The Jim Crow Routine
Stephen A. Berrey
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik
The South's system of Jim Crow racial oppression is usually understood in terms of legal segregation that mandated the separation of white and black Americans. Yet, as Stephen A. Berrey shows, it was also a high-stakes drama that played out in the routines of everyday life, where blacks and whites regularly interacted on sidewalks and buses and in businesses and homes. Every day, individuals made, unmade, and remade Jim Crow in how they played their racial roles--how they moved, talked, even gestured. The highly visible but often subtle nature of these interactions constituted the Jim Crow routine.
In this study of Mississippi race relations in the final decades of the Jim Crow era, Berrey argues that daily interactions between blacks and whites are central to understanding segregation and the racial system that followed it. Berrey shows how civil rights activism, African Americans' refusal to follow the Jim Crow script, and national perceptions of southern race relations led Mississippi segregationists to change tactics. No longer able to rely on the earlier routines, whites turned instead to less visible but equally insidious practices of violence, surveillance, and policing, rooted in a racially coded language of law and order. Reflecting broader national transformations, these practices laid the groundwork for a new era marked by black criminalization, mass incarceration, and a growing police presence in everyday life.
race and policing, racial surveillance, segregation in Mississippi, everyday performances of race, lynching and racial violence, racial transformations in the post-World War II US, law and order, race relations in the post-civil rights era, Jim Crow laws and customs, civil rights protest, race relations in the post-World War II US, Massive Resistance to desegregation, racial integration, black militancy and armed self-defense, race and state executions, black domestic workers in the South, Jim Crow racial discourses, narratives of racial harmony, civil rights movement in Mississippi, race relations in the US South, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, performances of blackness and whiteness, interracial intimacy, media coverage of the civil rights movement, everyday forms of resistance, Jim Crow geography and spaces, the Citizens’ Council, black criminality