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A Choice Outstanding Academic Title (2004)
In 1821, New York's political leaders met for over two months to rewrite the state's constitution. The new document secured the right to vote for the great mass of white men while denying all but the wealthiest African-American men access to the polls.
Jim Crow New York introduces students and scholars alike to this watershed event in American political life. This action crystallized the paradoxes of free black citizenship, not only in the North but throughout the nation: African Americans living in New York would no longer be slaves. But would they be citizens?
Jim Crow New York provides readers with both scholarly analysis and access to a series of extraordinary documents, including extensive excerpts from the resonant speeches made at New York's 1821 constitutional convention and additional documents which recover a diversity of voices, from lawmakers to African-American community leaders, from newspaper editors to activists. The text is further enhanced by extensive introductory essays and headnotes, maps, illustrations, and a detailed bibliographic essay.
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