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Here Lies Jim Crow

Civil Rights in Maryland

C. Fraser Smith

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Though he lived throughout much of the South—and even worked his way into parts of the North for a time—Jim Crow was conceived and buried in Maryland. From Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney's infamous decision in the Dred Scott case to Thurgood Marshall's eloquent and effective work on Brown v. Board of Education, the battle for black equality is very much the story of Free State women and men.

Here, Baltimore Sun columnist C. Fraser Smith recounts that tale through the stories, words, and deeds of famous, infamous, and little-known Marylanders. He traces the roots of Jim Crow laws from Dred...

Though he lived throughout much of the South—and even worked his way into parts of the North for a time—Jim Crow was conceived and buried in Maryland. From Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney's infamous decision in the Dred Scott case to Thurgood Marshall's eloquent and effective work on Brown v. Board of Education, the battle for black equality is very much the story of Free State women and men.

Here, Baltimore Sun columnist C. Fraser Smith recounts that tale through the stories, words, and deeds of famous, infamous, and little-known Marylanders. He traces the roots of Jim Crow laws from Dred Scott to Plessy v. Ferguson and describes the parallel and opposite early efforts of those who struggled to establish freedom and basic rights for African Americans. Following the historical trail of evidence, Smith relates latter-day examples of Maryland residents who trod those same steps, from the thrice-failed attempt to deny black people the vote in the early twentieth century to nascent demonstrations for open access to lunch counters, movie theaters, stores, golf courses, and other public and private institutions—struggles that occurred decades before the now-celebrated historical figures strode onto the national civil rights scene.

Smith's lively account includes the grand themes and the state's major players in the movement—Frederick Douglass, Harriett Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, and Lillie May Jackson, among others—and also tells the story of the struggle via several of Maryland's important but relatively unknown men and women—such as Gloria Richardson, John Prentiss Poe, William L. "Little Willie" Adams, and Walter Sondheim—who prepared Jim Crow's grave and waited for the nation to deliver the body.

Reviews

Reviews

While the book elaborates on Maryland's role in the beginning and end of the Jim Crow era, the most compelling aspect of the book is the stories Smith gleaned from dozens of interviews with Marylanders, black and white, who lived with segregation and fought to end its practices.

Hand it to your students... and make sure their parents read it, too. It's a road map of America's long political struggle from slavery to a black man running for president.

It's a darned good book by a darned good writer. Those of you who love fine writing and history can't afford to pass on Here Lies Jim Crow.

In this case, you can judge a book by its cover... it sets the tone for Smith's spirited discussion of Jim Crow laws and the efforts of Marylanders to resist and overturn them.

By its very nature a moving but difficult and painful read. Painful or not, it is a book that helps one see present-day Maryland with a greater depth of understanding, and is certainly worth whatever discomfort it creates.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
344
ISBN
9781421407654
Illustration Description
24 halftones
Table of Contents

Preface
Prologue: Laboring Sons: Jim Crow on a Bulldozer
1. Taney and Douglass
Freddy Bailey in Baltimore: "Almost a Free Citizen"
"Mere Property": Taney and Douglass on the National Stage
A Southern

Preface
Prologue: Laboring Sons: Jim Crow on a Bulldozer
1. Taney and Douglass
Freddy Bailey in Baltimore: "Almost a Free Citizen"
"Mere Property": Taney and Douglass on the National Stage
A Southern Gentleman's Manifesto: Taney's Infamous Decision
Taney's Legacy: Words That Don't Die
2. Suing Jim Crow
"Blood at the Roots": The Mob Helps Raise a Movement
A New Vision: Economic Leverage
Eugene O'Dunne: Court of Justice
Lillie May and Ted: God Opened Their Mouths
3. Different Drummers
Healing Arts: Blue Babies, Black Genius
Ester McCready: A Lover of Solitude
Walkers and Thinkers: Opinion Leaders
Malcontents: Inside Agitators
Final Sale: Hats, Tennis, and White Coffee Pots
George Russell: The Endurance of Jim Crow
4. Roadblocks and Resistance
All Nations Day: The Civil Rights Merry-Go-Round
Gloria Richardson: Flash Point
Goon Squad: The Word on the Street
5. Seats at the Table
Backlash: A Martyed King and the Making of a Vice President
The Ballot: Sit-in Salads and Lawn Signs
Exquisite Balance: Taney and Marshall in Annapolis
Dean Schmoke: Renewing Houston's Challenge
Epilogue
Acknowledgment
Appendix: Author Interviews
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

C. Fraser Smith

C. Fraser Smith writes a column for the Baltimore Sun and serves as a political analyst for Baltimore's National Public Radio station, WYPR. He is the author of William Donald Schaefer: A Political Biography, also published by Johns Hopkins.