November 14, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality

From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality

Michael J. Klarman

Language: English

Pages: 672

ISBN: 0195310187

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A monumental investigation of the Supreme Court's rulings on race, From Jim Crow To Civil Rights spells out in compelling detail the political and social context within which the Supreme Court Justices operate and the consequences of their decisions for American race relations. In a highly provocative interpretation of the decision's connection to the civil rights movement, Klarman argues that Brown was more important for mobilizing southern white opposition to racial change than for encouraging direct-action protest. Brown unquestioningly had a significant impact--it brought race issues to public attention and it mobilized supporters of the ruling. It also, however, energized the opposition. In this authoritative account of constitutional law concerning race, Michael Klarman details, in the richest and most thorough discussion to date, how and whether Supreme Court decisions do, in fact, matter.

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meant financial assistance, legal expertise, morale boosting, and the capacity to focus national attention on oppressive local practices, which might help spur their elimination. But to southern whites, the association represented “outside interference.” Thus, the NAACP’s involvement in a case inevitably raised the stakes from the fate of a particular black defendant to the capacity of southern whites to control their own race relations. For this reason, local defense counsel often preferred to

threw out the grade-a-year plan of Fairfax County, Virginia, reasoning that Fairfax, with its 4 percent black population, could move more quickly than Nashville, with its 37 percent. In 1961–1962, several Tennessee judges rejected grade-a-year plans, ordering counties to desegregate several grades at once or, in some instances, all grades simultaneously. Late in 1960, the Fifth Circuit invalidated as discriminatory the minority-to-majority transfer option in the Dallas desegregation plan,

v. Stephenson, 71 Ill. 383 (1874). 63. Price, “School Segregation in Nineteenth-Century Pennsylvania,” 135–37; Ment, “Racial Segregation in the Public Schools,” 149, 153, 169–70, 180, 183, 282, 286; Douglas, “Limits of Law,” 684–97; Gerber, Black Ohio, 57, 265–66; Fishel, “The North and the Negro,” 183–84, 317–25; Meier & Rudwick, “East Orange, New Jersey, Experience,” 29; Meier & Rudwick, “Alton, Illinois, Case,” 395; Du Bois, Philadelphia Negro, 349; Homel, “Two Worlds of Race?” 242; Nation 58

1965, pp. 23–28; 26 Mar. 1965, pp. 19–23; “Special Message to the Congress: The American Promise” (15 Mar. 1965), in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, vol. 1 (Washington, D.C., 1966): 281, 284; 111 Congressional Record 4984–89, 5014–15 (15 Mar. 1964); Carter, George Wallace, 250, 254–55; Garrow, Protest at Selma, 78–108; Fairclough, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 247, 249–51; Fager, Selma, 208–9; Stern, Kennedy, Johnson, and Civil Rights,

from office in the first decade of the twentieth century. With black political power completely nullified in the South, radical racists such as James Vardaman, Hoke Smith, and Cole Blease swept to power. Blease bragged that he would resign as governor of South Carolina and “lead the mob,” rather than use his office to protect a “nigger brute” from lynching. Vardaman promised that “every Negro in the state will be lynched,” if necessary, to maintain white supremacy.8 Racial disparities in

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