Chapter

“But What Seek Those Dark Ballots?”

Joe L. Coker

in Liquor in the Land of the Lost Cause

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780813124711
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134727 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813124711.003.0005
“But What Seek Those Dark Ballots?”

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Beginning in 1890, southern evangelical prohibitionists began to realize that black voters were not as supportive of their cause as New Southites had hoped back in the 1880s. By the mid-1890s, it also became evident that white voters in the South would remain loyal to the Democratic Party as long as the threat of a black voting bloc existed. Evangelical prohibitionists soon embraced the neo-Sambo description that Southerners had of blacks as an irresponsible people unfit for the responsibilities of suffrage. After the turn of the century, evangelicals capitalized on the public fear of the black male, who had been depicted as a “black beast” that preyed on white women while intoxicated on cheap whiskey. Promoting prohibition as the cure for the region's racial woes, advocates successfully pushed for statewide prohibition throughout the South between 1907 and 1915.

Keywords: evangelical prohibitionists; blacks; race relations; New South; slavery; neo-Sambo image; voting rights; black beast

Chapter.  20514 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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