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A Refugee from His RaceAlbion W. Tourgée and His Fight against White Supremacy$
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Carolyn L. Karcher

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627953

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627953.001.0001

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The “Bystander”

The “Bystander”

Chapter:
(p.91) Chapter Three The “Bystander”
Source:
A Refugee from His Race
Author(s):

Carolyn L. Karcher

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627953.003.0003

Chapter 3 surveys Tourgée’s “Bystander” column in the Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, showing how it fostered a national dialogue about the race question by incorporating long extracts from the private letters and public statements of African Americans and whites representing different political opinions and regional identities. The chapter also highlights some of the issues Tourgée addressed in the column: the “lawless violence” directed against African Americans, the horrors of the Southern prison system, the fallacies of scientific racism, the accusations of “ingratitude” whites frequently levelled against African Americans, the Republican party’s abandonment of African Americans, the founding of the National Citizens’ Rights Association through which Tourgée hoped to influence the party, and economic policy. In addition, the chapter explores Tourgée’s stormy relationship with the Inter Ocean’s editor, William Penn Nixon, and with the Republican party bosses who sought to censor and ultimately to abolish the “Bystander” column.

Keywords:   “Bystander” column, Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, National dialogue, Race question, Lawless violence, Scientific racism, Republican party, National Citizens’ Rights Association, William Penn Nixon

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