Citation

Colored Nation, Negro State: Black Law-and-Order in the Jim Crow South

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Abstract:

This essay explores black law-and-order politics in the Jim Crow South. It aims, first, to illustrate how the anti-crime crusades of black entrepreneurs in cities as varied as Miami, Baltimore, and Atlanta improved the overall business climate of the entire South. This paper shows, second, how these crusades represented a powerful, if largely forgotten, prologue for later forms of civil rights activism. Specifically, black business owners used the discourse of crime prevention to access an important vocabulary about morality and the integrity of property. This vocabulary helped them circumvent whites’ personal feelings about black people and secure important alliances with white business interests, politicians, and power brokers. In attempting to cleanse Jim Crow’s underworld, they made black communities sites for new investments in hotels and other small business. They likewise elicited from white officialdom region-wide reforms that would shine light on underworld infiltration at the highest levels of local government. The point is to show how, contrary to popular characterizations of white conservatism or anti-leftist backlash, “law and order” politics did not undo the black freedom struggle; they were central to it.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436302_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Connolly, Nathan. "Colored Nation, Negro State: Black Law-and-Order in the Jim Crow South" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436302_index.html>

APA Citation:

Connolly, N. "Colored Nation, Negro State: Black Law-and-Order in the Jim Crow South" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436302_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: This essay explores black law-and-order politics in the Jim Crow South. It aims, first, to illustrate how the anti-crime crusades of black entrepreneurs in cities as varied as Miami, Baltimore, and Atlanta improved the overall business climate of the entire South. This paper shows, second, how these crusades represented a powerful, if largely forgotten, prologue for later forms of civil rights activism. Specifically, black business owners used the discourse of crime prevention to access an important vocabulary about morality and the integrity of property. This vocabulary helped them circumvent whites’ personal feelings about black people and secure important alliances with white business interests, politicians, and power brokers. In attempting to cleanse Jim Crow’s underworld, they made black communities sites for new investments in hotels and other small business. They likewise elicited from white officialdom region-wide reforms that would shine light on underworld infiltration at the highest levels of local government. The point is to show how, contrary to popular characterizations of white conservatism or anti-leftist backlash, “law and order” politics did not undo the black freedom struggle; they were central to it.


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