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Documenting and Challenging Death Penalty Cases in the Civil Rights Era
A Study of a Southern City
Once known as a Democratic stronghold, the "Solid South" is now politically dominated by the Republican Party. With frank and provocative analysis, Matthew Corrigan explores how the interaction of race relations, economic isolation, and religion create a unique set of challenges and opportunities for the majority party in the American South.
Corrigan uses an intensive case study of Jacksonville, Florida, to examine the attitudes of southern voters more broadly. As an urban southern city that now votes solidly Republican, it reflects the political changes that have taken place across the region. Drawing on research that includes over 2,000 surveys and interviews, Corrigan considers whether or not Republicans, who now hold a majority of federal offices in the South, can provide a political system to address the region's problems.
Scholars, pundits, and members of the general public from both political parties will find this book accessible and timely.
Whether their slogan is “compassionate conservatism” or “hawkish liberalism,” political parties have always sought to expand their electoral coalitions by making minor adjustments to their public image. How do voters respond to these, often short-term, campaign appeals? Race, Republicans, and the Return of the Party of Lincoln is Tasha Philpot’s insightful study of how parties use racial images to shape and reshape the way citizens perceive them. “Philpot has produced a timely, provocative, and nuanced analysis of political party image change, using the Republican Party’s attempts to recast itself as a party sensitive to issues of race with its 2000, and later 2004, national conventions as case examples. Using a mixture of experiments, focus groups, national surveys, and analyses of major national and black newspaper articles, Philpot finds that if race-related issues are important to individuals, such as blacks, the ability of the party to change its image without changing its political positions is far more difficult than it is among individuals who do not consider race-related issues important, e.g., whites. This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of party image in general, and political parties’ use of race in particular. Bravo!” —Paula D. McClain, Duke University “This book does an excellent job of illuminating the linkages between racial images and partisan support. By highlighting Republican efforts to ‘play against type’ Philpot emphasizes the limits of successfully altering partisan images. That she accomplishes this in the controversial, yet salient, domain of race is no small feat. In short, by focusing on a topical issue, and by adopting a novel theoretical approach, Philpot is poised to make a significant contribution to the literatures on race and party images.” —Vincent Hutchings, University of Michigan Tasha S. Philpot is Assistant Professor of Government and African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
In British Colonial Africa
Conceived by General Sir Robert Baden-Powell as a way to reduce class tensions in Edwardian Britain, scouting evolved into an international youth movement. It offered a vision of romantic outdoor life as a cure for disruption caused by industrialization and urbanization. Scouting's global spread was due to its success in attaching itself to institutions of authority. As a result, scouting has become embroiled in controversies in the civil rights struggle in the American South, in nationalist resistance movements in India, and in the contemporary American debate over gay rights.
In Race, Resistance, and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa, Timothy Parsons uses scouting as an analytical tool to explore the tensions in colonial society. Introduced by British officials to strengthen their rule, the movement targeted the students, juvenile delinquents, and urban migrants who threatened the social stability of the regime. Yet Africans themselves used scouting to claim the rights of full imperial citizenship. They invoked the Fourth Scout Law, which declared that a scout was a brother to every other scout, to challenge racial discrimination.
Parsons shows that African scouting was both an instrument of colonial authority and a subversive challenge to the legitimacy of the British Empire. His study of African scouting demonstrates the implications and far-reaching consequences of colonial authority in all its guises.
Historical Case Studies
Four cases in which the legal issue was “race” — that of a Chinese restaurant owner who was fined for employing a white woman; a black man who was refused service in a bar; a Jew who wanted to buy a cottage but was prevented by the property owners’ association; and a Trinidadian of East Indian descent who was acceptable to the Canadian army but was rejected for immigration on grounds of “race” — drawn from the period between 1914 and 1955, are intimately examined to explore the role of the Supreme Court of Canada and the law in the racialization of Canadian society. With painstaking research into contemporary attitudes and practices, Walker demonstrates that Supreme Court Justices were expressing the prevailing “common sense” about “race” in their legal decisions. He shows that injustice on the grounds of “race” has been chronic in Canadian history, and that the law itself was once instrumental in creating these circumstances. The book concludes with a controversial discussion of current directions in Canadian law and their potential impact on Canada’s future as a multicultural society.
The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America
Throughout the twentieth century, African Americans challenged segregation at amusement parks, swimming pools, and skating rinks not only in pursuit of pleasure but as part of a wider struggle for racial equality. Well before the Montgomery bus boycott, mothers led their children into segregated amusement parks, teenagers congregated at forbidden swimming pools, and church groups picnicked at white-only parks. But too often white mobs attacked those who dared to transgress racial norms. In Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters, Victoria W. Wolcott tells the story of this battle for access to leisure space in cities all over the United States.
