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tv   World War II and Civil Rights  CSPAN  February 12, 2017 11:00am-11:47am EST

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drugs matter, but who takes those drugs and why the drugs have the effect they did in the 1960's and early 1970's was something we are still wrestling with as scholars to understand. atwatch the entire program 6:30 p.m. eastern on sunday. this is american history tv, only on c-span3. >> next on lectures of history, rose college professor charles . -- charles mckinney teaches a class about early civil rights efforts during the world war ii era and describes movements to end segregation and court cases challenging separate but equal education opportunities. his class is about 45 minutes. professor mckinney: good afternoon. let's spend a bit of time discussing world war ii and the african-american experience. or what i like to call the movement before the movement. right?
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african-american participation, in thinking about world war ii, grappling with the various and sundry issues and challenges that the 1940's present. today's reading, what the negro wants and in this reading we see some pretty clear unanimity in terms of african-american leadership saying in a fairly full chorus, right, that segregation needs to go. and this is a shock to white southern liberals, right, and moderates all across the nation. the question for today that we'll answer is how do we get there? how do we get in 1944 african-americans coming together, leadership from across political spectrum coming together and saying, yes. it is time for segregation to go. the answer to that question i would contend is that there is just movement, what i like to call this movement before the
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movement. a series of events, actions and activities we have to consider when we think about the moment in 1944. one of the places we can start is back in 1941 and just a little bit of background in terms of the african-american community in the united states in the 1940's. the great depression is still hammering communities all across the country. african-americans are suffering in particular in all major cities in the united states , african-american men are facing unemployment rates up to 50%. some places 2/3 or 3/4 of black families are on public relief. chicago, st. louis, new york, charlotte, unemployment rates for african-american men are at or over 50%. there is systemic discrimination in employment. again, still living in a
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segregated society. segregation is still the law of the land as was talked about in previous classes. as by way of reminder one of the , responses to segregation particularly in the american south has been massive migration. so we're seeing tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, soon millions of african-americans leaving the american south in response to the realities of racial terror and segregation, moving into -- moving into major urban centers in the south and outside of the south. major urban centers like chicago, new york, philadelphia, d.c., flint, michigan, detroit, michigan, and places like that. this is also going to give us heightened racial tensions in these cities where we'll see african-americans, the african-american population increase from 50% to over 700% in some places. so in response to the great
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depression, president roosevelt passes a series of new deal legislation, new deal policies designed to get us out of the p -- out of the depression. so many of these policies for our purposes we can think about and consider policies in farming and housing that are helping african-americans. again, we have to remember the vast majority of african-americans are still residing in the american south and so that's why we should be particularly concerned with policies related to farming and housing. in these areas, we see marginal benefits for african-americans. segregation limits, their efficacy in the south. so we see federal entities providing subsidies to farmers. what happens when you're not the actual farmer? what happens when you're a tenant on that land? you may or may not see that money. you may or may not see that income. right? on the flipside the new deal , also creates spaces for
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african-americans and southern african-americans in particular to start to push for a civil and economic rights. it gives them, again, to use roger wilson's phrase, that human space to push for and aspire for that inclusion into the main stream of american life. so the new deal is very essential in that regard. we're also seeing a continued fight against lynching. this has been an issue since the beginning of the 20th century as we well know and it is still an issue in the late 1930's and early 1940's, african-americans are still facing the threat of racial terror throughout the united states. there is going to be some push back against this. pushing for and advocacy of national legislation, anti-lynching legislation, and also some other areas of pushback in terms of african-americans again trying to assert their rights. assert their rights as citizens of the country. for instance, in the 1930's moving into the 1940's, a series
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of don't buy where you can't work boycotts. the segregation combined with the depression has pushed african-american employees, african-american workers out of places they had formerly occupied. what this means in places like st. louis or birmingham or new york or philadelphia, urban centers, right, is places where black communities reside, african-americans are not working in stores and businesses and shops in their own communities. so, for instance, in the 1930's adam clayton powell who will go on to become a powerful congressman spearheads a series of don't buy where you don't -- where you can't work boycotts in harlem for instance. and so that is one example of the efforts to again get included in the main stream of american life. other efforts the naacp.
