paternalism and Patronage: Public Power in a Personal Culture

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pp. 175-204

In 1910 this brief message in the Sparta Ishmaelite notified the people of Hancock County that Eli Barnes had passed away—and with him, their link to an earlier era in which African Americans had been public, independent actors. After having helped shape the course of government in the 1860s and again in the 1890s, ...

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Epilogue: The Rise of "Public Work"

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pp. 205-224

Hancock County turned a significant corner after World War II. Good roads and telephone lines broke into the once-isolated rural communities of rural Hancock, altering them and carrying people away, pulling them toward centers both residentially and culturally. …

Appendix A: Methods

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pp. 225-234

Appendix B: Interviews

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pp. 235-238


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pp. 239-294

General Index

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pp. 295-302

Interviewee Index

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pp. 303-305

E-ISBN-13: 9780252092367
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252074363

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2005