By Joel Williamson
The Crucible of Race, a massive reinterpretation of black-white family within the South, used to be largely acclaimed on book and in comparison favorably to 2 of the seminal books on Southern historical past: Wilbur J. Cash's The brain of Jim Crow. Representing twenty years of study and writing at the background of the South, The Crucible of Race explores the big subject of Southern race kinfolk for a span of a century and a part. Oxford is happy to make to be had an abridgement of this dad or mum quantity: A Rage for Order preserves all of the subject strains that have been complicated within the unique quantity and plenty of of the person tales. As in Crucible of Race, Williamson right here confronts the grim irony that the struggle to loose blacks from slavery additionally freed racism. He examines the shift within the energy base of Southern white management after 1850 and recounts the bad violence performed to blacks within the identify of self-protection. This condensation of 1 of an important interpretations of Southern historical past is on the market as a method during which a wide viewers can clutch the necessities of black-white relations--a challenge that persists to this present day and one with which all of us needs to contend--North and South, black and white.
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Extra info for A Rage for Order: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation
The drive for a harmonious, unitary culture produced an outpouring of intellectual energy in the Old South that is no less than astounding. The proslavery argument—horrible in its purpose of enforcing perpetual bondage upon a whole race of people—was yet an impressive example of how gymnastic, how muscular, how imaginative and driven the human mind can be under pressure. Nourished in the rich soil of economic prosperity, warmed by the sun of social necessity, the black flowers of the proslavery argument thrived marvelously in the Old South.
Their religion, their entertainment, their diet, and their sense of family, justice, and self might all have dimensions well beyond the slave system as conceived by the white mind. Second, black culture included free blacks as well as slave blacks. On the eve of the Civil War there were about half a million free blacks in America, half of whom lived in the South. As with slaves, most but not all of their culture was circumscribed by the world the whites made. To some extent, black culture resulted from black people’s perception and imitation of the white way.
Southern women, and especially some of those plantation women who lived with their families closest to large numbers of slaves, were also restless under the rising regime of the slave-based society. The wives and mothers of slaveholders had probably long been anxious about their men in the midst of a village of subordinate if not submissive dark women. However much they might relish and want to believe in a world in which superbly loyal Negro women existed only to nourish fondly their own white children, the fact was that numbers of mulatto children were constantly appearing.
A Rage for Order: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation by Joel Williamson