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Liquor in the Land of the Lost CauseSouthern White Evangelicals and the Prohibition Movement$
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Joe L. Coker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124711

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124711.001.0001

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“But What Seek Those Dark Ballots?”

“But What Seek Those Dark Ballots?”

Prohibition and Race

(p.123) Chapter Four “But What Seek Those Dark Ballots?”
Liquor in the Land of the Lost Cause

Joe L. Coker

University Press of Kentucky

Beginning in 1890, southern evangelical prohibitionists began to realize that black voters were not as supportive of their cause as New Southites had hoped back in the 1880s. By the mid-1890s, it also became evident that white voters in the South would remain loyal to the Democratic Party as long as the threat of a black voting bloc existed. Evangelical prohibitionists soon embraced the neo-Sambo description that Southerners had of blacks as an irresponsible people unfit for the responsibilities of suffrage. After the turn of the century, evangelicals capitalized on the public fear of the black male, who had been depicted as a “black beast” that preyed on white women while intoxicated on cheap whiskey. Promoting prohibition as the cure for the region's racial woes, advocates successfully pushed for statewide prohibition throughout the South between 1907 and 1915.

Keywords:   evangelical prohibitionists, blacks, race relations, New South, slavery, neo-Sambo image, voting rights, black beast

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