In Jim Crow and the Wilson Administration,
Nicholas Patler presents the first in-depth study of the historic protest movement that challenged federal racial segregation and discrimination during the first two years of Woodrow Wilson's presidency. Before the Wilson years, as southern states and localities enshrined Jim Crow--in law and custom--and systematic racial discrimination infiltrated the North, the executive branch of the federal government moved in the opposite direction by opening federal employment to thousands of African Americans, appointing blacks to federal and diplomatic offices throughout the country and the world. Finding support from the federal government, many African Americans, supported Wilson's democratic campaign, dubbed the "New Freedom," with hopes of continuing advancement. But as president, the southern-born Wilson openly supported and directly implemented a Jim Crow policy in the federal departments unleashing a firestorm of protest.
This protest campaign, carried out on a level not seen since the abolitionist movement, galvanized a vast community of men and women. Blacks and whites, professionals and laymen, signed petitions, wrote protest letters, participated in organized mass meetings, lobbied public officials, directly confronted Wilson, made known their plight through publicity campaigns, and, in at least one case, marched to express their opposition. Patler provides a thorough examination of the two national organizations that led these protests efforts - the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and William Monroe Trotter's National Equal Rights League - and deftly contextualizes the movement, while emphasizing the tragic, enduring consequences of the Wilson administration's actions.