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The burning house : Jim Crow and the making of modern America

Author: Anders Walker
Publisher: New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, [2018] ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A startling and gripping reexamination of the Jim Crow era, as seen through the eyes of some of the most important American writers. In this dramatic reexamination of the Jim Crow South, Anders Walker demonstrates that racial segregation fostered not simply terror and violence, but also diversity, one of our most celebrated ideals. He investigates how prominent intellectuals like Robert Penn Warren, James Baldwin,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Anders Walker
ISBN: 9780300223989 0300223986
OCLC Number: 1021040585
Description: xi, 290 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction --
The briar patch --
The white mare --
Inner conflict --
Invisible man --
The color curtain --
Intruder in the dust --
Fire next time --
Everything that rises must converge --
Who speaks for the Negro? --
The demonstrators --
Mockingbirds --
The cantos --
Regents v. Bakke --
The last lynching --
Beyond the peacock --
Missouri v. Jenkins --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: Anders Walker.

Abstract:

A startling and gripping reexamination of the Jim Crow era, as seen through the eyes of some of the most important American writers  Read more...

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"This is a powerful book that adds greater nuance to U.S. intellectual history, legal history, the history of the civil rights movement, and the history of the U.S. South"-Melissa Milewski, Journal Read more...

 
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In this dramatic reexamination of the Jim Crow South, Anders Walker demonstrates that racial segregation fostered not simply terror and violence, but also diversity, one of our most celebrated ideals. He investigates how prominent intellectuals like Robert Penn Warren, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O\'Connor, and Zora Neale Hurston found pluralism in Jim Crow, a legal system that created two worlds, each with its own institutions, traditions, even cultures. The intellectuals discussed in this book all agreed that black culture was resilient, creative, and profound, brutally honest in its assessment of American history. By contrast, James Baldwin likened white culture to a \"burning house,\" a frightening place that endorsed racism and violence to maintain dominance. Why should black Americans exchange their experience for that? Southern whites, meanwhile, saw themselves preserving a rich cultural landscape against the onslaught of mass culture and federal power, a project carried to the highest levels of American law by Supreme Court justice and Virginia native Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Anders Walker shows how a generation of scholars and judges has misinterpreted Powell\'s definition of diversity in the landmark case Regents v. Bakke, forgetting its Southern origins and weakening it in the process. By resituating the decision in the context of Southern intellectual history, Walker places diversity on a new footing, independent of affirmative action but also free from the constraints currently placed on it by the Supreme Court. 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