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Defining the StruggleNational Racial Justice Organizing, 1880-1915$
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Susan D. Carle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945740

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945740.001.0001

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“Should Not a Nation Be Just to All of Her Citizens?”

“Should Not a Nation Be Just to All of Her Citizens?”

The Afro-American Council’s Legal Work, 1898–1908

(p.122) 6 “Should Not a Nation Be Just to All of Her Citizens?”
Defining the Struggle

Susan D. Carle

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the National Afro-American Council's legal work and assesses its shortfalls and its contributions. It argues that the Afro-American Council's experiments with both test case litigation and national legislative reform, though ultimately unsuccessful, provided important experiences that helped the organization develop and refine key organization-building strategies, including nationally coordinated local mass meetings, grassroots fund-raising, and local leadership development, especially by committed women who provided the organization with local energy for fund-raising and mass meeting turnouts. The organization also developed a national lobbying presence and experimented with other law-related issue strategies.

Keywords:   grandfather clause litigation, Giles v. Harris, Ryanes v. Gleason, Wilford H. Smith, Jesse Lawson, National Afro-American Council Legislative Bureau, Albert E. Pillsbury, Booker T. Washington's civil rights work, Crumpacker resolution, National Sociological Society

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