Contradicting the nostalgic image of urban leisure venues as democratic spaces, Wolcott reveals that racial segregation was crucial to their appeal. Parks, pools, and playgrounds offered city dwellers room to exercise, relax, and escape urban cares. These gathering spots also gave young people the opportunity to mingle, flirt, and dance. As cities grew more diverse, these social forms of fun prompted white insistence on racially exclusive recreation. Wolcott shows how black activists and ordinary people fought such infringements on their right to access public leisure. In the face of violence and intimidation, they swam at white-only beaches, boycotted discriminatory roller rinks, and picketed Jim Crow amusement parks. When African Americans demanded inclusive public recreational facilities, white consumers abandoned those places. Many parks closed or privatized within a decade of desegregation. Wolcott's book tracks the decline of the urban amusement park and the simultaneous rise of the suburban theme park, reframing these shifts within the civil rights context.
Filled with detailed accounts and powerful insights, Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters brings to light overlooked aspects of conflicts over public accommodations. This eloquent history demonstrates the significance of leisure in American race relations.
Literatures of the Americas in the Nineteenth Century
As in many literatures of the New World grappling with issues of slavery and freedom, stories of racial insurrection frequently coincided with stories of cross-racial romance in nineteenth-century U.S. print culture. Colleen O’Brien explores how authors such as Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Livermore, and Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda imagined the expansion of race and gender-based rights as a hemispheric affair, drawing together the United States with Africa, Cuba, and other parts of the Caribbean. Placing less familiar women writers in conversation with their more famous contemporaries—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Lydia Maria Child—O’Brien traces the transnational progress of freedom through the antebellum cultural fascination with cross-racial relationships and insurrections. Her book mines a variety of sources—fiction, political rhetoric, popular journalism, race science, and biblical treatises—to reveal a common concern: a future in which romance and rebellion engender radical social and political transformation.
A microcosm of exaggerated societal extremes—poverty and wealth, vice and virtue, elitism and equality—New Orleans is a tangled web of race, cultural mores, and sexual identities. Jennifer Spear's examination of the dialectical relationship between politics and social practice unravels the city’s construction of race during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Spear brings together archival evidence from three different languages and the most recent and respected scholarship on racial formation and interracial sex to explain why free people of color became a significant population in the early days of New Orleans and to show how authorities attempted to use concepts of race and social hierarchy to impose order on a decidedly disorderly society. She recounts and analyzes the major conflicts that influenced New Orleanian culture: legal attempts to impose racial barriers and social order, political battles over propriety and freedom, and cultural clashes over place and progress. At each turn, Spear’s narrative challenges the prevailing academic assumptions and supports her efforts to move exploration of racial formation away from cultural and political discourses and toward social histories. Strikingly argued, richly researched, and methodologically sound, this wide-ranging look at how choices about sex triumphed over established class systems and artificial racial boundaries supplies a refreshing contribution to the history of early Louisiana.
Performance and Law in Asian America
In this first interdisciplinary study of all nine of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s novels, Evelyn Jaffe Schreiber investigates how the communal and personal trauma of slavery embedded in the bodies and minds of its victims lives on through successive generations of African Americans. Approaching trauma from several cutting-edge theoretical perspectives—psychoanalytic, neurobiological, and cultural and social theories—Schreiber analyzes the lasting effects of slavery as depicted in Morrison’s work and considers the almost insurmountable task of recovering from trauma to gain subjectivity. With an innovative application of neuroscience to literary criticism, Schreiber explains how trauma, whether initiated by physical abuse, dehumanization, discrimination, exclusion, or abandonment, becomes embedded in both psychic and bodily circuits. Slavery and its legacy of cultural rejection create trauma on individual, familial, and community levels, and parents unwittingly transmit their trauma to their children through repetition of their bodily stored experiences. Concepts of “home”—whether a physical place, community, or relationship—are reconstructed through memory to provide a positive self and serve as a healing space for Morrison’s characters. Remembering and retelling trauma within a supportive community enables trauma victims to move forward and attain a meaningful subjectivity and selfhood. Through careful analysis of each novel, Schreiber traces the success or failure of Morrison’s characters to build or rebuild a cohesive self, starting with slavery and the initial postslavery generation, and continuing through the twentieth century, with a special focus on the effects of inherited trauma on children. When characters attempt to escape trauma through physical relocation, or to project their pain onto others through aggressive behavior or scapegoating, the development of selfhood falters. Only when trauma is confronted through verbalization and challenged with reparative images of home, can memories of a positive self overcome the pain of past experiences and cultural rejection. While the cultural trauma of slavery can never truly disappear, Schreiber argues that memories that reconstruct a positive self, whether created by people, relationships, a physical place, or a concept, help Morrison’s characters to establish subjectivity. A groundbreaking interdisciplinary work, Schreiber’s book unites psychoanalytic, neurobiological, and social theories into a full and richly textured analysis of trauma and the possibility of healing in Morrison’s novels.