The Civil Rights Decision

Shawn Leigh Alexander

in T. Thomas Fortune, the Afro-American Agitator

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032320
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039084 | DOI:
The Civil Rights Decision

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On October 16, 1883, the Supreme Court ruled the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional. Although the Act was never fully enforced, it protected all Americans, regardless of race, in their access to public accommodations and facilities such as restaurants, theaters, and trains and other public transportation and protected their right to serve on juries. This chapter presents Fortune's first editorial on the subject, which captures the feeling of much of the African American community whom he claimed felt as though they “had been baptized in ice water” and told they were “aliens in their own land.” The editorial also represents the beginning of Fortune's frustration with the political choices of the African American community and his push for independent politics.

Keywords: editorials; Civil Rights Act; African Americans; public accommodations; independent politics; racial discrimination; civil rights

Chapter.  1085 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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