"the best notes made the most votes": race, politics, and spectacle in the South, 1877-1932

dc.contributorRothman, Joshua D.
dc.contributorRable, George C.
dc.contributorGreen, Sharony Andrews
dc.contributorBrundage, W. Fitzhugh
dc.contributorHuebner, Andrew J.
dc.contributor.advisorFrederickson, Kari A.
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Mark A.
dc.contributor.otherUniversity of Alabama Tuscaloosa
dc.descriptionElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.description.abstractFrom the end of Reconstruction in 1877 to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, black southerners influenced local, state, and national politics and challenged white supremacy by performing at political spectacles. Reformers, Lost Cause advocates, and party leaders employed spectacle to generate enthusiasm, demonstrate the strength of the party, mobilize voters, legitimize electoral results, and spread their platforms. Before disfranchisement, African Americans played prominent roles in these spectacles as performers, orators, musicians, marchers, and torchbearers. Despite attempts to eliminate spectacles and restrict voting, southerners continued to view spectacle as an important part of the political process. In the twentieth century, African Americans participated in spectacles despite disfranchisement, diminished economic opportunity, and the threat of lynching. With their presence and activism, they remained a visible and audible part of the public sphere, which resulted in financial improvement and political influence. At times, they exhibited dangerous behavior at political spectacles by harassing white politicians and confronting white women. Based on findings in newspapers and archives, this dissertation examines three case studies from Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee. From 1885 to 1898, black Atlanta and black Maconites played prominent roles in the local-option prohibition campaigns of the region despite increasingly hostile attitudes toward African Americans. In 1903, black musicians in New Orleans allied with their white colleagues to protest the exclusion of black talent from a reunion of Confederate veterans. In 1909, black bandleader W. C. Handy lent his talents to the mayoral campaign of Edward Hull Crump. During the campaign, Handy composed a song that launched both of their careers. In addition to these case studies, this dissertation consists of three broader chapters, which reveal black southerners performed similar behavior across the South. From 1877 to 1932, African Americans spoke at public rallies, generated enthusiasm with music, linked party politics to the memory of the Civil War, honored favorable candidates, and openly humiliated their opposition.en_US
dc.format.extent314 p.
dc.publisherUniversity of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.hasversionborn digital
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.rightsAll rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.en_US
dc.title"the best notes made the most votes": race, politics, and spectacle in the South, 1877-1932en_US
etdms.degree.departmentUniversity of Alabama. Department of History
etdms.degree.grantorThe University of Alabama
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