Citizens and Strangers: Black Disfranchisement and the Limits of Liberalism in the Urban Border South, 1890–1920

Friday, January 6, 2017: 9:10 AM
Centennial Ballroom G (Hyatt Regency Denver)
John William McKerley, University of Iowa
Most historians seeking the roots of recent battles over race, class, and representation in Saint Louis and Baltimore have stressed the impact of racist urban development policies since the 1930s. Moreover, they have tended to view these battles as either isolated incidents or examples of a broadly national process. John W. McKerley’s work, however, argues that many of the main points of contention—particularly black people’s difficulty in turning urban partisan political institutions to their advantage—were already firmly in place by the 1920s. Likewise, while focusing on Missouri, it suggests that the struggles in St. Louis and Baltimore reflect a process of regional transformation across the Border South during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.