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The Negro's Image in the South

The Negro's Image in the South: The Anatomy of White Supremacy

CLAUDE H. NOLEN
Copyright Date: 1967
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt130jbxc
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  • Book Info
    The Negro's Image in the South
    Book Description:

    Symbolic of the historic conflict between North and South has been the South's attitude toward African Americans. This historical study presents a thorough analysis -- derived from books, periodicals, speeches, sermons, lectures, and other documents -- of the doctrine of white supremacy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6413-7
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    C.H.N.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xx)

    Long before the American Revolution, Southern whites had come to believe that the Scriptures justified slavery and that their African slaves, though inferior beings, were more comfortable and happy than European peasants. A few of them even thought that they had chanced upon hard-working creatures which looked and acted like men but were not human.

    From the Revolution to about 1820, when aroused to activity by occasional attacks upon the “peculiar institution,” pro-slavery thinkers often indignantly replied that the introduction of slavery was the work of avaricious New England Puritans, but that in time the South, if left alone, would...

  5. PART ONE The Argument

    • CHAPTER ONE Physical and Psychological Inheritance
      (pp. 3-16)

      In a democratic climate of opinion, slavery could be justified only by positing differences in the innate characteristics of the white and black races so great that the black race must appear to be incapable of freedom and thus destined to serve the white race forever.¹ When the slaves were freed, men of the New South kept alive the proslavery thinking of their fathers, tinkering with it only to adjust it to altered conditions. Science, the Scriptures, the experience of mankind, they still alleged, showed that black men were born to be servants. In this way they reconciled democratic equality...

    • CHAPTER TWO Testimony of History
      (pp. 17-28)

      Southerners looked to history as well as to biology for evidence to be used against the Negro. As they saw it, upon character of each race history was grounded. The Creator had made Negroes to be servants of white men, and this original fact was of paramount importance in the whole history Negro-white relations. Some up-to-date white supremacists, influenced by the theory of evolution, especially by the concept of social evolution, conceived of racial distinction as the product of natural forces. In whichever light the Southerner viewed history of the races, he concluded that Negroes were inferior. Either they could...

    • CHAPTER THREE Amalgamation
      (pp. 29-39)

      Amalgamation of the races was a nagging worry in the South. Much theorizing on race relations stemmed from this basic fear. Given the belief that because of its God-given superiority, the master race ruled the servant race in justice, anything which tended to destroy the distinction between the sheep and the goats was unholy, unclean. Here was the root of the horrifying associations called into the consciousness by the prospect of racial amalgamation. Could white men despise–and use–their mulatto children, nephews and nieces, cousins, or spouses?

      It is not surprising that the moment unacceptable–suggestions were offered to...

    • CHAPTER FOUR Race Warfare
      (pp. 40-50)

      The Southerner argued that diverse races when brought into contact either accommodate themselves to a superior-inferior relationship or engage in warfare for supremacy. As between Negro and white, biological and historical factors converged to give victory to the Caucasian race.

      The function of this theory of race warfare was to excuse the use of violence in reducing the freedman to a status of subservience. If the white race was destined to war against the black race until the black race had been subdued, then the white man who forced the black man to acknowledge servitude was not morally responsible. The...

  6. PART TWO Politics

    • CHAPTER FIVE Black Voters during Reconstruction
      (pp. 53-72)

      Emancipation of slaves forced the nation to consider question of Negro suffrage. Negroes and Indians had been only large groups excluded from America’s commitment universal manhood suffrage; the Indians as savages and wards, the Negroes as slaves. A body of freemen without suffrage would be, like slavery itself, a contradiction of the American ideal. To remedy this defect, equalitarians, both white black, initiated the Negro suffrage movement.

      White Southerners responded with united opposition. the loss of political influence which followed overwhelming defeat, they hoped to check the revolution which emancipation had brought upon them. They began at once to that...

    • CHAPTER SIX Solid South
      (pp. 73-82)

      Unity gained and victory achieved, it might seem that pressure to maintain a solid white bloc would have been relaxed. But restriction of political freedom was maintained because control of Negroes required unanimity among whites. If the North after 1876 promised at least temporary abandonment of federal intervention in Southern elections, it offered no guarantee that dissident whites and Negroes would not develop formidable alliances against the ruling groups within the states. Whenever a considerable portion of whites grew restive, such internal political revolts threatened white supremacy. The practical but illegal exclusion of Negroes from the suffrage created a powerful...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN Disfranchisement
      (pp. 83-98)

      White Southerners had rejected Negro suffrage during Presidential Reconstruction and had used illegal means, including violence, to thwart its effects in the struggle against carpetbagger government. Having created a solid front in successful political warfare during Reconstruction, and defended that unity against internal revolt, they were prepared to evolve a plan to force Negroes altogether out of politics.

