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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 National Citizens’ Rights Association

The National Citizens’ Rights Association

(p.149) Chapter Four The National Citizens’ Rights Association
A Refugee from His Race

Carolyn L. Karcher

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter 4 examines the National Citizens’ Rights Association (NCRA), the interracial civil rights organization Tourgée founded in October 1891 to agitate for equal citizenship. After detailing African American newspaper editors’ role in publicizing the NCRA, the chapter focuses on the organization’s three main membership groups: black Southerners, black Northerners, and white Northerners. Their letters to Tourgée show how members enlisted new recruits, used Tourgée as a secret conduit for reporting local atrocities, and expressed frustration with his refusal to move beyond recruitment to a concrete plan of action. In turn, Tourgée’s replies provide insight into the obstacles that prevented the NCRA from fulfilling its ambitious goals: his deficiencies as an organizer, his lack of access to capital, the repression that limited black Southerners’ activities, the inadequate enrollment of black Northerners, and the racial separatism that deterred whites and blacks from socializing together.

Keywords:   National Citizens’ Rights Association, Civil rights, African American newspaper editors, Black Southerners, Black Northerners, White Northerners, Racial separatism

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