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“The Lily-White Movement was an anti-African-American movement within the Republican Party in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement was a response to the political and socioeconomic gains made by African-Americans following the Civil War and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which eliminated slavery. During Reconstruction, black leaders in Texas and around the country gained increasing influence in the Republican Party by organizing blacks as an important voting bloc via Union Leagues and the biracial Black-and-tan faction of the Republicans. Conservative whites attempted to eliminate this influence and recover white voters who had defected to the Democratic Party. The term lily-white movement was coined by Texas Republican leader Norris Wright Cuney, who used the term in an 1888 Republican convention to describe efforts by white conservatives to oust blacks from positions of Texas party leadership and incite riots to divide the party. In North Carolina, Senator Jeter Pritchard, led the movement to remove all blacks from the 1902 Republican Convention. This was in addition to Pritchard’s support of removing black office holders throughout the country. The term came to be used nationally to describe this ongoing movement as it further developed in the early 20th century.

During the 19th century, a small number of African Americans were elected to the United States Congress; all were members of the Republican Party. In the South, the party was a voting coalition of Freedmen (freed slaves), Carpetbaggers (derogatory term used by southern whites for recent arrivals from the north), and Scalawags (derogatory term describing those southern whites who had been loyal to the US during the Civil War). In Texas, Blacks comprised 90% of the party members during the 1880s.

In the South, the Republican Party gradually came to be known as “the party of the Negro.” In Texas, for example, blacks made up 90% of the party during the 1880s. The Democratic Party increasingly came to be seen by many in the white community as the party of respectability. The first Ku Klux Klan targeted violence against black Republican leaders and seriously undercut the Union League.

Following the death of Texas Republican leader Edmund J. Davis in 1883, black civil rights leader Norris Wright Cuney rose to the Republican chairmanship in Texas, becoming a national committeeman in 1889. While blacks were a minority overall in Texas, Cuney’s rise to this position caused a backlash among white conservative Republicans in other areas, leading to the Lily-whites becoming a more organized, nationwide effort. Cuney himself coined the term “Lily-white movement” to describe rapidly intensifying organized efforts by white conservatives to oust blacks from positions of party leadership and incite riots to divide the party. Some authors contend that the effort was coordinated with Democrats as part of a larger movement toward disenfranchisement of blacks in the South by increasing restrictions in voter registration rules.

By 1890, with a few brief exceptions, the Democratic Party had gained control of all state legislatures in the South. From 1890 to 1908, Southern states accomplished disenfranchisement of blacks and—in some states—many poor whites. During the first three decades of the 20th century, no blacks served in the U.S. Congress due to their disenfranchisement across the South. Black leaders were barred in 1922 from the Virginia Republican Congressional Convention; the state had imposed racial segregation in public places and disenfranchised most blacks by this time.

Lily-white/black-and-tan factionalism flared up in 1928, when Herbert Hoover tried to appeal to upper-class southern whites; and again in 1932 as the New Deal coalition built by Franklin D. Roosevelt began to attract African-American voters to the Democratic Party. Due to Democratic support of the civil rights movement and Congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the shift of African Americans toward Democratic candidates accelerated.

According to author and professor Michael K. Fauntroy, the Lily-White Movement is one of the darkest and most “under-examined [eras] of American Republicanism”.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily-white_movement

By wmb3331

Isaiah Israel is a graduate of the University of Hawaii Pacific with a bachelors in Psychology and a deep love for history in which he believes that when you know the past you can understand the present and predict the future course of man and mankind and is the author of the best selling ebook The White Man's Burden Of Lies and Deceit.

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