PRESIDENTS AND BLACK AMERICA: A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY is the first of its kind to document all of the presidents and their complex relationships with African Americans, from the earliest days of the Republic through the start of the Obama administration. Scholars and students will be able to follow trends and contradictions in those relationships; such as acceptance and rejection of slavery, the struggle for political rights and economic opportunity, policies of tokenism, the rebuff to affirmative action, and the growth of black political power and influence. This reference will incorporate primary and secondary documents ranging from speeches, executive orders, statutes, and correspondence to articles and editorials from contemporary African American and mainstream publications, political cartoons, and congressional debates. Many of the documents will contradict established opinions about individual presidents. (For example it is fairly widely-known that Andrew Johnson was an avowed white supremacist but less well-known that Woodrow Wilson tried to segregate previously-integrated government offices.) Chapter introductions with historical data on the respective presidents and short headnotes place the documents in context.
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