The Color of the Law
Race, Violence, and Justice in the Post@-World War II South
Publication Year: 1999
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Title Page, Copyright
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My gratitude is deep and wide. I appreciate the leadership of John W. Cell and the advice and support of the participants, including the late Betty Shabazz, in a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar in the mid-1980s, when I began to shift the focus of my work from the nineteenth century to the twentieth. ...
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With its incessant demand for labor and its clarion call for democracy, World War II penetrated the remotest corners of American society. Most notably in the South, it affected race relations more powerfully than any event since the Civil War almost one hundred years earlier. ...
1. The Columbia Story
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For Gladys Stephenson, getting the children's radio repaired was a trying experience. A 37-year-old domestic worker and mother of four, Stephenson lived in a black working-class neighborhood in the West End in Columbia, a small Middle Tennessee town located about forty-three miles south of Nashville. ...
Part I. Racial Violence
2. The Bottom and Its Brokers
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The selection of the Bottom as a place to make a stand in behalf of James Stephenson was not happenstance. Most simply, the first block of East Eighth Street was a confined physical space long controlled by African Americans. Frequented by a multitude of low-wage workers and owned by a handful of middle-class entrepreneurs, ...
3. War, Esteem, Efficacy, and Entitlement
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Without question, World War II affected middle-class leaders such as Morton and the Blairs. As the organizers of war bond and Red Cross drives in Maury County, James and Mary Morton felt their commitment to a "Double-V" strengthened as the war progressed. Saul Blair also both imbibed and circulated word of the "Double-V" effort ...
4. The Making and Unmaking of Mobocracy
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Unfortunately for African Americans, the improved job opportunities that accompanied World War II disappeared quickly, and the GI Bill did not offer black veterans the same advantages that it presented whites. Nevertheless, black southerners, through the growing sense of entitlement and personal efficacy that they experienced during the war, ...
Part II. Racial Justice
5. The Politics of Policing
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Ironically, while the migration of African Americans to the nation's cities discouraged attacks by white civilians, it increased the possibility of negative encounters between police officers and black residents. This occurred because after World War II, police in the urban South were more likely to abuse blacks than were those in small towns and the countryside.1 ...
6. Grand (Jury) Maneuvers and the Politics of Exclusion
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By the close of World War II, the extension of civil rights to African Americans had become for white liberals "an acid test" of their creed.1 Conservatives meanwhile continued to defend the status quo, and some southern officials, like Theodore Bilbo and Ed Crump, grew increasingly shrill and vociferous as they detected enhanced personal efficacy among black Americans ...
7. Outsiders and the Politics of Justice
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A native of Culleoka who was deeply incensed at the negative publicity his community was receiving, Judge Joe M. Ingram proved no more impartial in the trial that occurred in Lawrenceburg than had his predecessor, Judge Davies, in the grand jury hearing. Time and again Ingram acted in concert with the prosecution, ...
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"Prevented lynchings function as 'historical counterexamples' to completed lynchings and, as such, arc analytically indispensable to the analysis of lynchings," scholars Larry J. Griffin, Paula Clark, and Joanne C. Sandberg recently observed.1 In keeping with this observation, the failed lynching in Maury County in February 1946 tells us much about the lynching phenomenon and its demise. ...
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Page Count: 352
Illustrations: 23 illus., 1 map
Publication Year: 1999