Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920 / Edition 1

Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920 / Edition 1

by Paul OrtizPaul Ortiz


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Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|In this penetrating examination of African American politics and culture, Paul Ortiz throws a powerful light on the struggle of black Floridians to create the first statewide civil rights movement against Jim Crow. Concentrating on the period between the end of slavery and the election of 1920, Emancipation Betrayed vividly demonstrates that the decades leading up to the historic voter registration drive of 1919-20 were marked by intense battles during which African Americans struck for higher wages, took up arms to prevent lynching, forged independent political alliances, boycotted segregated streetcars, and created a democratic historical memory of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Contrary to previous claims that African Americans made few strides toward building an effective civil rights movement during this period, Ortiz documents how black Floridians formed mutual aid organizations—secret societies, women's clubs, labor unions, and churches—to bolster dignity and survival in the harsh climate of Florida, which had the highest lynching rate of any state in the union. African Americans called on these institutions to build a statewide movement to regain the right to vote after World War I. African American women played a decisive role in the campaign as they mobilized in the months leading up to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. The 1920 contest culminated in the bloodiest Election Day in modern American history, when white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan violently, and with state sanction, prevented African Americans from voting. Ortiz's eloquent interpretation of the many ways that black Floridians fought to expand the meaning of freedom beyond formal equality and his broader consideration of how people resist oppression and create new social movements illuminate a strategic era of United States history and reveal how the legacy of legal segregation continues to play itself out to this day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520250031
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/03/2006
Series: American Crossroads , #16
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 430
Sales rank: 333,239
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Paul Ortiz is Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida and the coeditor of Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South (2001).

Table of Contents

List of Illusrations
List of Tables
Preface: Election Day in Florida
Prologue: Slavery and Civil War

1. The Promise of Reconstruction
2. The Struggle to Save Democracy
3. We Are in the Hands of the Devil: Fighting Racial Terrorism
4. To Gain These Fruits That Have Been Earned: Emancipation Day
5. To See That None Suffer: Mutual Aid and Resistance
6. Looking for a Free State to Live Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|In
7. Echoes of Emancipation: The Great War in Florida
8. With Babies in Their Arms: The Voter Registration Movement
9. Election Day, 1920

Conclusion: Legacies of the Florida Movement
Selected Bibliography

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