The Case for the Repeal of the Fifteenth Amendment in the Yale Law Journal
11 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 2018
In June 1903, in the depths of the Jim Crow system, the Yale Law Journal published an article by famed New York corporate lawyer John R. Dos Passos (whose son, with the same name, later became a famous modernist novelist and socialist). The article, entitled “The Negro Question,” argued that many African American citizens in southern state were not yet ready for voting rights. The article defended the restriction of rights in southern states since the end of Reconstruction among African-Americans. Dos Passos’ article has received virtually no attention in recent years. It is important evidence of the intellectual credibility of ideas of segregation and second-class citizenship at the turn of the twentieth century. It reveals the breadth of the entrenched opposition to the ideas of racial equality. And it invites further examination of how law reviews in the early twentieth century supported Jim Crow segregation.
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