Litigating Across the Color Line

Civil Cases Between Black and White Southerners from the End of Slavery to Civil Rights

Author: Melissa Milewski

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190249188

Category: History

Page: 360

View: 1200

In a largely previously untold story, Melissa Milewski explores how, when the financial futures of their families were on the line, black litigants throughout the South took on white southerners in civil suits. Between 1865 and 1950, in almost a thousand civil cases across eight southern states, former slaves took their former masters to court, black sharecroppers litigated against white landowners, and African Americans with little formal education brought disputes against wealthy white members of their communities. As black southerners negotiated a legal system with almost all white gatekeepers, they displayed pragmatism and a savvy understanding of how to get whites on their side. They found that certain kinds of cases were much easier to gain whites' support for than others. But they also found that, in the kinds of civil cases that they could litigate in the highest courts of eight states, they were surprisingly successful. In a tremendously restricted environment in which they were often shut out of other government institutions, seen as racially inferior, and segregated, African Americans found a way to fight for their rights in one of the only ways they could. This book examines how African Americans adapted and at times made a biased system work for them under enormous constraints. At the same time, it considers the limitations of working within a white-dominated system at a time of great racial discrimination, and the choices black litigants had to make to have their cases heard.
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Litigating Across the Color Line

Civil Cases Between Black and White Southerners from the End of Slavery to Civil Rights

Author: Melissa Milewski

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190249196

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 1297

As a result of the violence, segregation, and disfranchisement that occurred throughout the South in the decades after Reconstruction, it has generally been assumed that African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South litigated few civil cases and faced widespread inequality in the suits they did pursue. In this groundbreaking work, Melissa Milewski shows that black men and women were far more able to negotiate the southern legal system during the era of Jim Crow than previously realized. She explores how, when the financial futures of their families were on the line, black litigants throughout the South took on white southerners in civil suits and, at times, succeeded in finding justice in the Southern courts. Between 1865 and 1950, in almost a thousand civil cases across eight southern states, former slaves took their former masters to court, black sharecroppers litigated disputes against white landowners, and African Americans with little formal education brought disputes against wealthy white members of their communities. As black southerners negotiated a legal system with almost all white gate-keepers, they found that certain kinds of cases were much easier to gain whites' support for than others. But in the suits they were able to litigate, they displayed pragmatism and a savvy understanding of how to get whites on their side. Their negotiation of this system proved surprisingly successful: in the civil cases African Americans litigated in the highest courts of eight states, they won more than half of their suits against whites throughout this period. Litigating Across the Color Line shows that in a tremendously constrained environment where they were often shut out of other government institutions, seen as racially inferior, and often segregated, African Americans found a way to fight for their rights in one of the only ways they could. Through these suits, they adapted and at times made a biased system work for them under enormous constraints. At the same time, Milewski considers the limitations of working within a white-dominated system at a time of great racial discrimination--and the choices black litigants had to make to get their cases heard.
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Defining the Struggle

National Racial Justice Organizing, 1880-1915

Author: Susan D. Carle

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199945748

Category: History

Page: 404

View: 3803

This book punctures the myth that important national civil rights organizing in the United States began with the NAACP, showing that earlier national organizations developed key ideas about law and racial justice activism that the NAACP later pursued.
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Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South

Author: Kimberly M. Welch

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 146963645X

Category: Social Science

Page: 328

View: 6038

In the antebellum Natchez district, in the heart of slave country, black people sued white people in all-white courtrooms. They sued to enforce the terms of their contracts, recover unpaid debts, recuperate back wages, and claim damages for assault. They sued in conflicts over property and personal status. And they often won. Based on new research conducted in courthouse basements and storage sheds in rural Mississippi and Louisiana, Kimberly Welch draws on over 1,000 examples of free and enslaved black litigants who used the courts to protect their interests and reconfigure their place in a tense society. To understand their success, Welch argues that we must understand the language that they used--the language of property, in particular--to make their claims recognizable and persuasive to others and to link their status as owner to the ideal of a free, autonomous citizen. In telling their stories, Welch reveals a previously unknown world of black legal activity, one that is consequential for understanding the long history of race, rights, and civic inclusion in America.
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Sweet Land of Liberty

