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Joe T. Patterson and the White South's DilemmaEvolving Resistance to Black Advancement$
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Robert E., Jr. Luckett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802699

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802699.001.0001

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Lessons in Practical Segregation

Lessons in Practical Segregation

(p.13) Chapter 1 Lessons in Practical Segregation
Joe T. Patterson and the White South's Dilemma

Robert E. Luckett

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter looks at Joe T. Patterson's early life and career to see how they laid the foundations for his future in public life and for his political philosophy. It first considers the influence of Patterson's childhood and family on his future personal and political outlook before discussing the conflict between Theodore Bilbo and Pat Harrison in the US Senate in the 1930s over the anti-lynching bill and the poll tax. In particular, it examines Harrison's stand on the issues of race and racism in the context of Jim Crow in the South. It shows how Harrison's power within the Democratic Party on a national level allowed him to support his voters at home while maintaining white supremacy and white power. It also highlights the lessons in practical segregation that Patterson absorbed during four years in Washington, DC, and which he took with him back home to Mississippi.

Keywords:   racism, Joe T. Patterson, Theodore Bilbo, Pat Harrison, US Senate, anti-lynching, poll tax, practical segregation, Mississippi, white power

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