Segregationists still held key to black voters

“Traditionally, relationships between white moderates and black leaders in the South were conducted through an elaborate ritual of condescension and deference. [Candidates] rarely campaigned directly for black support…..

“When one of the most liberal Southern congressmen, Charles Deane of North Carolina, faced a tough primary battle after refusing to sign the Southern Manifesto [of 1956], he did not have any close black contacts in his constituency; he had to write to a professor at North Carolina Central… to find the names of local African Americans he should contact.

“Despite Deane’s racial moderation, the black vote was delivered to his segregationist opponent by the sheriff’s local contacts.”

— From “Massive Resistance: Southern Opposition to the Second Reconstruction,”  edited by Clive Webb (2005)

 

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