The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

Author: Thomas J. Sugrue

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9781588367563

Category: History

Page: 720

View: 611

The struggle for racial equality in the North has been a footnote in most books about civil rights in America. Now this monumental new work from one of the most brilliant historians of his generation sets the record straight. Sweet Land of Liberty is an epic, revelatory account of the abiding quest for justice in states from Illinois to New York, and of how the intense northern struggle differed from and was inspired by the fight down South. Thomas Sugrue’s panoramic view sweeps from the 1920s to the present–more than eighty of the most decisive years in American history. He uncovers the forgotten stories of battles to open up lunch counters, beaches, and movie theaters in the North; the untold history of struggles against Jim Crow schools in northern towns; the dramatic story of racial conflict in northern cities and suburbs; and the long and tangled histories of integration and black power. Appearing throughout these tumultuous tales of bigotry and resistance are the people who propelled progress, such as Anna Arnold Hedgeman, a dedicated churchwoman who in the 1930s became both a member of New York’s black elite and an increasingly radical activist; A. Philip Randolph, who as America teetered on the brink of World War II dared to threaten FDR with a march on Washington to protest discrimination–and got the Fair Employment Practices Committee (“the second Emancipation Proclamation”) as a result; Morris Milgram, a white activist who built the Concord Park housing development, the interracial answer to white Levittown; and Herman Ferguson, a mild-mannered New York teacher whose protest of a Queens construction site led him to become a key player in the militant Malcolm X’s movement. Filled with unforgettable characters and riveting incidents, and making use of information and accounts both public and private, such as the writings of obscure African American journalists and the records of civil rights and black power groups, Sweet Land of Liberty creates an indelible history. Thomas Sugrue has written a narrative bound to become the standard source on this essential subject. From the Hardcover edition.
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Representing the Race

Author: Kenneth W. Mack

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674065301

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 8751

Profiles African American lawyers during the era of segregation and the civil rights movement, with an emphasis on the conflicts they felt between their identities as African Americans and their professional identities as lawyers.
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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Author: Michelle Alexander

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1595586431

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 8201

Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education and public benefits create a permanent under-caste based largely on race. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
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Taming the Past

Author: Robert W. Gordon

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107193230

Category: History

Page: 444

View: 306

Lawyers and judges often make arguments based on history - on the authority of precedent and original constitutional understandings. They argue both to preserve the inspirational, heroic past and to discard its darker pieces - such as feudalism and slavery, the tyranny of princes and priests, and the subordination of women. In doing so, lawyers tame the unruly, ugly, embarrassing elements of the past, smoothing them into reassuring tales of progress. In a series of essays and lectures written over forty years, Robert W. Gordon describes and analyses how lawyers approach the past and the strategies they use to recruit history for present use while erasing or keeping at bay its threatening or inconvenient aspects. Together, the corpus of work featured in Taming the Past offers an analysis of American law and society and its leading historians since 1900.
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Courting Death

Author: Carol S. Steiker,Jordan M. Steiker

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674737423

Category: History

Page: 390

View: 1173

Refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the U.S. has attempted to reform and rationalize capital punishment through federal constitutional law. While execution chambers remain active in several states, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker argue that the fate of the American death penalty is likely to be sealed by this failed judicial experiment.
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The Scaffolding of Sovereignty

Global and Aesthetic Perspectives on the History of a Concept

Author: Zvi Ben-Dor Benite,Stefanos Geroulanos,Nicole Jerr

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231171870

Category: Philosophy

Page: 528

View: 6259

What is sovereignty? Often taken for granted or seen as the ideology of European states vying for supremacy and conquest, the concept of sovereignty remains underexamined both in the history of its practices and in its aesthetic and intellectual underpinnings. Using global intellectual history as a bridge between approaches, periods, and areas, The Scaffolding of Sovereignty deploys a comparative and theoretically rich conception of sovereignty to reconsider the different schemes on which it has been based or renewed, the public stages on which it is erected or destroyed, and the images and ideas on which it rests. The essays in The Scaffolding of Sovereignty reveal that sovereignty has always been supported, complemented, and enforced by a complex aesthetic and intellectual scaffolding. This collection takes a multidisciplinary approach to investigating the concept on a global scale, ranging from an account of a Manchu emperor building a mosque to a discussion of the continuing power of Lenin’s corpse, from an analysis of the death of kings in classical Greek tragedy to an exploration of the imagery of “the people” in the Age of Revolutions. Across seventeen chapters that closely study specific historical regimes and conflicts, the book’s contributors examine intersections of authority, power, theatricality, science and medicine, jurisdiction, rulership, human rights, scholarship, religious and popular ideas, and international legal thought that support or undermine different instances of sovereign power and its representations.
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Before the Manifesto

