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Chocolate CityA History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital$
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Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635866

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635866.001.0001

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There Is a New Negro to Be Reckoned With

There Is a New Negro to Be Reckoned With

Segregation, War, and a New Spirit of Black Militancy, 1912–1932

(p.217) Eight There Is a New Negro to Be Reckoned With
Chocolate City

Chris Myers Asch

George Derek Musgrove

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describe the pervasive system of segregation that relegated black Washingtonians to second-class citizenship in the 1910s and 1920s. Though never as rigid as many white Washingtonians might have hoped, segregation proved remarkably effective at undermining black progress and stifling black ambition in the early decades of the twentieth century. Democrat Woodrow Wilson institutionalized racial subordination within the federal government, a policy solidified during a decade of Republican control of Congress and the White House in the 1920s. Racial violence targeting D.C.’s black community, highly visible demonstrations of white power at the Lincoln Memorial and in Klan parades along Pennsylvania Avenue, and the spread of racial restrictive covenants all revealed the strength and resilience of white supremacy in the nation’s capital. And yet, despite the suffocating climate of segregation, black Washingtonians built self-sustaining neighborhoods and community institutions that affirmed black self-worth, cultivated black pride, and challenged the culture of white supremacy. Black self-assertion defended black dignity in a city that black residents claimed as their own.

Keywords:   Segregation, Citizenship, Woodrow Wilson, Federal Government, Restrictive covenants, White supremacy

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