African American Populism In The 1890's

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Populism in the 1890’s derived of racial controversies that damaged the movement from progressing into mainstream politics. Populist activists envisioned a system where there would be economic and political reform, but they failed to embrace minorities in this system. The issue of racial politics caused racial divisions within the Populist party, made African Americans loose trust in the Populists efforts to promote initiatives that mattered to them, and failed to racially be progressive in combating discriminatory laws in the 1890’s. To understand how racial politics impeded the opportunity of Populist progression, we need to evaluate the Populists viewpoints on racial integration, the desires of reform that African Americans strived for, and the role African American voters played in politics.` From the 1890’s, historian C.Vann Woodward and Lawrence Goodwyn analyzed the racial politics behind the populist movement and stated, “white populists had challenging racial taboo’s, only to have their courageous efforts of unity between white and blacks…show more content…
Black populists viewed social progression as a stretch, where it could happen but they had “limited expectations.” African American populists exercised their time attempting to save individuals lives in heated moments of politics and criminal justice. The minorities involved in the progressive moment viewed “racial improvement with the bitterness of having other paths closed by deliberating combination of extreme poverty and the restrictions imposed by white power.” Black populists, such as Rayner, understood that Jim Crow Laws were present, but accepted that these laws in America were systematic. Therefore, African Americans that choose to be progressive, tended to not understand the exclusion of the right to participate because they understood the climates of the
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