Democracy Rising: South Carolina and the Fight for Black by Peter F. Lau

By Peter F. Lau

Thought of by means of many historians to be the birthplace of the Confederacy, South Carolina skilled one of many longest and so much turbulent Reconstruction classes of the entire southern states. After the Civil struggle, white supremacist management within the nation fiercely resisted the efforts of freed slaves to safe complete citizenship rights and to remake society established upon an expansive imaginative and prescient of freedom solid in slavery and the crucible of battle. regardless of a variety of hindrances, African americans completed awesome social and political advances within the ten years following the warfare, together with the institution of the state's first publicly-funded university method and overall healthiness take care of the negative. via their efforts, the state's political technique and social cloth turned extra democratic.

Peter F. Lau strains the civil rights stream in South Carolina from Reconstruction during the early twenty-first century. He stresses that the circulation used to be formed via neighborhood, nationwide, and foreign situations during which members labored to redefine and extend the that means and perform of democracy past the borders in their personal country. opposite to contemporary students who separate civil rights claims from common demands monetary justice, Lau asserts that African American calls for for civil rights were inseparable from broader calls for for a redistribution of social and monetary strength. utilizing the strain among rights ownership and rights program as his organizing subject, Lau essentially revises our realizing of the civil rights stream in America.

In addition to contemplating South Carolina's pivotal function within the nationwide civil rights stream, Lau deals a accomplished research of the nationwide organization for the development of coloured humans (NAACP) in the course of the top of its strength and impression, from 1910 over the years following Brown v. Board of Education (1954). in this time, the NAACP labored to make sure the rights absolute to African americans by means of the 14th and fifteenth amendments and facilitated the emergence of a broad-based move that incorporated some of the nation's rural and such a lot marginalized people.

By reading occasions that happened in South Carolina and the influence of the actions of the NAACP, Democracy Rising upends conventional interpretations of the civil rights move in the United States. of their position, Lau bargains an leading edge technique to comprehend the fight for black equality via tracing the circulation of individuals, associations, and concepts throughout limitations of area, kingdom, and identification. finally, the ebook illustrates how conflicts attributable to the state's historical past of racial exclusion and discrimination proceed to form sleek society.

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Additional resources for Democracy Rising: South Carolina and the Fight for Black Equality since 1865

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And while the association entered the state on the class, gender, institutional, and geographic terrain forged in the era of racial uplift, in the process of struggle, black South Carolinians helped turn the attention of the NAACP southward and the NAACP, in turn, provided a vehicle for challenging the paternalistic and class-bound dynamics of uplift work, as well as nineteenthcentury constructions of male and female civic participation. The “Dixie District” and the Remaking of the NAACP If the lynching of Anthony Crawford provided Jim Crow in South Carolina with the appearance of invincibility, the lineaments of legalized white supremacy’s undoing began to emerge at the same moment.

We must get over the idea,” he stated, “that this is an individual problem . . it takes mass action. 14 If Johnson retained a dose of a Bookerite ethos and abided a new faith in Du Bois’s “Talented-tenthism” that allowed “fitness” to remain a qualification for the “privileges” of citizenship, he put both to work in what he clearly understood as the building of a mass movement. Johnson’s organizing style was geared toward mobilizing already existing institutions in black communities in an effort to leverage their human and financial resources and to inculcate a new way of thinking about the “race problem”—an NAACP way.

In other words, he sought to connect black uplift institutions to the NAACP and to push them to embrace an agenda of ceaseless agitation and protest politics. Early during his tenure as field secretary he compiled a list of black churches, lodges, and fraternal orders. He created a directory of black ministers, heads of schools, and other black organizations. 15 As a strategy, Johnson’s organizing method reflected the realities of southern black communities living under the regime of Jim Crow, communities that were only beginning to emerge from the era of Booker T.

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