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The Accident of Color

Audiobook
Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   11 hour(s)
Publication date: 06/18/2019

F O R T H C O M I N G ! Available June

The Accident of Color

A Story of Race in Reconstruction

Available from major retailers
Audio CD ISBN:9781684419791
Digital Download ISBN:9781684419807

Summary

A technicolor history of the first civil rights movement and its collapse into black and white.

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Product Description

In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all.

In some areas, this coalition proved remarkably successful. Activists peacefully integrated the streetcars of Charleston and New Orleans for decades and, for a time, even the New Orleans public schools and the University of South Carolina were educating students of all backgrounds side by side. Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day.

Author Bio

Daniel Brook is a journalist and author whose writing has appeared in Harper's, the New York Times Magazine, and the Nation. His A History of Future Cities was longlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize and selected as one of the ten best books of the year by the Washington Post.