A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948

By Bryant Simon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWELVE
The New Politics of Race, 1938-1948

Throughout World War II, white South Carolinians told each other wild rumors about bloody race wars and impending rebellions. Charleston whites were convinced that African Americans were stockpiling ice picks. A salesman warned, and people believed him, that blacks planned to use these sharp objects to kill all whites during a Labor Day uprising. Meanwhile, it was said, black domestics were joining quasi-unions called "Eleanor Clubs," named after the crusading liberal first lady. When their white employers were not looking, club members plotted mayhem. Reportedly, by Christmas they intended to be living in the big house, eating roast beef and fresh asparagus cooked and served by their ex-bosses. As white soldiers pulled out of an upcountry town and headed for basic training, it was alleged, a few grinning African American men waved and told them not to worry, they would take care of their mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters. 1

After investigating these stories, both the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI) and South Carolina authorities concluded that there were no race wars on the horizon or Eleanor Clubs in the kitchens. Based on half-truths and sheer invention, rumors like the ones that spread through the white communities of South Carolina during World War II nonetheless still provide a map of social anxieties and psychological pressure points. By repeating rumors, frightened whites created space to express their anxieties about the uncertainty of the system of white supremacy that they felt uncomfortable talking about out in the open.

More than a decade before the Brown decision and the Montgomery bus

-219-

Notes for this page

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 page

Cited page

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 page

Bookmark this page
A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

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 book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 345

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.