Borders of Equality
The NAACP and the Baltimore Civil Rights Struggle, 1914-1970
Publication Year: 2013
As a border city Baltimore made an ideal arena to push for change during the civil rights movement. It was a city in which all forms of segregation and racism appeared vulnerable to attack by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's methods. If successful in Baltimore, the rest of the nation might follow with progressive and integrationist reforms. The Baltimore branch of the NAACP was one of the first chapters in the nation and was the largest branch in the nation by 1946. The branch undertook various forms of civil rights activity from 1914 through the 1940s that later were mainstays of the 1960s movement. Nonviolent protest, youth activism, economic boycotts, marches on state capitols, campaigns for voter registration, and pursuit of anti-lynching cases all had test runs.Remarkably, Baltimore's NAACP had the same branch president for thirty-five years starting in 1935, a woman, Lillie M. Jackson. Her work highlights gender issues and the social and political transitions among the changing civil rights groups. In Borders of Equality, Lee Sartain evaluates her leadership amid challenges from radicalized youth groups and the Black Power Movement. Baltimore was an urban industrial center that shared many characteristics with the North, and African Americans could vote there. The city absorbed a large number of black economic migrants from the South, and it exhibited racial patterns that made it more familiar to Southerners. It was one of the first places to begin desegregating its schools in September 1954 after the Brown decision, and one of the first to indicate to the nation that race was not simply a problem for the Deep South. Baltimore's history and geography make it a perfect case study to examine the NAACP and various phases of the civil rights struggle in the twentieth century
Published by: University Press of Mississippi
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Title Page, Copyright
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Baltimore is a city where change would have national significance because of its proximity to Washington and because it is a border city reflecting the evils of both southern and northern forms Baltimore, Maryland, has been seen as a “town of contradictions” attrib-uted to its geography and its unusual history in the United States narra-tive. Maryland was the only Catholic colony at the time of the Declaration ...
CHAPTER ONE: The Formation of a Branch and the Early Campaigns
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...[I]nferior training condemns the Negro generally to a subordinate position and perpetuates his inferiority . . . The Negro must get absolute equality of education.The black bourgeoisie has been intimately linked to the embryonic stages of local NAACP branches across the United States. A cursory glance at any branch in the 1910s to the 1930s reveals lawyers, physicians, religious min-...
CHAPTER TWO: Class and Gender and Early Civil Rights
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From my long experience in this city with the Negro people, I am persuaded that some such plan . . . would prove most eﬀective; especially, if a brainy and energetic woman could be secured to Gender and class have emerged as the key areas of debate for academics in recent years in their discussion of civil rights. Belinda Robnett’s semi-nal text from 1996, How Long? How Long?, set the benchmark for gender ...
CHAPTER THREE: Leadership and Dr. Lillie M. Jackson
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...[H]er place in Negro community life is unquestioned. It takes a crusader like Mrs. Jackson to make Lillie May Jackson became president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP in 1935. She remained in that post until January 1970. This was exceptional for longevity of tenure and that a woman led a major branch from the New Deal to the end of the civil rights movement. She did this by ...
CHAPTER FOUR: Youth Activism and the NAACP
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...[D]on’t let anyone tell you that the Young People don’t work, for if it were not for them I could not have the success with the Baltimore Branch that we do. The Youth Council Members turned out in How to organize and sustain a youth wing of the NAACP was a peren-nial problem for the national oﬃce and its local aﬃliates. Firstly, it was an issue of how to attract younger people into an organization dominated ...
CHAPTER FIVE: The Age of Brown and Agnew
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Entering the civil rights era, the Baltimore NAACP branch proved itself an essential part of the national strategy to attain civic and educational equality. Its robust local activism meant that it was in a position to push Maryland into being the “first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line” to accept the Brown decision (1954) and to demand integration across a ...
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On December 16, 1969, the Baltimore branch of the NAACP held its first unpredictable election for the post of president in the 55 years of its exis-tence. Lillie Jackson was 80 years old and had finally decided it was time to retire from frontline NAACP activism. But the family ambition remained and she wished for control of the branch to be transferred to her second ...
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Year Total Population Black Population age black Place in top tenSource: Campbell, Population of the 100th Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790–1990,LIST OF BALTIMORE NAACP BRANCH PRESIDENTS AND THEIR OCCUPATIONS, 191470...
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies