Following the Color Line AN ACCOUNT OF NEGRO CITIZENSHIP IN THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

Following the Color Line AN ACCOUNT OF NEGRO CITIZENSHIP IN THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

by Ray Stannard Baker

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Overview

THE NEGRO IN THE SOUTH




CHAPTER I

A RACE RIOT, AND AFTER


Upon the ocean, of antagonism between the white and Negro races in this
country, there arises occasionally a wave, stormy in its appearance, but
soon subsiding into quietude. Such a wave was the Atlanta riot. Its
ominous size, greater by far than the ordinary race disturbances which
express themselves in lynchings, alarmed the entire country and awakened
in the South a new sense of the dangers which threatened it. A description
of that spectacular though superficial disturbance, the disaster incident
to its fury, and the remarkable efforts at reconstruction will lead the
way naturally--as human nature is best interpreted in moments of
passion--to a clearer understanding, in future chapters, of the deep and
complex race feeling which exists in this country.

On the twenty-second day of September, 1906, Atlanta had become a
veritable social tinder-box. For months the relation of the races had been
growing more strained. The entire South had been sharply annoyed by a
shortage of labour accompanied by high wages and, paradoxically, by an
increasing number of idle Negroes. In Atlanta the lower class--the
"worthless Negro"--had been increasing in numbers: it showed itself too
evidently among the swarming saloons, dives, and "clubs" which a
complaisant city administration allowed to exist in the very heart of the
city. Crime had increased to an alarming extent; an insufficient and
ineffective police force seemed unable to cope with it. With a population
of 115,000 Atlanta had over 17,000 arrests in 1905; in 1906 the number
increased to 21,602. Atlanta had many more arrests than New Orleans with
nearly three times the population and twice as many Negroes; and almost
four times as many as Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city nearly three times as
large. Race feeling had been sharpened through a long and bitter
political campaign, Negro disfranchisement being one of the chief issues
under discussion. An inflammatory play called "The Clansman," though
forbidden by public sentiment in many Southern cities, had been given in
Atlanta and other places with the effect of increasing the prejudice of
both races. Certain newspapers in Atlanta, taking advantage of popular
feeling, kept the race issue constantly agitated, emphasising Negro crimes
with startling headlines. One newspaper even recommended the formation of
organisations of citizens in imitation of the Ku Klux movement of
reconstruction days. In the clamour of this growing agitation, the voice
of the right-minded white people and industrious, self-respecting Negroes
was almost unheard. A few ministers of both races saw the impending storm
and sounded a warning--to no effect; and within the week before the riot
the citizens, the city administration and the courts all woke up together.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE

PREFACE vii


PART I

THE NEGRO IN THE SOUTH

I. A Race Riot and After 3

II. Following the Colour Line in the South: A
Superficial View of Conditions 26

III. The Southern City Negro 45

IV. In the Black Belt: The Negro Farmer 66

V. Race Relationships in the Country Districts 87


PART II

THE NEGRO IN THE NORTH

VI. Following the Colour Line in the North 109

VII. The Negroes' Struggle for Survival in Northern
Cities 130


PART III

THE NEGRO IN THE NATION

VIII. The Mulatto: The Problem of Race Mixture 151

IX. Lynching, South and North 175

X. An Ostracised Race in Ferment: The Conflict of
Negro Parties and Negro Leaders over Methods
of Dealing with Their Own Problem 216

XI. The Negro in Politics 233

XII. The Black Man's Silent Power 252

XIII. The New Southern Statesmanship 271

XIV. What to Do About the Negro--A Few Conclusions 292

Index 311

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012018168
Publisher: SAP
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 864,641
File size: 298 KB

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