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Christian CitizensReading the Bible in Black and White in the Postemancipation South$
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Elizabeth L. Jemison

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469659695

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469659695.001.0001

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Violent Order in a Christian Civilization, 1890–1900

(p.134) Chapter Five Segregation
Christian Citizens

Elizabeth L. Jemison

University of North Carolina Press

At Mississippi’s 1890 state constitutional convention, white ministers blessed the work of disenfranchising black voters as the triumph of Christian family order. With the loss of civil and political rights, Black Christians renewed their theological arguments that racial prejudice and violence were sins before heaven. Denied any robust defense of their civil and political rights by local or federal governments, Black Christians shifted their arguments for Christian citizenship inward, arguing that education and self-reliance were keys to future political success. White southerners celebrated their Christian paternalism alongside new efforts to memorialize the Confederacy. They consolidated white supremacist power under Jim Crow segregation, which they justified as the reinstatement of antebellum biblical order on the eve of a new century.

Keywords:   Mississippi State Constitutional Convention (1890), Christian civilization, Jim Crow, Segregation, Christian family order, Rights, Black Christians, Education, Self-reliance, Antebellum

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