Up & Coming Weekly

December 22, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1322284

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 14 UCW DECEMBER 23-29, 2020 LITERATURE Jim Crow is still alive in North Carolina by D.G. MARTIN D.G. MARTIN, Host of UNC's Book Watch. COMMENTS? Editor@upand- comingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Unbelievable when you think about it, how North Carolina maintained its segregated and discriminator y racial system for such a long time. The remnants of what is commonly called "Jim Crow" are still with us, a daily reminder of the horrors of the past. A new book, "Jim Crow in North Carolina: The Legislative Program from 1865 to 1920," by Richard A. Paschal helps us understand the impact of Jim Crow on North Carolina. It catalogues and summarizes race- based laws passed by the General Assembly from the end of the Civil War until 1920. Paschal, a Raleigh law yer who holds a graduate degree in histor y, argues that it was not so much the laws on the books that brought about and maintai- ned the segregated and oppressive sys- tem sometimes branded as "Jim Crow." More important, he says, were the longstanding communit y standards and customs and the allocation of com- munit y resources by the dominating white power structure. Paschal challenges the views of respected historians such as C. Vann Woodward, whose classic book, "The Strange Career of Jim Crow," argued that, even under slaver y, the two races had not been as divided as they were under the Jim Crow laws of the late 1890s and after wards. Further, Woodward said that during Reconstruction, there was significant racial mixing in economic and political matters. The segregating of the races, he wrote, was a relative newcomer to the region. The core of Paschal's book is his lists of laws passed by the N. C. General Assembly from 1865 through 1920. The lists include numerous laws pas- sed before the 1890s that restricted blacks or discriminated against them. W hile having separate schools for blacks and whites was not controversial in the time after the Civil War, unequal funding was a continuing blight. For instance, local communities had the power and responsibilit y for establis- hing and funding schools, supposed- ly on an equal basis. But one method approved by the legislature provided that the white schools would be fun- ded by taxes on white people and black schools would be funded by taxes on "colored persons." In 1885 the N. C. Supreme Court recognized the discrimination and struck down the plan. Paschal asserts that many of the Jim Crow restrictions and much of the sub- jugation of blacks were not solely "de jure," that is, mandated by specific laws. Much of Jim Crow came about without specific legislation. Even the most blatant result of the 1898 and 1900 white supremacy cam- paigns, the disenfranchisement of blacks, was accomplished by imple- mentation of a literacy requirement for voting. Paschal points out that a significant number of blacks were literate. The law permitted literate blacks to vote. But in its implementation, even the most literate blacks failed the tests imposed by communit y voting officials who were, of course, all white. With respect to jur y participation by blacks, Paschal found no racial restric- tions in the law, but blacks rarely were allowed to serve. "The lack of African Americans in the jur y box worked to the detriment of the black communit y and black criminal defendants for decades. The racial incitement of the white supremacy campaigns created a chasm between legal text and the application and operation of the law, as local offi- cials tilted the playing field decisively against the state's African American population." In his conclusion Paschal writes, "In order to fully understand the shadow that Jim Crow continues to cast over us today, it is necessar y to know how ostensibly democratic government at all levels and in all places used law to advance white interests while disad- vantaging the interests of African Americans and other minorities." He might have added that in too many places it is still happening. FREE HEALTH CARE • for uninsured Adults call 910.485.0555 VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 10 OCTOBER | 2020 Inspiring, educating, empowering and celebrating women in our community M A G A Z I N E West Fayetteville Farm Girls Fall Flavors for Your Table Help for Women's Health Carve and Craft Pumpkin Art More inside: VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 11 NOVEMBER | 2020 Inspiring, educating, empowering and celebrating women in our community M A G A Z I N E Easy Entertaining with Friends and Family Amplifying Thanks with a Grateful Attitude Destressing the Holidays Soup's On: Simple Suppers More inside: Simple Pleasures Simple Pleasures BY, FOR & ABOUT Inspiring, educating, empowering and celebrating women in our community

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - December 22, 2020