Freedom & Justice: Four Decades of the Civil Rights Struggle as Seen by a Black Photographer of the Deep South
This collection of essays by eight historians -- along with an epilogue by noted scholar Donald G. Mathews -- not only expands historical investigation of race and ethnicity in the South in fresh directions, but also dissects more thoroughly some traditional aspects of the topic. Addressing subjects from the 1830s to the 1990s, all of the essays underscore the constant struggle to define and redefine ethnic boundaries and etiquettes to match changing historical circumstances. Two essays use the history of military activity in the South to offer insights about evolving relationships between whites and Indians. Samuel J. Watson investigates the Seminole War in Florida while Clayton E. Jewett looks at battles between white Texans and Indians during the early period of the Civil War.
James Wilson and David McGee contribute to historians' deepening understanding of the redefinition of racial and ethnic relations during Reconstruction. Wilson analyzes the postbellum implications of Louisiana's three-tiered antebellum racial structure, while McGee delves into the differing fortunes of urban and rural blacks in Wake County, North Carolina, following Emancipation.
Angela Boswell and Stephen Brown ensure that other ethnic identities in the South are not forgotten. Boswell addresses domestic violence in nineteenth-century Colorado County, Texas, and includes Germans, as well as blacks and other whites, in her pathbreaking study. Brown offers a subtle reinterpretation of the Leo Frank lunching by examining Frank's Jewish identity within the context of southern honor and "whiteness."
Nancy Lopez and Jeff Roche subject more recent events to close study. Lopez tells the story of the childmurders in Atlanta in the late 1970s and early 1980s and relates them to the racial tensions remaining in the city despite the civil rights movement. Roche presents the equally fascinating story of Asa/Forrest Carter, a white supremacist from Alabama who cunningly adopted an Indian identity as the author of the much-loved "autobiographical" The Education of Little Tree. These emerging scholars contribute to the study of legal, military, cultural, and women's history, while demonstrating that race and ethnicity are woven deeply into all those aspects of the South's past.