Jane Crow White Women’s Complicity and the Domestic Battlefront During the Civil Rights Era. (2014)
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. History
- Arts: Reports 
AuthorsMcLaughlin, Natashashow all
The American Civil Rights Movement redresses one of the great injustices in American history: the racial inequality faced by African‐Americans. However, the dominant understanding of the challenge to racial injustice is an incomplete one. It largely caters to only the Civil Rights period in the public sphere. The public sphere focused upon men and public events and legislations, while the private sphere was both feminized and centered on the home. In terms of a wider understanding, many historians have failed to account for the home as providing insight into race relations and racial encounters during the Civil Rights era. This dissertation argues the importance of studying the laws of Jim Crow’s neglected “other half”: Jane Crow. It focuses upon the home and the relationship between African‐American domestics and white housewives in terms of the long‐standing unjust race‐relations in America. Racial discrimination was a dynamic embedded within Southern culture. However, it was concealed through the superficial and external ideology of the Jim Crow laws. These laws advocated the notion of separate but equal, but were ultimately a power mechanism. Jim Crow functioned to segregate African‐Americans and whites in a way that constantly reminded African‐Americans of their supposed inferiority. This research is conducted through both primary and secondary source material. The primary sources consist of mainly fiction including: novels, a film and an autobiography. These sources offer a window into the private sphere of the home. They showcase racism through exploring the racial interactions in an environment that required intimacy. The secondary material will provide supporting factual evidence for the themes and ideas found in the primary sources. These will consist of scholarly books, reviews and journal articles.