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"The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition"Mississippi's Longest Civil War$
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Victoria E. Bynum

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627052

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627052.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

The Free State of Jones Revisited

The Free State of Jones Revisited

Davis Knight’s Miscegenation Trial

(p.177) Epilogue The Free State of Jones Revisited
"The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition"

Victoria E. Bynum

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter returns to the 1948 miscegenation trial of Newt and Rachel’s great-grandson, Davis Knight, outlined in the book’s Introduction. Utilizing the trial’s 150 page transcript, the epilogue reveals the depth and style of popular opinions about Davis’s racial identity reflective of common racist assumptions. The “one drop rule” of race is compared with legal definitions of racial identity to further explain the complicated status of the Knight community, but also the trial’s significance to the broader Civil Rights movement. Significantly, the Davis Knight trial contributed to Ethel Knight’s decision to write her version of the story: The Echo of the Black Horn. Though largely based on Tom Knight’s research files, Ethel replaced Tom’s heroic vision of Newt Knight (his father) with one that rendered Newt a man guilty of treason against both his (Confederate) nation and his race.

Keywords:   racial identity, miscegenation, Davis Knight trial, “one drop rule” of race, Echo of the Black Horn, Mississippi Supreme Court, Civil Rights Movement, Newt Knight, Rachel Knight

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