The Life Writings of Mary Lois Walker Morris

Author: Mary Lois Walker Morris

Publisher: Life Writings of Frontier Wome

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 639

View: 4526

Mary Lois Walker Morris was a Mormon woman who challenged both American ideas about marriage and the U.S. legal system. Before the Manifesto provides a glimpse into her world as the polygamous wife of a prominent Salt Lake City businessman, during a time of great transition in Utah. This account of her life as a convert, milliner, active community member, mother, and wife begins in England, where her family joined the Mormon church, details her journey across the plains, and describes life in Utah in the 1880s. Her experiences were unusual as, following her first husband's deathbed request, she married his brother, as a plural wife, in the Old Testament tradition of levirate marriage. Mary Morris's memoir frames her 1879 to 1887 diary with both reflections on earlier years and passages that parallel entries in the day book, giving readers a better understanding of how she retrospectively saw her life. The thoroughly annotated diary offers the daily experience of a woman who kept a largely self-sufficient household, had a wide social network, ran her own business, wrote poetry, and was intellectually curious. The years of "the Raid" (federal prosecution of polygamists) led Mary and Elias Morris to hide their marriage on "the underground," and her to perjury in court during Elias's trial for unlawful cohabitation. The book ends with Mary Lois's arrival at the Salt Lake Depot after three years in exile in Mexico with a polygamist colony.
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The Long Emancipation

The Demise of Slavery in the United States

Author: Ira Berlin

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674286081

Category: History

Page: 227

View: 2193

Ira Berlin offers a framework for understanding slavery’s demise in the United States. Emancipation was not an occasion but a century-long process of brutal struggle by generations of African Americans who were not naive about the price of freedom. Just as slavery was initiated and maintained by violence, undoing slavery also required violence.
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The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 24: Race

Author: Thomas C. Holt,Laurie Beth Green,Charles Reagan Wilson

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469607247

Category: Reference

Page: 320

View: 6141

There is no denying that race is a critical issue in understanding the South. However, this concluding volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture challenges previous understandings, revealing the region's rich, ever-expanding diversity and providing new explorations of race relations. In 36 thematic and 29 topical essays, contributors examine such subjects as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Japanese American incarceration in the South, relations between African Americans and Native Americans, Chinese men adopting Mexican identities, Latino religious practices, and Vietnamese life in the region. Together the essays paint a nuanced portrait of how concepts of race in the South have influenced its history, art, politics, and culture beyond the familiar binary of black and white.
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The Weeping Time

Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History

Author: Anne C. Bailey

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108141218

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 5513

In 1859, at the largest recorded slave auction in American history, over 400 men, women, and children were sold by the Butler Plantation estates. This book is one of the first to analyze the operation of this auction and trace the lives of slaves before, during, and after their sale. Immersing herself in the personal papers of the Butlers, accounts from journalists that witnessed the auction, genealogical records, and oral histories, Anne C. Bailey weaves together a narrative that brings the auction to life. Demonstrating the resilience of African American families, she includes interviews from the living descendants of slaves sold on the auction block, showing how the memories of slavery have shaped people's lives today. Using the auction as the focal point, The Weeping Time is a compelling and nuanced narrative of one of the most pivotal eras in American history, and how its legacy persists today.
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Police Brutality: An Anthology

Author: Jill Nelson

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393249417

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 6790

A landmark work by twelve leading critics and community leaders—essential reading for anyone interested in the history of American race relations. Ignited by the infamous shooting of Amadou Diallo, unarmed and innocent, at the hands of New York City police officers, journalist Jill Nelson was moved to assemble this landmark anthology on the topic of police violence and brutality: an indispensable collection of twelve "groundbreaking" (Ebony) essays by a range of contributors—among them academics, historians, social critics, a congressman, and an ex-New York City police detective. This "important and valuable book" (Emerge) places a centuries-old issue in much-needed historical and intellectual context, and underscores the profound influence police brutality has had in shaping the American identity. "[S]hould be read by anyone concerned about ending brutality, and should be required reading in police academies throughout America!"—Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Harvard Law School "Without hysteria or hyperbole, [Nelson] examines the issue of police abuse in literary form."—Emerge "A memorable and useful contribution to an increasingly volatile national dialogue."—Publishers Weekly "[N]ot only timely, but explores and exposes the sickness of this unbalanced, uncivilized Western pastime thoroughly."—Chuck D of Public Enemy, author of Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality
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Tuskegee & Its People - Their Ideals and Achievements

