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Title page for ETD etd-07202018-223752


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ingersoll, Hannah
Author's Email Address hannah.ingersoll@vanderbil.edu
URN etd-07202018-223752
Title Jurisprudence Amid Legal Ambiguity in The Transition to Jim Crow: Black Women versus Railway Companies, 1865-1908
Degree Master of Arts
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Daniel B. Cornfield Committee Member
Holly J. McCammon Committee Member
Larry W. Isaac Committee Member
Keywords
  • Law
  • Court
  • Black Women
  • Railroad
  • Civil Rights
Date of Defense 2018-06-30
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Before the cementation of Jim Crow laws, free black women tried to gain access to upper-class ‘Ladies Cars’ by asserting their status as ‘ladies’ upon the railroad, with some success. I am studying the legal ambiguity around the positionality of black women on the railroad between the end of the Civil War and the creation of the NAACP. I examine the ways by which black female plaintiffs’ lawyers attempted to claim for their clients an upper-class identity, and with it, a right to upper-class space in railroad cars; I also examine how these classed and gendered frames phased out of courtroom arguments as Jim Crow segregation cemented the practice of explicitly segregating railroad cars by race. Before the Civil Rights Act was declared unconstitutional in 1883, there was an ambiguous legal culture; after 1883 there was a settled legal culture around the legality of Jim Crow doctrine. The ambiguity around the class position of black women following Emancipation was manipulated by lawyers on both sides to win court cases. I collected my case data from Lexis Nexis and Google Books' collection of Law Reports for the years 1865-1908, using content analysis to determine the frames used in each court case. I examine whether the time period and the availability of Jim Crow seating on the train influences the frames utilized by lawyers. Reading through judicial opinions, I identify the lawyers’ arguments in terms of racialized and gendered language, establishing a Femininity Master Frame and a Jim Crow Master Frame.
Files
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  Ingersoll.pdf 984.08 Kb 00:04:33 00:02:20 00:02:03 00:01:01 00:00:05

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