The Republican Party and African American Politics in Post-1965 Mississippi
Chris Danielson takes up the Mississippi story after 1964 and provides a somewhat different interpretation of succeeding events than Rebecca Miller Davis implies. Danielson acknowledges that race did play a major role in the Republicanization of Mississippi, but contends that the move toward a GOP-controlled state was not seamless or without significant internal division. The essay explores the growth of a large black electorate in the Magnolia State after the 1965 Voting Rights Act and contends that state Republican leaders were not immediately warm to the idea of an all-white party, held conflicting ideas about the viability of the black vote in post-1965 Mississippi, and weighed the effects of Republican presidential administrations pursing a more nuanced path than simply embracing the raw white supremacy of the Ross Barnetts and George Wallaces. Despite attempts by Republican presidents to weaken renewals of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, Danielson argues, GOP administrations actually expanded black office-holding through their enforcement of the Act's provisions.
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