American Studies 430  
The South 
11:00-12:25, T-Th
Spring, 2001
Roger Williams University
Michael R. H. Swanson
Office:  CAS 111
Hours: 9:00-10:00 M, T, Th, F
or by appointment
Phone:  401 254 3230
For Tuesday, April 3, continuing on to Thursday, April 5.
   Read, in The American South:
                            Chapter 21,
                                            Divisions in Dixie                                                      pp. 521-545
            in Major Problems:
                            Chapter 6,
                                            Race, Violence, Disenfranchisement & Segregation  p. 155-184
Race Riots, Atlanta, 1906, as depicted by French Journalists
As the film, "To Kill a Mockingbird," showed, violence and threats of violence in defense of the racial code were never very far from the surface of southern society. Our two chapters for this day will give us a chance to investigate this more fully. Two things will be primary in our thinking. First, we need to get a true sense of the extent of the violence perpetrated. Statistics are not for memorization, but they are for contemplation. So think about the extent of lynching, 80% of which happened in the South. Think, too, about the quasi-legal nature of this phenomena. Note that mob action took on the appearance of a court trial, and think about why this indeed did happen. Second, we need to evaluate the black response. Pay considerable attention to the controversy between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Dubois as you think about this. Think, too, about the way white oppression shaped the development of the southern black middle class through the creation of institutions like the black college and small scale entrepreneurs
Race Riot Aftermath, Tulsa Oklahoma, 1921
The documents in the chapter from Major Problems are very important, because they give primary evidence of the narrative provided by our textbook. Note the variety of evidence here, and don't just glance a second or two at the visual evidence. It
deserves a more thorough consideration than that. Pay particular attention to document 6, "the Duty of White Men Today" pp. 163 - 166, and consider the relationship of that to the event which is central to "To Kill a Mockingbird".
Web Resources:

    The Atlanta Race Riot 1906 at
    A Race Riot in Tulsa Oklahoma 1921 at
    Report of the commission on the Tulsa Riot at
    For a list of other race riots, consult

Note, that race riots took place north and south, but that the predominant number of them were southern.

    Lynching. Without Sanctuary, at

    Review as many of these documents as time allows, but EVERYONE visit Without Sanctuary. This website is not pleasant, but it will give you a sense of the reality of the topic for this week like no other one will.  I have not made a visual link to this site because of the disturbing nature of the photographs.
An Experiment.  Please help.

I'm trying to increase the interactive nature of this course beyond what I've used before.  I'm adding a "message board" to this website and particularly to this page.  What I wish you to do is to record your reactions to the website Without Sanctuary  This website is an experimental one on one of the most innovative electronic journals, Journale.  It may take me a while to figure out how to make this work.  This is not something for a grade, but rather a chance to share your feelings with the other members of the class.

To keep this discussion among ourselves, I'm requireing registration to use the message board.  Follow the instructions and we'll see if we can get this going.