ABOUT THIS BOOK
Often defined as a mostly southern phenomenon, racist violence existed everywhere. Brent M. S. Campney explodes the notion of the Midwest as a so-called land of freedom with an in-depth study of assaults both active and threatened faced by African Americans in post–Civil War Kansas. Campney's capacious definition of white-on-black violence encompasses not only sensational demonstrations of white power like lynchings and race riots, but acts of threatened violence and the varied forms of pervasive routine violence--property damage, rape, forcible ejection from towns--used to intimidate African Americans. As he shows, such methods were a cornerstone of efforts to impose and maintain white supremacy. Yet Campney's broad consideration of racist violence also lends new insights into the ways people resisted threats. African Americans spontaneously hid fugitives and defused lynch mobs while also using newspapers and civil rights groups to lay the groundwork for forms of institutionalized opposition that could fight racist violence through the courts and via public opinion. Ambitious and provocative, This Is Not Dixie rewrites fundamental narratives on mob action, race relations, African American resistance, and racism's grim past in the heartland.