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that national civil rights organization again created in 1909. by the 1930's, they're in the process of systematically chipping away at legal segregation. again, this is an organization primarily dedicated to the legal route of getting rid of segregation. segregation as legal entity. let's make it unconstitutional. that is going to be a two-decade battle. in the beginning of the 1930's the naacp starts to make some pretty significant strides. and so in 1938, we have a case called the gangs case. this is in 1938. basically what we have here is the naacp creating what i like to call legal jiu-jitsu, a legal move where they're going to use the constitution in order to have the constitution enforced in a different way. the law of the land in 1938 is still plessy v. ferguson,
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separate but equal. so mr. gains applies as an african-american for law school in missouri at the university of missouri. he is denied admission because he is a negro. gangs with the help of the naacp sue and in this case makes its way up to the supreme court. the supreme court basically is beholden to plessy. plessy is separate but what? separate but equal. exactly. so the decision of the court, the court says, okay. state of missouri, you've got two options. either you let mr. gains into the university of missouri or you do what? or you build him a law school. right? or you build him a law school. and so missouri, well, welcome missouri -- missouri is like well, welcome to the university of missouri. right? they decide not to build him a separate law school and they let him into the university of missouri. so we see, again, the pattern. we see the design. we see the path the naacp is taking in terms of chipping away
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at legal segregation. separate but equal only works if there is in fact separate but equal facilities. in the case of graduate education throughout the south, particularly throughout the south, we could also say throughout the country but particularly in the south where segregation is legal, where it's legislated, all right, we see significant gaps in legal education. significant gaps in graduate education. there is one graduate school, one law school for african-americans in the american south in the 1930's. that's howard university, right? there is one dental school. two are two medical schools. one in nashville and one in washington, d.c. so all of the other graduate programs you can imagine are outside of the south. this is a very instrumental process that the naacp is engaged on in terms of this assault on segregation.
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other things we should keep in mind in terms of what is going on in terms of organizing and mobilizing communities, the naacp has a brilliant organizer, a woman who is a director of branches by the name of ella baker. you don't know this name, you should look her up. google ella baker. hit wikipedia. whatever way you can find the source. she is one of the architects of the modern civil rights movement. in the late 1930's, early 1940's she is working for the naacp and she is instrumental in helping them expand their population, expand the vitality of their branches. she is the director of branches. her job is to go into places that have more abundant chapters of the naacp and figure out how to revive them. one of the things she discovers is that there's lots of local leadership in places all across the american south. in birmingham, memphis, in miami, ocala, florida, she is all over the place again trying
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to energize naacp chapters. it is at this time we see the naacp grow dramatically. it goes from 50,000 in 1940 to 450,000 in 1945. all right. that's huge. ella baker is primarily responsible for that. this is important because, again, the naacp is going to be one of those foundational organizations so crucial when it comes to the 1960's. when it comes to the civil rights movement that is in the process of being built in the 1930's, in the 1940's. and so all of this is sort of background. when we break into war, when america enters the war in 1941, at the outbreak of the war, the united states is still a thoroughly segregated nation.
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thoroughly segregated. right? and so what this means, then, is as a segregated nation african-americans are going to suffer discrimination in the defense industry. right? we've got rampant employment discrimination. again, segregation. right? the federal government is fully funding -- funding defense spending in the building. -- in the billions. f.d.r., president roosevelt gets a bill passed for $7 billion, the largest appropriation in american history at the time. this appropriation is for the defense industry. for us to build all of the things we need. we're going to become the arsenal of democracy, build jeeps, guns, tanks, aircraft carriers, airplanes. all of the material needed to wage war. 1940, african-americans make up less than 2% in the nation's aircraft industry.
