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Litigating Across the Color LineCivil Cases Between Black and White Southerners from the End of Slavery to Civil Rights$
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Melissa Milewski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190249182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190249182.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 November 2019

Confronting Fraud Through the Courts

Confronting Fraud Through the Courts

Chapter:
(p.128) 6 Confronting Fraud Through the Courts
Source:
Litigating Across the Color Line
Author(s):

Melissa Milewski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190249182.003.0008

Chapter 6 examines the fraud cases that black southerners litigated against whites in the first two decades of the twentieth century, in which they accused whites of deception in property dealings. Such cases formed an unusually large proportion of civil cases involving black and white litigants in the state supreme courts examined during the first two decades of the twentieth century. In case after case, black litigants testified about their diligence in attempting to understand contracts, their own ignorance and vulnerability to deception, and their trust in the defendant. As such testimony appealed to white judges’ and jury members’ ideas of racial superiority and paternalism, as well as the legal claims needed to prove fraud, their cases often proved successful despite the widespread loss of rights and fraud occurring around them.

Keywords:   Fraud, South, Jim Crow, race relations, African American, court, civil case, law, property, trial

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