Nell Irvin Painter – Stigma of Pauperism

At Dallas and Houston, “leading men” futilely sought to organize and channel migration to free it from the stigma of pauperism. In fact, this characterization of Black migration especially embarrassed “representative colored men” from one end of the country to the other. Like their white counterparts, they placed considerable store on the nineteenth-century virtues of independence and hardy individualism. But behind their Victorian values lurked a well-founded fear that any reliance on charity would only feed the fires of white supremacy. However, in St. Louis, churchgoing Black people ignored all that, heeding only the Exodusters’ desperate need and generously sharing what little they had.

  • P.224, Exodusters – Nell Irvin Painter, ISBN 0-393-00951-3

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