By Joel Williamson
The Crucible of Race, a massive reinterpretation of black-white kinfolk within the South, was once largely acclaimed on book and in comparison favorably to 2 of the seminal books on Southern background: Wilbur J. Cash's The brain of Jim Crow. Representing twenty years of study and writing at the historical past of the South, The Crucible of Race explores the big subject of Southern race relatives for a span of a century and a part. Oxford is happy to make on hand an abridgement of this dad or mum quantity: A Rage for Order preserves all of the topic strains that have been complicated within the unique quantity and lots of of the person tales. As in Crucible of Race, Williamson the following confronts the grim irony that the warfare to unfastened blacks from slavery additionally freed racism. He examines the shift within the energy base of Southern white management after 1850 and recounts the negative violence performed to blacks within the identify of self-protection. This condensation of 1 of an important interpretations of Southern background is accessible as a method wherein a wide viewers can grab the necessities of black-white relations--a challenge that persists to at the present time and one with which all of us needs to contend--North and South, black and white.
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Additional resources for A Rage for Order: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation
A hand is expendable, a head is not. Andrew Jackson’s revolution notwithstanding, the elite in the Old South on the eve of the Civil War was not democratic in its attitudes. It believed in an aristocracy of talent and that talented people should rise. But it did not believe that all men were equal or ought to be treated equally. Some people were better than others, it declared, and a proper society, a proper ordering of persons, would recognize that fact. Southern law itself was not blind to color, frankly unequal, and seemed not vastly disturbed by the split-level justice it meted out.
Moreover, both men practiced the same sort of ever-ready accommodationist tactics. Each would try for the best for his people, and settle for what he could get. Each would be very patient and wait for opportunities. " In other states in the South were other Hamptons, and sooner or later they were all successful. And while there was never a single white leader to organize tightly all Southern whites as Booker T. " In the end, the essence of the old order, the sense of Southernness and whiteness as qualities uniquely valuable, was saved.
Would that it were so simple. To dismiss the distinctive black experience in this facile way, one has to ignore a history profoundly shaped by white Americans’ special perception of blackness in humans and their reaction to that perception. If in fact blacks have sometimes rotted at the doorstep, it is not because they take a perverse pleasure in giving their lives to offend white nostrils. The problem of identifying African survivals is raised still one more level in difficulty by the truth that as whites invaded black life with a new intensity in the middle of the nineteenth century, they not only changed blacks; they were changed by blacks.