      On March 16, 1874, following the defeat of the Radical state government, Governor Richard Coke of Texas remarked in a message to the legislature that in the state there were 40,000 black voters, natural followers in their simplicity and ignorance of the...

  7. PART THREE Education

    • CHAPTER EIGHT Control of Education during Reconstruction
      (pp. 101-119)

      After emancipation Negroes of all ages and degrees intelligence displayed unrestrained eagerness for education made remarkable efforts to learn, flocking to schools wherever established. They hungered for the intellectual stimulation withheld during slavery, or perhaps imagined that equality whites could be speedily attained through book learning. all knew that education was a major hallmark of the man’s civilization and its possession a requirement for and social progress.

      To satisfy the freedman’s educational needs, Northern teachers pressed into the South behind advancing Union armies founded schools in towns and on plantations. By 1869 ten thousand of these teachers were engaged in...

    • CHAPTER NINE Attitudes toward Negro Education in the New South
      (pp. 120-138)

      Southerners did not gladly concede formal educations to Negroes, but they did take pride in the day-to-day schooling the whole of white society gave to the blacks. In the mists the future, Negroes might graduate to full independence, having been lifted out of the dark past by training at the foot of white masters, but it seemed more likely that they were destined be forever wards. This belief had the inestimable virtue of the same time flattering whites and permitting them in good conscience to deny Negroes education on an equal footing with themselves.

      In stressing the educational value to...

    • CHAPTER TEN The Industrial Education Movement
      (pp. 139-152)

      Southerners entertained the belief that higher education was unsuited to Negroes. Any attempt to educate them white men was an attempt to treat children as adults. Manual education, on the other hand, would, in addition to providing the type of education suited to Negroes’ abilities, equip them for greater efficiency in agricultural pursuits and, for a handful of the most gifted, as artisans. Masked by these beliefs the realization that the college-bred black man not only contradicted the Southern image of the Negro but also dangerously threatened white supremacy. In consequence, around the of the century, when Negroes born in...

  8. PART FOUR Labor

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN Coercion of the Black Worker
      (pp. 155-170)

      Right alter emancipation, Southerners revealed their intention toward the freedmen. Unable or unwilling to understand that the work of Negroes could be other than a form of slavery, or that it could be accomplished without binding the hireling to the employer, planters inserted in contracts provisions pregnant with meaning: Negroes must be respectful; they must not keep too many dogs; they must not leave the plantation without the landlord's permission. The idea seemed to be that the laborer must be bound body and soup Partly from habit, partly from calculation, the planter hoped to maintain a control of his labor...

    • CHAPTER TWELVE Migration of Labor
      (pp. 171-188)

      Intimately associated with the labor question was the South's agitation over the immigration of whites and the emigration of Negroes. From the end of the Civil War on through the nineteenth century, Southerners conducted a campaign, varying in intensity though weakening as the century wore on, to attract white immigrants. As voters they would guarantee that “Negro rule” would become an impossibility; as laborers they would force Negroes to work humbly at their appointed task, if they wished to work at all.

      Newspapers early began agitating for immigration, pointing out in 1865 the political and practical advantages that immigrant labor...

    • CHAPTER THIRTEEN Negro-White Competition
      (pp. 189-198)

      In the Old South all white men had enjoyed the conferred by color. Following emancipation, leveling were set to work which threatened to obliterate distinction between the poorer whites and the blacks. If this happened, white supremacy could not be maintained. To avoid a of poorer whites and blacks, Southern leaders had to find means to preserve the racial loyalty of the most depressed the whites.

      During Radical rule, whites of the Southeast, in order avoid the possibility of falling to the Negro’s level, tempted to desert the land of their fathers for Texas, or seemed: “To come in competition...

    • CHAPTER FOURTEEN Persistence and Change
      (pp. 199-210)

      From early in the seventeenth centry until the Civil War, white Southerners defended slavery by a system of thought which, in its simplest terms, portrayed the Negro race as inherently subject to the white race. When ruled by their superiors, Negroes made excellent contributions to the welfare of society; when free, they became a drag on the community and posed a danger to good order. Emancipation, defeated Confederates believed, could not change the character of Negroes or the natural relation between the races. And so they derived an ideology of white supremacy from proslavery thought and on its basis created...

  9. Bibliographical Essay
    (pp. 211-218)

    The sources discussed in this note constitute a sample of the enormous body of literature touching on white supremacy in the South. Other materials not here discussed are cited in the footnotes.

    Most of the leaders who developed the white supremacy of the New South were brought up in the slave South. For the climate of opinion then current refer to: Albert T. Bledsoe,An Essay on Liberty and Slavery(Philadelphia, 1856); John C. Calhoun, ADisquisition on Government and Selections from the Discourse(edited by C. Gordon Post, New York, 1953); Langdon Cheves, Speech of the Honorable Langdon Cheves,...

  10. INDEX
    (pp. 219-234)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 235-235)