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Litigating Across the Color LineCivil Cases Between Black and White Southerners from the End of Slavery to Civil Rights$
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Melissa Milewski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190249182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190249182.001.0001

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How to Litigate a Case Against a White Southerner

How to Litigate a Case Against a White Southerner

(p.52) 2 How to Litigate a Case Against a White Southerner
Litigating Across the Color Line

Melissa Milewski

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 traces the legal journey of African Americans who succeeded in litigating cases against white southerners in the 35 years after the Civil War. In many cases, they litigated suits against the very whites who had enslaved them. The chapter discusses why black southerners turned to the courts and the obstacles they met in attempting to litigate suits against whites. It follows black southerners as they hired lawyers, testified before crowded courtrooms, and appealed their suits to their state’s highest courts. It discusses as well why white lawyers represented black litigants, the motivations of white and black witnesses in such suits, and the considerations of juries and judges deciding civil cases between black and white southerners.

Keywords:   African American, litigant, lawyer, Reconstruction, court, testimony, civil case, judge, witness, trial

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