Author: Booker T. Washington

Publisher: Read Books Ltd

ISBN: 1473398428

Category: Education

Page: 341

View: 3679

This early work by Booker Washington was originally published in 1905 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. In Tuskegee & Its People, the scope of the Tuskegee Institute work is outlined by the chapters contained in Part I, while those of Part II evidence the fact that the graduates of the school are grappling at first-hand with the conditions that environ the masses of the Negro people. Washington was born a slave on a small farm in Virginia, USA in 1856. He moved with his family after emancipation to work in the salt furnaces and coal mines of West Virginia. After a secondary education at Hampton Institute, Washington taught and experimented briefly with the study of law and the ministry, but a teaching position at Hampton decided his future career. In 1881, Washington founded Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in the Black Belt of Alabama. Though Washington offered little that was innovative in industrial education, he became its chief black exemplar and spokesman. To blacks living within the limited horizons of the post- Reconstruction South, Washington held out industrial education as the means of escape from the web of sharecropping and debt and the achievement of attainable, petit-bourgeois goals of self-employment, landownership, and small business. By 1900, the Tuskegee Institute was the best-supported black educational institution in the country. Washington died in 1915, aged 59. He is regarded as the foremost black educator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and exerted a major influence on southern race relations over the course of his life.
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Cutting Along the Color Line

Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America

Author: Quincy T. Mills

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812245415

Category: History

Page: 319

View: 325

Examines the history of black-owned barber shops in the United States, from pre-Civil War Era through today.
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Colorblind Injustice

Minority Voting Rights and the Undoing of the Second Reconstruction

Author: J. Morgan Kousser

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 0807862657

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 6069

Challenging recent trends both in historical scholarship and in Supreme Court decisions on civil rights, J. Morgan Kousser criticizes the Court's "postmodern equal protection" and demonstrates that legislative and judicial history still matter for public policy. Offering an original interpretation of the failure of the First Reconstruction (after the Civil War) by comparing it with the relative success of the Second (after World War II), Kousser argues that institutions and institutional rules--not customs, ideas, attitudes, culture, or individual behavior--have been the primary forces shaping American race relations throughout the country's history. Using detailed case studies of redistricting decisions and the tailoring of electoral laws from Los Angeles to the Deep South, he documents how such rules were designed to discriminate against African Americans and Latinos. Kousser contends that far from being colorblind, Shaw v. Reno (1993) and subsequent "racial gerrymandering" decisions of the Supreme Court are intensely color-conscious. Far from being conservative, he argues, the five majority justices and their academic supporters are unreconstructed radicals who twist history and ignore current realities. A more balanced view of that history, he insists, dictates a reversal of Shaw and a return to the promise of both Reconstructions.
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The Work of the Dead

A Cultural History of Mortal Remains

Author: Thomas W. Laqueur

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400874513

Category: Social Science

Page: 736

View: 3272

The Greek philosopher Diogenes said that when he died his body should be tossed over the city walls for beasts to scavenge. Why should he or anyone else care what became of his corpse? In The Work of the Dead, acclaimed cultural historian Thomas Laqueur examines why humanity has universally rejected Diogenes's argument. No culture has been indifferent to mortal remains. Even in our supposedly disenchanted scientific age, the dead body still matters—for individuals, communities, and nations. A remarkably ambitious history, The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century. The book draws on a vast range of sources—from mortuary archaeology, medical tracts, letters, songs, poems, and novels to painting and landscapes in order to recover the work that the dead do for the living: making human communities that connect the past and the future. Laqueur shows how the churchyard became the dominant resting place of the dead during the Middle Ages and why the cemetery largely supplanted it during the modern period. He traces how and why since the nineteenth century we have come to gather the names of the dead on great lists and memorials and why being buried without a name has become so disturbing. And finally, he tells how modern cremation, begun as a fantasy of stripping death of its history, ultimately failed—and how even the ashes of the victims of the Holocaust have been preserved in culture. A fascinating chronicle of how we shape the dead and are in turn shaped by them, this is a landmark work of cultural history. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
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The Indigo Book

Author: Christopher Jon Sprigman

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 1892628023

Category: Citation of legal authorities

Page: 201

View: 2305

This public domain book is an open and compatible implementation of the Uniform System of Citation.
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