Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia

By Chesson, Michael B. | The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia


Chesson, Michael B., The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography


Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia. By JANE DAILEY.

Gender & American Culture. THADIOUS M. DAVIS and LINDA K. KERBER, Editors. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. xii, 280 pp. $39.95 cloth; $17.95 paper.

THis study is filled with valuable insights about a challenging subject. The chapter on the 1883 Danville race riot could stand alone, and the analysis of interracial sidewalk etiquette (a breach of which sparked the riot) is probably the best available. The evidence suggests that blacks, including women, asserted themselves by "acts of self-definition" (p. 109) that were dangerous and foolhardy (according to Orra Langhorne and William A. Percy), provoking a violent white reaction. Their legacy led to the thriving downtowns of Richmond, Petersburg, and Newport News.

Dailey argues that the postwar South was neither solid nor static; that there were many competing groups divided by class, race, region, and ideology; and that white supremacy was not inevitable. The efforts of Republicans, Knights of Labor, Populists, and Readjusters "mattered just as much, and were often as heroic, as those of our more recent and eulogized past" (p. 6). The avoidance of presentism is commendable, but bailey's study glows with a rosy, Woodwardian optimism unsupported by her evidence. She disputes Carl Degler's characterization of such attempts at an alternative southern history as failures, but surely they were not successes, any more than was the Army of Northern Virginia's.

Rather than a full history of the Readjusters or a general study of Virginia politics, bailey focuses on the intersecting forces of race and gender from 1879 to 1883, and investigates "not only . . . the chronological and cultural space before Jim Crow" but also its "origins and meaning" (p. 156). She thinks it did not begin until 1902. "Before then . . . nothing was sure and, it often seemed, anything was possible" (p. 14). The central problem of the interracial Readjuster coalition was "the question of where to draw the color line," which was "rephrased as `at what point do black men encroach on white women? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.