Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox
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Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. Artist Thomas Nast contrasted this image, captioned “ Pardon, ” of Confederate politicians and generals applying for pardons, which might give them the right to vote and hold office. . . .

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Artist Thomas Nast contrasted this image, captioned “Pardon,” of Confederate politicians and generals applying for pardons, which might give them the right to vote and hold office. . . .

with this image, entitled “Franchise,” of a crippled African American Union veteran, deserving of recognition by the Federal Government for his heroism and sacrifice, and deserving the right to vote


Thomas Nast’s depiction of the African American victim sacrificed upon the altar of the “white man’s government” and sectional reunion and reconciliation



Thomas Nast’s 1874 cartoon, “The New Alabama”; the flag reads, “This is a White Man’s Government”


caption reads: “Colored Rule in a Reconstructed (?) State”:

“The members call each other thieves, liars, rascals, and cowards.”

Columbia: “You are Aping the lowest Whites. If you disgrace your Race in this way you had better take Back Seats.”


The “patchwork quilt” of Reconstruction and Redemption


Republican Rutherford B. Hayes

Democrat Samuel Tilden

Election 2000

1876 Election



D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, 1915 release

Griffith’s tremendously popular film set the tone for a wave of motion pictures that denigrated blacks, even if that denigration usually comes through mockery. Birth of a Nation directly contributed to the reemergence of the defunct Ku Klux Klan in the late 1910s, and well into the Civil Rights struggle white supremacists continued to hail the film’s racist iconography.


the mulatto Gus,” the would-be rapist of a white woman in Birth of a Nation

Screen heavy Walter Long, in blackface, was cast as "Gus,"one of the most controversial castings and performances in cinema history.


Abolitionist Congressman, the Hon. Austin Stoneman (Ralph Lewis, in blackface),spearheaded the Reconstruction era in D.W. Griffith’s vision of the post-Civil War South.


Lewis, in blackface),The triumphant march of the Klan, Lillian Gish and Miriam Cooper at its head,”a cinematic moment that audiences would never forget.


Missing Revolution in Economic Relations Lewis, in blackface),

  • THREE (?) PILLARS OF WHITE SUPREMACY?

  • MOB VIOLENCE

  • SEGREGATION

  • DISFRANCHISEMENT


I. MOB VIOLENCE Lewis, in blackface),

I. “Carnival of Fury”: Sexual Mythology, Lynching, Mob Violence, and African American Resistance in the New South

A. the “epidemic of rape” that never was

B. Ida Wells-Barnett’s “crusade” against the “old threadbare lie”


Ida B. Wells-Barnett, early crusader against lynching: Lewis, in blackface),

“Nobody in this section of the country believes the old threadbare lie that Negro men rape white women”


  • SEGREGATION Lewis, in blackface),

  • The Supreme Court “Jumps Jim Crow”:

  • [Homer] Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and the Legitimization of Segregation

  • “green light” for segregation and other forms of racial proscription

  • • Plessy serves as the legal / constitutional “cement” for segregation; enshrines legal and cultural “legitimacy” of Jim Crow


III. DISFRANCHISEMENT Lewis, in blackface),

A. white Democrats vow never again to have poor blacks and whites join forces

B. “race-blind” disfranchisement mechanisms:

1. poll tax

2. literacy test

3. grandfather clause


Racial stereotypes of black politicians in 1898 Lewis, in blackface),

vs. Reconstruction depictions

Racial stereotypes of black politicians in 1874


Editorial Cartoon from the North Carolina Lewis, in blackface),

White Supremacy Campaign of 1898


Illustration of the Wilmington Lewis, in blackface),“race riot” of 1898 as it did not transpire; blacks were the victims of white violence, not the authors of violence


A FOURTH PILLAR OF WHITE SUPREMACY?


Lewis, in blackface),a missing revolution in economic relations”


One long term consequence of the Black Codes was the Lewis, in blackface),“racialization” of the South’s criminal justice system. . . .


Booker T. Washington Lewis, in blackface),

the “Wizard of Tuskegee” and “author” of the

“Atlanta Compromise” (1895)


W.E.B. Du Bois Lewis, in blackface),

one of the founders of the NAACP, historian, editorialist, and advocate of “persistent, manly agitation”


Sign indicating demarcation of segregated seating Lewis, in blackface),on Birmingham city bus during the Jim Crow era


Sign indicating demarcation of segregated seating Lewis, in blackface),on Birmingham city bus during the Jim Crow era


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