This dissertation examines the creation of the color line and the ways that African American communities confronted it throughout Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. A detailed search of school board minutes, newspapers, court records, manuscripts, census data, and other archival sources in over twenty Midwestern cities and rural communities reveals the existence of mass meetings, boycotts, and legal challenges throughout the 19th century. As a result, this work challenges the historiography of Post-Reconstruction America as an "era of accommodation" to Jim Crow. This survey also demonstrates that the racial assumptions of Midwestern whites varied little from their Southern contemporaries, yet demographic factors and the activism of black communities limited the creation of the color line in Middle America.
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