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Reforming Jim CrowSouthern Politics and State in the Age Before Brown$
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Kimberley Johnson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387421

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387421.001.0001

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The Problem of the South and the Beginning of Reform

The Problem of the South and the Beginning of Reform

(p.19) Chapter 1 The Problem of the South and the Beginning of Reform
Reforming Jim Crow

Kimberley Johnson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Southern liberalism has typically been identified with a small subset of white males. This identification has tended to ignore the southern black men and the southern women (black and white) who also played an important role during this period. One reason for this exclusion is rooted in the early tactics adopted by these white male reformers, many of whom believed that the white South would accept their findings only if those findings were from white male southerners. Although they were not happy with this logic, many black male reformers accepted this exclusion as the price to be paid for moving Jim Crow reform forward. Individual women played important roles in reform; however, their activities as a coherent, recognizable group were largely invisible or more likely simply ignored by white male southern reformers. Unfortunately later researchers have not recognized that the strategic exclusion or casual minimization of the participation of blacks and women from the record left by white male reformers does not mean that blacks and women were absent from the reform movement. This chapter explores how and why these racial and gender divisions in the Jim Crow reform movement emerged and points out how these divisions in turn shaped Jim Crow reform.

Keywords:   Jim Crow reform, civil rights, southern liberalism, liberals, southern reform, white male reformers, blacks

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