The Accident of Color: A Story of Race in Reconstruction (Hardcover)

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Description


A technicolor history of the first civil rights movement and its collapse into black and white.


In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all.


In some areas, this coalition proved remarkably successful. Activists peacefully integrated the streetcars of Charleston and New Orleans for decades and, for a time, even the New Orleans public schools and the University of South Carolina were educating students of all backgrounds side by side. Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day.


The Accident of Color revisits a crucial inflection point in American history. By returning to the birth of our nation’s singularly narrow racial system, which was forged in the crucible of opposition to civil rights, Brook illuminates the origins of the racial lies we live by.



About the Author


Daniel Brook is a journalist and author whose writing has appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, and the Nation. Born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, and educated at Yale University, Brook lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Praise For…


The Accident of Color is a spell-binding exploration of mixed-race Charlestonians and New Orleanians who had built complex lives across the color line during and after the Civil War, and struggled mightily against the dawn of Jim Crow segregation in the latter parts of the nineteenth century. Heartbreaking but also vividly alive, The Accident of Color moves easily from court cases to activists on the ground to politicians in legislatures as it portrays the many ways people struggled for the right to define themselves in a time of hardening racial lines. A lovely, necessary book.

— Gregory P. Downs, professor of history, University of California, Davis, and author of The Second American Revolution
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393247442
ISBN-10: 0393247449
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: June 18th, 2019
Pages: 336
Language: English

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New Hope for American Art

                                               New Hope for American Art is the most comprehensive book ever published on artists from, and surrounding, the New Hope Art Colony (also known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists). This book, with its 612 pages and over 1,000 color plates of artwork include biographies of 165 individual Pennsylvania Impressionists and New Hope Modernists as well as artists from the Philadelphia Ten, a pioneering group of women all educated at Philadelphia art schools. 

In this book, you'll find biographies and artwork from such artists as:

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