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Redemption Through Violence: White Mobs and Black Citizenship in Albion Tourgee's A Fool's Errand

Redemption Through Violence: White Mobs and Black Citizenship in Albion Tourgee's A Fool's Errand Redemption Through Violence: White Mobs and Black Citizenship in Albion Tourgée's A Fool's Errand by Jeffrey W. Miller "The modern prince . . . can only be an organism, a complex element of society in which a collective will, which has already been recognized and has to some extent asserted itself in action, begins to take concrete form." --Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks (circa 19291935) Although Gramsci here discusses how the Communist Party must go about organizing its base of power, his analysis serves as an apt description of how the "modern prince" of white mob violence expressed a collective will in the South after Reconstruction and well into the twentieth century. Gramsci provides an appropriate epigraph, because I find no better example of hegemony, defined by Gramsci as "the `spontaneous' consent given by the great masses of the population to the general direction imposed on social life by the dominant fundamental group" (12), than the coercive power of white vigilante violence in the post-Reconstruction South. The hegemonic power of white culture combined vigilante justice with legalized prejudice and segregation in order to dictate local qualifications for citizenship that superseded the federal constitution. Historians have long noted the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Redemption Through Violence: White Mobs and Black Citizenship in Albion Tourgee's A Fool's Errand

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 35 (1) – Jun 3, 2002

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461
Publisher site
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Abstract

Redemption Through Violence: White Mobs and Black Citizenship in Albion Tourgée's A Fool's Errand by Jeffrey W. Miller "The modern prince . . . can only be an organism, a complex element of society in which a collective will, which has already been recognized and has to some extent asserted itself in action, begins to take concrete form." --Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks (circa 19291935) Although Gramsci here discusses how the Communist Party must go about organizing its base of power, his analysis serves as an apt description of how the "modern prince" of white mob violence expressed a collective will in the South after Reconstruction and well into the twentieth century. Gramsci provides an appropriate epigraph, because I find no better example of hegemony, defined by Gramsci as "the `spontaneous' consent given by the great masses of the population to the general direction imposed on social life by the dominant fundamental group" (12), than the coercive power of white vigilante violence in the post-Reconstruction South. The hegemonic power of white culture combined vigilante justice with legalized prejudice and segregation in order to dictate local qualifications for citizenship that superseded the federal constitution. Historians have long noted the

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 3, 2002

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