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Battling the Plantation MentalityMemphis and the Black Freedom Struggle$
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Laurie B. Green

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831069

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807888872_green

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Moral Outrage: Postwar Protest against Police Violence and Sexual Assault

Moral Outrage: Postwar Protest against Police Violence and Sexual Assault

(p.81) 3 Moral Outrage: Postwar Protest against Police Violence and Sexual Assault
Battling the Plantation Mentality

Laurie B. Green

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the black community's moral outrage against police brutality involving sexual assaults in postwar Memphis and its major ramifications for the politics of racial justice. It discusses how police sexual assaults of black women galvanized African Americans and put race, manhood, womanhood, and sexuality at the center of postwar political tensions in the city. The chapter also considers efforts by southern moderates and veterans' groups to banish corrupt political machines after the war and the response of officials behind the Crump machine to such efforts. In addition, it looks at the exacerbation of racial tensions in Memphis during World War II due to an influx of migrants and servicemen, including shore patrol and military police. Finally, the chapter describes police campaigns against vice and syphilis, and how they intensified the authority of white policemen.

Keywords:   police brutality, sexual assaults, Memphis, politics, racial justice, black women, African Americans, race, Crump machine, migrants

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