We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Before Jim Crow

The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia

Jane Dailey

Publication Year: 2000

Long before the Montgomery bus boycott ushered in the modern civil rights movement, black and white southerners struggled to forge interracial democracy in America. This innovative book examines the most successful interracial coalition in the nineteenth-century South, Virginia's Readjuster Party, and uncovers a surprising degree of fluidity in postemancipation southern politics. Melding social, cultural, and political history, Jane Dailey chronicles the Readjusters' efforts to foster political cooperation across the color line. She demonstrates that the power of racial rhetoric, and the divisiveness of racial politics, derived from the everyday experiences of individual Virginians--from their local encounters on the sidewalk, before the magistrate's bench, in the schoolroom. In the process, she reveals the power of black and white southerners to both create and resist new systems of racial discrimination. The story of the Readjusters shows how hard white southerners had to work to establish racial domination after emancipation, and how passionately black southerners fought each and every infringement of their rights as Americans. This innovative book examines the most successful interracial coalition in the nineteenth-century South, Virginia's Readjuster Party, and uncovers a surprising degree of fluidity in postemancipation southern politics. Long before the Montgomery bus boycott ushered in the modern civil rights movement, black and white southerners struggled to forge interracial democracy in America. This innovative book examines the most successful interracial coalition in the nineteenth-century South, Virginia's Readjuster Party, and uncovers a surprising degree of fluidity in postemancipation southern politics. Melding social, cultural, and political history, Jane Dailey chronicles the Readjusters' efforts to foster political cooperation across the color line. She demonstrates that the power of racial rhetoric, and the divisiveness of racial politics, derived from the everyday experiences of individual Virginians--from their local encounters on the sidewalk, before the magistrate's bench, in the schoolroom. In the process, she reveals the power of black and white southerners to both create and resist new systems of racial discrimination. The story of the Readjusters shows how hard white southerners had to work to establish racial domination after emancipation, and how passionately black southerners fought each and every infringement of their rights as Americans.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (72.4 KB)
p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (36.3 KB)
pp. 2-5

Contents, Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF (37.0 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (256.8 KB)
pp. vii-ix

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...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.3 KB)
pp. 1-14

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...

read more

Chapter 1. Origins of the Readjuster Movement

pdf iconDownload PDF (938.7 KB)
pp. 15-47

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...

read more

Chapter 2. Expanding the Circle of Honor: The Politics of Patronage

pdf iconDownload PDF (200.5 KB)
pp. 48-76

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...

read more

Chapter 3. Drawing the Line between Public and Private: Sex, Schools, and Liberalism

pdf iconDownload PDF (302.6 KB)
pp. 77-102

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...

read more

Chapter 4. Deference and Violence in Danville

pdf iconDownload PDF (321.6 KB)
pp. 103-131

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...

read more

Chapter 5. Making Black White and White Black: The Politics of Racial Identity

pdf iconDownload PDF (157.8 KB)
pp. 132-154

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...

read more

Epilogue: The Voice of the People

pdf iconDownload PDF (131.7 KB)
pp. 155-169

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]...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF (415.6 KB)
pp. 171-235

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (209.2 KB)
pp. 237-267

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (750.1 KB)
pp. 269-278


E-ISBN-13: 9781469604824
E-ISBN-10: 1469604825
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807825877
Print-ISBN-10: 0807825875

Page Count: 292
Illustrations: 4 illus., 3 maps
Publication Year: 2000

Series Title: Gender and American Culture