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10% of the population only 2% of , the aircraft industry. aviation firms are openly discriminating against african-americans along with a , host of other defense firms. one aviation firm says, look. blacks will only be considered for janitorial positions, regardless of your educational status. right? if you have a bachelors degree in engineering, you can be a janitor. regardless of educational status. unions are also systematically excluding skilled black laborers. and so we see a similar pattern of discrimination in the military. again, we're a segregated society. so the society reflects the culture in which it operates. in 1940 there are 5,000 african-american soldiers in the military and out of that 5,000 fewer than 12 officers. total number of people in the military?
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230,000. 12 african-american officers. in in the united states marines 1940, there are exactly zero african-american soldiers. because they were barred from the marines. the marines were under the impression, and again, this was not something completely exclusive to the marines, but they were under the impression that african-americans just didn't make good soldiers. so there were no african-americans in the marine corps. in the u.s. navy, african-americans could only serve as janitors and mess officials. there's the background of the 1940's. systemic discrimination, the reality of jim crow, the reality of racial inequality. african-american communities across the nation mobilizing and trying to figure out how to confront this, how to confront this reality. right? so enter a. philip randolph. he is a former editor and writer and a union organizer.
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he organized a union called the brotherhood of sleeping car porters. he organizes the union in 1925. trains are still one of the major modes of transportation in the united states in the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's. so the sleeping car, if you're traveling for instance from atlanta to, say, new york, and you are in the sleeping car, you're asleep so you've got attendants taking care of you. what randolph does he helps unionize the sleeping car porters, men and women who are working in these, for these train companies. right? so this is 1925 and this is the largest african-american union of its era. randolph is a passionate
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advocate for black working men and women. very passionate advocate. as a union man he has a distinct understanding of power. dr. martin luther king in one of his speeches talks about the definition of power and he says, union folks understand power. power is when the union can make general motors say yes when it wants to say no. all right? to make the largest company in the world say yes when it wants to say no. so he's not overly invested in these appeals to white sensibility. he is not overly invested also in the gradualism of the naacp. these legal cases. i mean, this is great and it should happen, but once something goes to court, then we
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just sort of sit around and wait. right? randolph believes something else should be happening. in 1941, a chicago meeting of a number of civil rights organizations, discussing employment discrimination, here is the idea in the audience from a black woman who is in attendance. this woman says we ought to throw 50,000 negros around the white house until we can get some action. she's half joking, half serious. randolph says, that's a brilliant idea. and so in early june of 1941 he starts organizing what he calls the march on washington movement. all right. and this is a math based movement. this is a movement of african-americans of all classes. all shapes and sizes. within months, this movement has headquarters in harlem, washington, d.c., pittsburgh, detroit, chicago, st. louis, san francisco. it's a national -- rapidly becomes a national organization.
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he then joins forces with the naacp and the urban league. churches and fraternal organizations. black institutions across the nation. becoming increasingly invested in this idea about this march on washington. it is organizing working folk again as well as middle class african-americans. this is a different animal than we've seen in the past and a different type of organizing, a different type of response to the realities of segregation. and randolph's threat is very simple. look. president roosevelt, we sent you some suggestions about how we can end discrimination or at least improve working conditions for african-americans in the defense industry and you ignored us. here is our second option. our section option is if you
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continue to ignore us we'll bring 100,000 negros to protest in front of -- on the lawn of the white house. on the national mall. 100,000 in the midst of this war. we're going to protest and say you know what? we're not doing what you say we do. the arsenal of democracy is being undemocratic. so we got to understand what this is. all right? this is a frontal assault on jim crow. this is a frontal assault on jim crow. it is being waged at the federal level. that's what randolph is in the process of doing. the other thing that he is doing is increasingly using this rhetoric that more and more african-americans are using that is tying the antidemocratic practices of the nazis, of the axis powers to the anti-democratic practices of segregationist governors and government. all right? so he is saying, look.
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there is no difference between hitler of germany and eugene towminge of georgia. there is no difference. we see randolph and a host of other folks making this similar juxtaposition in terms of the position of african-americans in the united states. randolph sees a lot of intense pressure to call off this march in the name of national unity. hey, what are you doing? you can't do this now. we've got to come together as a nation. we have to come together as a collective so that we can beat the axis powers, so we can beat germany, so we can beat japan. randolph says, no. this is exactly the time that we should engage in this strategy. and so what we see randolph doing is again sort of saying i am no longer invested in this idea of racial diplomacy that we're going to appeal to the better angels of the federal government's nature.
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that we're going to appeal to folks and say, hey, could we maybe get some equality, right? could we maybe have a cessation of employment discrimination? again, he has a different definition of power, a different notion of how power can be wielded in the pursuit of equality. so june 18, 1941, randolph and walter white the chairman of the naacp meet with president roosevelt and lay it out. look. we need something concrete or we're going to bring these folks we have mobilized from all across the nation to your door step in this massive protest. six days later, six days later, the president of the united states issues executive order 8802. executive order 8802. this order bans racial
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discrimination in government employment, defensive industries, and training programs. it also creates a fair employment practices committee, fepc. fair employment practices committee to implement the provisions. and since the fepc gets created, randolph calls off the march. bullet dodged. now the resistance to integration and the pushback that the fepc sees is vociferous. we don't see dramatic increases in african-american employment particularly in the areas of skilled labor but we do see some increases.
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right? so we see a black -- african-americans in war production their numbers go from less than 3% in 1942 to over 8% in 1944. which is close to the population proportion of african-americans in the population. roughly 10%. right? and so this represents a significant increase in the presence of skilled laborers, right? back to the engineering plan. that engineering plant where in 1940 it would not have hired an african-american with an engineering degree. now that chance is dramatically increased that would actually happen. the other thing we see randolph doing here is a. philip randolph is laying out the strategy and tactic for an emerging civil rights movement. laying out the strategy and tactic and the format for an emerging civil rights movement. a few things we can observe here that randolph is advocating. first off, mass based.
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look, if we're going to get free, get rid of segregation, we can't simply bring intellectuals in the middle class together. this has to be a mass based movement. this has to be something that is all hands on deck. because that's the only way we'll move forward. again, randolph is a union man. right? when you go on strike, you don't say, okay. you three go on strike and the rest of you continue to work. no. you say, look. we're all going out. work is going to stop until our demands are met. so it is a mass based movement. randolph says the negro's cause cannot win without the masses. the second thing he engages in is the employment of nonviolent direct action. mass marches.
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picketting. boycotts. strikes. sound familiar? this is the stuff of this emerging civil rights movement. we'll see hosts of these. we'll see all manner of marches and pickets and boycotts and strikes and speaking of boycotts, a. philip randolph is a union man so whenever he is in montgomery, alabama he hangs out with an old friend a guy by the name of e.d. nixon. e.d. nixon is the state chair of the naacp for alabama. he lives in montgomery. when rosa parks gets arrested in 1965, e.d. nixon is the man who is going to orchestrate the montgomery bus boycott with the help of the women's political council. so if we were to graph all of this stuff out, right, randolph is close personal friends with e.d. nixon who understands the
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power and efficacy of things like boycotts and pickets. so that's why he immediately grabs on to the idea of a boycott because he understands how powerful of a tool that can actually be. so mass based. everyone needs to be involved. nonviolent direct action, marches, tickets, boycotts, strikes. randolph also shows us the advocacy of a strong federal government. look, in order for us to get rid of segregation, we have to have some moves made by the federal government. we can't wait for alabama to figure out how to repeal segregation. that is not going to happen. we've got to push on a federal level for strong, civil rights legislation. randolph also helps lay bare the myth of a benevolent federal government. right?
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we get the fepc. we get 8802. all right. only in the face of pressure. roosevelt does not pass this one morning after having had a hearty breakfast. that is not how this works. he is pressured into doing this and then that pressure also gives him the political cover to do this. he says, look. if i don't act proactively on behalf of african-americans then this public relations nightmare will befall the nation in the midst of war. this legislation, this thing has to happen. right? the kale inclusion of social change, the calculus of protest, randolph is bringing a new formulation to all of that. we see all of this being implemented and thought of in the 1960's. even think of the phrase with the march on washington movement. this is 1941. is there another march on washington that we will recall? why, yes.
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professor mckinney, yes, there is. 1963. the march on washington. martin luther king's "i have a dream" speech that march organized by a. philip randolph. right? it makes sense for randolph to organize the 1963 march because he had done the work before. right? and so the march on washington movement, very important for us to understand in terms of how we grapple with the political terrain of african-americans vis-a-vis segregation in 1944. the second thing, really quickly, that we can think about is something called the double v campaign. some of the dynamics to take into account when we think about the sea change we see in african-american communities and
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african-american politics and american politics sort of undergoing during the war, after the first world war northern black newspapers and this is a phenomenon of the african-american press which we talked a little bit about in class. after world war i northern papers are extolling the virtues of life in the north. the pittsburgh courier, new york amsterdam news, are saying, hey, black folks, leave the south. come on up north. so they're fanning the flames of migration. they're encouraging african-americans to leave the south and come up north. they are also increasingly asserting their roles as crusaders with regard to the coverage of lynching. we see increased coverage of lynching in the 1930's and 1940's. african-american newspapers are filling a very usually role for african-american communities,
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covering all of the news white newspapers simply are not covering. right? so whether it's the papparazzi, whether it's baseball, negro league information, whether it's, whatever it is, really important and got national or international political implications for black folk or whether or not jackie robinson came to town for a gala event the other day, right, the black press is covering black america. again, because mainstream newspapers are not doing this work. with the advent of migration, with more african-americans leaving the south and coming to the north, you see an increased coverage. we see a massive increase in circulation. so black newspapers go from a circulation of about 300,000 copies in the 1920's to over 1.8 million in 1945. 1.8 million in 1945. and so what we see is that the papers are reflecting the attitudes of the readers.
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black folk are clearly fed up with the double standard of discrimination. this is becoming blazingly evident. again, as we fight a war for democracy, right? we can already see, we can already see, in terms of thinking about the contradictions and tensions inherent in this moment, in this time. so p.b. young the editor of the norfolk journal and guide out of norfolk, virginia, one of the larger african-american newspapers, speaks from the heart when he sees in his paper, he is addressing this to white liberals who are very concerned about all of this -- all of this complaining they see coming out of african-american newspapers about inequality and about hypocrisy. he says help us get some of the blessings of democracy here at home before you tell us to go forth and die in a foreign land.
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before you tell us to go forth and die in a foreign land. so this is a pretty explicit rebuff. pretty explicit rejoinder to people who are saying to folks like p.b. young, look, hey, ease up on the whole racial discrimination thing. young says no. actually i can't do that. actually i can't do that. so the pittsburgh courier which is another major african-american newspaper gets a letter from one of their readers. the letter is titled "should i sacrifice to live half american?" should i sacrifice to live half american. and the writer of the letter suggests we colored people adopt the double v for a double victory. the first v for victory over our enemies from without. the second v for victory over our enemies from within. for surely those perpetuate the ugly prejudices here are seeking to destroy our democratic form of government just as surely as the axis forces.
