During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, both freed and enslaved Black people came to the American West from the South, searching for lives free of the violence and oppression imposed first by slavery, and later by Jim Crow. In California, however, Black people often found equally calculated forms of disenfranchisement and segregation.
Historian Lynn M. Covering topics such as Ku Klux Klan assassinations, segregation at community pools and schools and the implementation discreet meets of Fredericksburg VA eugenics, the book catalogues the intellectual and activist history of Black resistance in California. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
High Country News: Date ideas Alton book offers a very sober look at Reconstruction as it relates to the American West, and specifically these dreams Black Americans had of a better future in the West. What drew you to start your research in Pasadena?
Lynn M. Board of Education and for maintaining segregated schools. So, while I was too young to really understand the lawsuits, I was a product of the school integration that resulted. I was in the fourth grade and went from having a very white-only experience to learning about Black history and having Filipino finding another woman for a three Naperville IL and Mexican American friends.
I Oklahoma divorcees dating learned about the way that segregation continued to operate — I heard from my teachers and my parents about how segregated the municipal pool was and that Black people couldn't swim there.
A new history of the state traces early civil rights battles spearheaded by black activists.
HCN: One of the central focuses in West of Jim Crow is on the legal methods Black Americans, particularly women, used to challenged discriminatory practices such as segregation — and their awareness of the limits to that approach. LMH: Yes. I try to show in my book that Black women were in the forefront of all of these organizations — of anti-lynching movements, of free online Miami Florida chatting anti-Klan movement.
Charlotta Bass the first Black woman to be nominated for vice president led the movement to get the Klan out of LA and out of California. Delilah Beasley a historian and journalist dating someone from Nevada to stop lynching in the state.
Those women were very different from each other: Bass was a socialist and communist, the editor and publisher of the California Eagle a Black newspaper based in Los Angeles.
Beasley was from the generation earlier; the politics of respectability would have weighed heavily on her. But both saw the limits of strictly legal strategies to end lynching or to get the Klan out of California.
I do see a lot of similarities in the work that African American women are doing today on the dating a Houston Tx laws lines, in the organizations you mentioned. And the women who started Black Lives Matter are very, very aware of class, as Bass was, and very aware of gender and discrimination around queer identity and trans identity.
They take an intersectional approach. HCN: You write about different approaches taken by Black activists to fight issues like segregation and racist justifications for them.
For instance, there was the question of how Black people should respond to the language of eugenics. How did these actions play out publicly among Black people? LMH: African Americans were well aware of the scientific racism that was shaping their chances for citizenship in the 19th century. I was fascinated to find in the San Francisco Black press these references to scientific racism in the s and records from Black conventions where attendees, mostly men, spoke out against it. The ways that women fought back against that ideology that Black women were unfit to be mothers — and were intellectually, socially, and physically inferior — was best telephone dating phone numbers Miami Fl really take rock dating Vallejo CA space at that parade celebrating Black domesticity and Black womanhood, showing off their physical beauty and social respectability by adorning floats with flowers and putting school children on them with American flags.
That was also a counter-discourse, but not in the way historians oftentimes expect. But when you look a bit deeper, anti-Black oppression has been legal in California throughout its state history, along with other forms of racist oppression, such as anti-Indigeneity, that continue today. You write about this contradiction, and how free Black people dating age in Phoenix Arizona AZ came to California in the 19th century pushed against this mythology.
Where was it was coming from, this desire to make California not merely just comparatively better, but actually live up to its values?
For Black people during the Reconstruction Era, their idea of California as a democracy was actually of a working democracy where justice would thrive, as opposed to the places they came from. African Americans in California continue to push it to live up to their dreams. Cassie da Costa is a staff writer for the Daily Beast and an editor for the London-based queer and feminist film journal Another Gaze. Follow her on Twitter tooearnest. High Country News at [ dating someone out of your Austin Texas TX or submit a letter to the editor.
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