Hodding Carter: The Reconstruction of a Racist [NOOK Book]

Overview

Using his little daily paper to battle for equality before the law and an end to the mistreatment of black people, Hodding Carter took on the power structure of the state of Mississippi. Castigated by politicians, denounced by his fellow editors, threatened with economic reprisal and physical violence, he drew the wrath of everyone from the country club to the crossroads store. What kind of man was this who stuck to his guns for what he believed, in the face of anger and vitriol, destestation and denuciation? Ann...

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Hodding Carter: The Reconstruction of a Racist

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Overview

Using his little daily paper to battle for equality before the law and an end to the mistreatment of black people, Hodding Carter took on the power structure of the state of Mississippi. Castigated by politicians, denounced by his fellow editors, threatened with economic reprisal and physical violence, he drew the wrath of everyone from the country club to the crossroads store. What kind of man was this who stuck to his guns for what he believed, in the face of anger and vitriol, destestation and denuciation? Ann Waldron tells the story of a colorful, complex, combative man who in his college years was an outspoken white supremacist, but later changed his mind, spending the bulk of his life advocating for racial justice and finding himself on the unpopular sides of many political and social issues. No uncritical eulogy, this book re-creates the passionate life, public and private, of a flawed but authentic American hero.

A vividly written biography of Hodding Carter, a combative man who defied public and private disapproval, attempts at economic coercion, and even threats of physical violence to lead the way in the struggle for civil rights in the embattled South of the 1950s and '60s. Illustrated.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Former Southern journalist Waldron provides a solid, though unstylish, biography of Hodding Carter (1907-1972), the courageous editor of the Greenville Delta Democrat-Times , Mississippi's most liberal newspaper during the Civil Rights era. Using a wealth of sources, Waldron ( Close Connections: Caroline Gordon and the Southern Renaissance ) documents the Lousiana-born Carter's evolution from teenage bigot to Huey Long opponent and his role, beginning in 1935, as editor of the incorruptible newspaper funded in part by Greenville leading light William Alexander Percy (adoptive father of novelist Walker Percy). Carter strained local mores by criticizing lynching and printing a photograph of black Olympian Jesse Owens; he argued in articles and books that Southern whites, not blacks or Northerners, had to change themselves. A 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winner for editorial writing, Carter crusaded for racial equality, but hedged on condemning segregation; after the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v . Board of Education decision, he attacked intransigent Citizens' Councils, but supported only gradual integration. While Waldron sympathetically describes Carter's delicate position, she offers little psychological insight into his character. (June)
Mary Carroll
Telling the story of W. Hodding Carter, Jr. (1907-1972), founder/editor of Greenville, Mississippi's respected "Delta Democrat-Times" and a rare southern liberal during the middle years of this century, requires that Waldron "reconstruct" the context of a period most Americans have forgotten. The Louisiana-born Carter was surely a racist when he moved to a different dormitory at Bowdoin so he wouldn't have to sleep under the same roof with the college's only black student. To modern eyes, Carter may have remained a racist in the 1940s and early 1950s--when he insisted that segregation could be preserved only by making Jim Crow facilities truly equal--and in the later 1950s and early 1960s--when he opposed both NAACP lawsuits and White Citizens Council pressure, and supported integration at the college level but continued to believe that integration of elementary and secondary schools would tear the nation apart. Even these moderate views, however, made Carter a dangerous renegade in Mississippi, and subjected his newspaper--and his family--to threats and boycotts. Carter was a larger-than-life figure; journalist and children's book author Waldron draws on solid research and lengthy interviews with Carter's family and friends to capture the triumphs and tragedies of an embattled and principled moderate in a demanding time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616202859
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • File size: 580 KB

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