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again, individuals, people living out their lives in the united states, african-americans, people of color, are having to confront on a daily basis, the contradiction of fighting for equality and freedom, of the nation fighting for equality and freedom, fighting for equality, fighting for freedom they don't possess in the united states. and so two weeks after this letter the courier runs with it. a full scale campaign. the double v campaign. victory at home. victory abroad. so full scale campaign. 200,000 papers a week. across the nation. and again, the pittsburgh courier is such a large and influential paper that is not 200,000 papers in pittsburgh but across the nation. 200,000 across the nation. the courier is going to be investigated by the f.b.i., a young j. edgar hoover, by the post office and the office of
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war information. they're investigating them for whether or not they can be charged with treason. again, we're also going to see a stifling of free speech, a stifling of dissent during the war years. the other thing the newspaper is going to do and black papers all across the nation are going to do is turn local stories about segregation and inequality, turn those local stories into national stories. 1942, an african-american soldier is wounded. he loses his leg in a major battle in europe. he gets on a boat home and gets off the boat in los angeles. he is supposed to be picked up by his wife and his in-laws. he is not picked up by his wife and in-laws because they're in jail. the reason that they are in jail is because his wife tried to buy a home in a white neighborhood. the white neighborhood had a restrictive covenant so the
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neighborhood took the wife to court, said, look, we don't want you in our neighborhood. she said, i don't understand. why? we don't want negros in the neighborhood. she said look, i have this money with the money my husband earned fighting for the defense of our country. we should be able to live wherever we want. the judge disagreed with that, found her in contempt of court, and placed her and her parents in jail. now, a few years earlier this would have remained a local story. but in 1942, in the midst of the war, the story is carried by "the los angeles sentinel" an african-american newspaper in los angeles and is quickly distributed through the associated negro press, the national press entity for black newspapers. it is quickly distributed all
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across the country. i bump into this article in "the norfolk journal" when i'm doing my research in 2002. so this story is reprinted all across the nation. the story is particularly telling because this is a family of a veteran. this is the family of a veteran. this is somebody who literally has given a portion of his body for our defense. who comes home and finds his family incarcerated because they thought they could live wherever they want. 1942, a young man by the name of charles branford from wilson, north carolina, goes off to basic training. he goes into the local hot dog stand and says, look. i'm getting ready to go off for basic training and i want to buy a hot dog. i know this is a segregated joint but, hey, just help me out here. the waitress takes pity on him, says okay. fine. gives him a hot dog. manager comes out. sees what's going on, and knocks the hot dog out of his hand before he is able to bite it. so he turns to leave.
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he is disgusted. and he notices something he didn't notice on the way in. he sees three men sitting at the bar eating hot dogs. and he notices that there are two military policemen standing next to them. and on the back of their overalls these men have these words, these letters. "p.o.w." that stands for prisoners of war. in wilson, north carolina in 1942, nazi soldiers got to eat hot dogs in this hot dog stand in the united states of america. but charles branford, an american, and a soldier, cannot. why? because he's an african-american. because he's black. that is the nation's dedication to segregation. charles branford tells me this story in 2002. i just told you this story in 30
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seconds. ta takes him 30 minutes to get through it because he still gets choked up thinking about it. right? 60 years after it happened he could still barely talk about it because he said i'm getting ready to go fight and maybe die for my nation, and german prisoners of war, nazi soldiers, get treated better than me in my hometown of wilson, north carolina? what am i fighting for? what am i fighting for? so these are the sorts of stories that are going to be reproduced by the black press, and the local stories are going to have a national audience. right? so one of the things that the double v campaign does is it provides this national context for this conversation about inequality, for this conversation about segregation. so the march on washington movement, the double v campaign,
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one of the things that both of these movements revealed is the ways in which local people, ordinary folk from towns and villages and cities and hamlets all across the united states, all right, are thinking about and are mobilizing and are organizing and struggling and trying to figure out how to gain greater freedom, all right, and it's that impetus that we see in play when we arrive at 1944, when raford logan edits this volume called "what the negro wants." which we all -- which you all read for today. right? and so just to lay out a few things and we can maybe spend a few minutes discussing what we read, the publication of this book in 1944 and the reactions we see captured during this process, again, reveal a fairly
