Women and Patriotism in Jim Crow America

By Francesca Morgan | Go to book overview

Epilogue

APRIL WAS EARLY in any year for an outdoor concert in Washington, D.C. April 9, 1939, dawned especially blustery and cold. That Sunday afternoon, the opera luminary Marian Anderson protected her throat in fur. The Lincoln Memorial was her stage, with a lone accompanist behind her. A massive, interracial crowd of 75,000 turned out in coats and hats to listen. Surrounding microphones transmitted the music to millions of household radios. The Philadelphia-born singer's fame, spanning the Western world, and her performance of music that was congenial to white tastes could not overcome the DAR's white-artist policy. The nearly unanimous vote by the DAR's National Board of Management not to allow Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall jarred with her experiences farther south, where there was little question of allowing black artists to perform, as long as audiences were racially segregated.1

For all its starkness, the DAR leadership's treatment of Marian Anderson evoked complicated responses. Decrying the DAR did not amount to opposing Jim Crow. Likely realizing that the women's exaggeration of Jim Crow endangered the very system, many white southern editorialists paired denunciations of the DAR with affirmations of the separation of the races.2 Civil rights activists found themselves in some disarray as they debated both the form and the scope of their response. It was not only a women's voluntary organization but also educational authorities in Washington (which were overseen by the federal government) who had turned Anderson away on

-153-

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Women and Patriotism in Jim Crow America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Gender and American Culture ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - The Nation 19
  • Chapter Two - The Empire 57
  • Chapter Three - The State 79
  • Chapter Four - The War 101
  • Chapter Five - The Security State 127
  • Epilogue 153
  • Notes 165
  • Bibliography 239
  • Index 273
  • Gender and American Culture 295
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