Abstract

This article explores links that middle-class African American women drew between efforts to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment and the emergence of black Democrats in the 1928 American presidential election. Because of their longstanding interest in civil rights and temperance, middle-class black Republican women were uniquely positioned to make connections between phenomena that historians have typically analyzed separately, the repeal movement and the early stages of the voting realignment. They argued that Democratic success in repealing the Eighteenth Amendment would set a precedent for eliminating the Reconstruction Amendments. They also identified black opposition to prohibition as threatening to racial uplift ideology, a class-based anti-racist strategy that, among other proscriptions, demanded abstention from liquor. Black Republican women's decision to invoke this declining ideology and blend it with their constitutional observation undercut not only the broad appeal of their constitutional argument, but also their claims to represent African Americans in party politics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 63-86
Launched on MUSE
2009-03-05
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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