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Jim Crow NorthThe Struggle for Equality in Antebellum New England$
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Richard Archer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190676643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190676643.001.0001

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The Wall

The Wall

Chapter:
(p.205) 13 The Wall
Source:
Jim Crow North
Author(s):

Richard Archer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190676643.003.0013

Any comparison of the 1850s with 1830 would conclude that the struggle for equal rights had made substantial progress. Almost all legal discriminations had ended. There was increased opportunity for advancement. Some black New Englanders gained wealth, political positions, access to cultural venues, and all the other trappings of the affluent middle class. But a wall of poverty and limited economic opportunities limited most. They faced the double hardship of racism and disdain for the poor. Poverty was a wall holding back people of all ethnicities, and it was much more difficult to surmount than barriers separating working class from lower middle class or middle class from upper middle class. For African Americans, the wall was reinforced by racism. Desegregating schools and eliminating the ban on mixed marriages proved to be much easier than ending poverty.

Keywords:   legal desegregation, racism, poverty, African Americans, New England, Robert Morris, John Rock

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