Jim Crow and the Wilson Administration: Protesting Federal Segregation in the Early Twentieth Century

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9780870818646: Jim Crow and the Wilson Administration: Protesting Federal Segregation in the Early Twentieth Century

In Jim Crow and the Wilson Administration, Nicholas Patler presents the first in-depth study of the historic protest movement that challenged federal racial segregation and discrimination during the first two years of Woodrow Wilson's presidency. Before the Wilson years, as southern states and localities enshrined Jim Crow in law and custom and systematic racial discrimination infiltrated the North, the executive branch of the federal government moved in the opposite direction by opening employment to thousands of African Americans and appointing blacks to federal and diplomatic offices throughout the country and the world. In response, many African Americans supported Wilson's Democratic campaign, dubbed the New Freedom, with hopes of continuing advancement. Once elected, however, the southern-born Wilson openly supported and directly implemented a Jim Crow policy, unleashing a firestorm of protest. This protest campaign, carried out on a level not seen since the abolitionist movement, galvanized a vast community of men and women. Blacks and whites, professionals and laymen signed petitions, wrote protest letters, participated in organized mass meetings and at least one march, lobbied public officials, and directly confronted Wilson to publicize their plight and express their opposition. Patler provides a thorough examination of the two national organizations that led these protests efforts--the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and William Monroe Trotter's National Equal Rights League--and deftly contextualizes the movement while emphasizing the tragic, enduring consequences of the Wilson administration's actions.

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About the Author:

Nicholas Patler is collaborating on a screenplay on the life of early equal rights proponent, William Monroe Trotter.

Review:

"...ideal for classroom use...Patler offers ample evidence to support his arguments, using an array of sources from original manuscript collections and newspapers archives to government documents and political commentaries. Clearly written and well-researched, Patler nicely balances social and political history with well-drawn portraits of significant figures inside and outside the NAACP." -- Glen Anthony Harris, The Journal of African American History

"...original and insightful material on African American activism. " -- John A. Kirk, American Historical Review, April 2007

"There is clearly a hero in this well-documented, very readable volume: William Monroe Trotter, the Boston-born founder and leader of the National Equal Rights League. Patler's admiration for Trotter...shines through..." -- David M. Kinchen, Huntington News, April 2, 2007

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