Nell Irvin Painter on Black Republicans

Blacks did not automatically vote Republican out of gratitude for emancipation. They clung to the party of Lincoln more than a decade after the end of the Civil War because on the state and local levels it represented the interests of working people, supporting free public schools and exemption laws (which placed personal property beyond the reach of creditors). The Democracy’s policies were anti-working-class as well as anti-Black. On the other side of the color bar, Democrats constantly whipped poor whites into line in the name of white solidarity, although they often contradicted their interests as poor people. Exceptions to this rule occurred from time to time, of course, but for the most part, white Democrats rode the color line with vigor and considerable success.

  • P.35, Exodusters – Nell Irvin Painter, ISBN 0-393-00951-3

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