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substantial change in -- amongst black leadership, right, with regard to segregation. we also get to see sort of the contours of white, political thought and ideology related to this question about segregation. again, the focus for african-americans both in the south and outside of the south is legal segregation. all right. because that is the anchor, the legislative, the legal anchor with which so much of the racial disparities in american life are tied to, connected to. so that's why segregation and legal segregation in particular occupy such a central place in the conversation. right? so white southern liberalism as embodied by w.t. couch, the editor of the university of north carolina press, all right, they staked out a position between these two extreme, and you see this in new york, right,
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they stake out this position between two extremes, all right, the extremes of the k.k.k., the extremes of the racial terrorists, but watch this, and the extremism of the naacp. all right? so i want you to see there the problematic -- what's ultimately going to be a very problematic sort of positioning between the klan and an organization that is in the words of w.b. dubois trying to get the constitution enforced. right? so a position between the klan and the naacp, the middle ground that white southern liberals are trying to preserve is still a middle ground that is an advocate that supports segregation. we see that in here. so the idea for southern moderates and liberals is segregation should not go anywhere. segregation should stay here. however, maybe we can make some
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moves within the confines of segregation so that the clear inequalities, the clear disparities that we see can be addressed. again, thinking back to the gaines case of 1938. there's going to be a series of these cases. a case in missouri, a case in maryland, a case in texas where the states are faced with the same thing. you can either let this african-american individual into this law school or build them a law school. everybody lets the african-americans in except the state of texas. texas tries to build one black man a law school. they are not successful. so, again, we see the shifting terrain but we also see this investment by racial moderates and liberals, this investment and dedication to segregation. the black authors, the authors of the articles and what the negro wants, they're all over the place politically. you've got w.b. dubois, who is a profound leftist.
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right? you've got folks like doxie wilkerson, who was a communist. you also have people like mary bethune who was president of the national council for negro women, the founder of bethune college in florida. she is a member of f.d.r.'s black cabinet. she is not as mainstream/conservative as you can get. then you have folks like gordon blaine hancock, who was a professor and preacher in virginia, who was also a racial conservative, who was also somebody who says in the 1930's, we need to conform ourselves to the reality of segregation. right? so we see in the article couch expects there to be a lot of difference between the folks on the far left and the folks in the middle and right. that's not what happened. everybody says, segregation has to go.
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and we see white racial moderates not quite understand how this can happen. we see couch articulate this in so many words where he says, look. if that's what the negro wants, then the negro should want something else. right? they need to put that back in the box and take something else out. so that's a little bit of a background for 1944 and for what the negro wants. and so now i want to ask you, what are some other insights and ideas, some other things that come to you in this article that we've read for today? what are you thinking? >> one thing in the article they focus on segregation but another topic was like interracial marriages. he was saying, whoa, whoa.
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segregation is big enough by itself. we should just keep this out. why is it they can bring up segregation but he couldn't argue and debate interracial marriages? professor mckinney: that is a great question. again, this is something that was just off the table. interracial marriage and by extension interracial sex, the mingling of the races, one of the primary objectives for the maintenance of segregation is the separation of the races. so that's why couch and others sort of focus on those two or three instances within the book where people even mention interracial marriage. couch sees those three instances and what is his response? his response is, oh, well, that is what they want. they don't want freedom. they don't want equality. they want the ability to engage in interracial relationships,
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interracial marriage. interracial sex. right? and so that's why -- so that's why this is such a deal breaker for couch and other southern liberals. and moderates. good question. any other questions? no? all right. well, if not, thank you very much. and i will see you all on friday. good work today. >> visit c-span.org/history to see an upcoming schedule or watch a recent program. road to the white house rewind, lectures and more at c-span.org/history. announcer: next, historian robert nelson examines how

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