Lynn M. Hudson, "West of Jim Crow: The Fight Against California's Color Line" (U Illinois Press, 2020)


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California was born "under the shadow of slavery," writes Lynn Hudson, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In West of Jim Crow: The Fight Against California's Color Line (U of Illinois Press, 2020), Hudson argues that despite its reputation as a land of opportunity and freedom, California's deeply racist past extended well into the twentieth century. As one Black Californian put it, the only difference between California and Mississippi was the way they were spelled. Yet, African Americans in the state nonetheless resisted Jim Crow in the West at every turn, from founding all Black communities to struggling to integrate public facilities such as swimming pools. West of Jim Crow is a fascinating look at how the myths about where Jim Crow segregation began and ended hide important truth's about segregation and discrimination's extent.

Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

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