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Deluxe Jim Crow

Deluxe Jim Crow: Civil Rights and American Health Policy, 1935-1954

KAREN KRUSE THOMAS
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 328
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46np3v
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  • Book Info
    Deluxe Jim Crow
    Book Description:

    Plagued by geographic isolation, poverty, and acute shortages of health professionals and hospital beds, the South was dubbed by Surgeon General Thomas Parran "the nation's number one health problem." The improvement of southern, rural, and black health would become a top priority of the U.S. Public Health Service during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations.

    Karen Kruse Thomas details how NAACP lawsuits pushed southern states to equalize public services and facilities for blacks just as wartime shortages of health personnel and high rates of draft rejections generated broad support for health reform. Southern Democrats leveraged their power in Congress and used the war effort to call for federal aid to uplift the South. The language of regional uplift, Thomas contends, allowed southern liberals to aid blacks while remaining silent on race. Reformers embraced, at least initially, the notion of "deluxe Jim Crow"-support for health care that maintained segregation. Thomas argues that this strategy was, in certain respects, a success, building much-needed hospitals and training more black doctors.

    By the 1950s, deluxe Jim Crow policy had helped to weaken the legal basis for segregation. Thomas traces this transformation at the national level and in North Carolina, where "deluxe Jim Crow reached its fullest potential." This dual focus allows her to examine the shifting alliances-between blacks and liberal whites, southerners and northerners, activists and doctors-that drove policy.Deluxe Jim Crowprovides insight into a variety of historical debates, including the racial dimensions of state building, the nature of white southern liberalism, and the role of black professionals during the long civil rights movement.

    eISBN: 978-0-8203-4178-1
    Subjects: History, Political Science, Sociology
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Figures (pp. xi-xii)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. DELUXE JIM CROW TIMELINE (pp. xv-xx)
  7. introduction. THE DEVIL’S BARGAIN OF DELUXE JIM CROW HEALTH REFORM (pp. 1-6)

    The phrasedeluxe Jim Crowwas first coined in theBaltimore Afro-Americanin 1927 to describe the first-class compartment for blacks on the Memphis Special, a train running through the heart of the segregated South. Thurgood Marshall later applied the phrase to the southern states’ attempts to shore up segregation by improving black school facilities. For the purposes of this book,deluxe Jim Crowconveys the ethical complexity and ambiguity of segregation in health policy during the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman administrations. In 1952, medical civil rights activist and Howard University anatomy professor W. Montague Cobb employed...

  8. PART ONE. THE NATION’S NUMBER ONE HEALTH PROBLEM, 1900–1938
    • chapter 1 THE ROOTS OF DELUXE JIM CROW (pp. 9-44)

      In all regions of the United States, white American policy makers have historically neglected the health of minorities yet have used their high rates of death and disease to justify legalized segregation, immigration restriction, and other overt forms of racial and ethnic discrimination. What are the historical origins of health disparities, how did they change during the course of the twentieth century, and what caused them to improve or worsen? When, why, and how did the federal government begin to address racial and regional disparities in health as a national problem?

      Until at least the Progressive Era, the South was...

    • chapter 2 THE NEW DEAL IN HEALTH (pp. 45-75)

      Although the U.S. Public Health Service (phs) had begun to make inroads into the infectious diseases of poverty that beleaguered the South’s growing urban population and its shifting rural areas, the farm crisis of the 1920s, the catastrophic Mississippi River flood of 1927, and the hardening of segregation amid post–World War I racial unrest worsened the plight of many of the region’s most vulnerable residents. Cotton prices dropped from a high of forty cents per pound during the war to five cents per pound by the end of the 1920s, and both rural and black health initiatives stagnated in...

    • chapter 3 NEW DEAL HEALTH IN NORTH CAROLINA (pp. 76-100)

      North Carolina’s position as a regional and national leader in public health resulted from several unique resources, particularly the state’s visionary health reformers. The State Board of Health was led by some of the nation’s most progressive public health leaders, John A. Ferrell, Watson Smith Rankin, and Carl V. Reynolds.

      John Ferrell began his career as a county health officer during the 1900s. Under Rankin, Ferrell served as North Carolina’s assistant secretary of health and as the state director of the hookworm campaign, advancing to become Wickliffe Rose’s second in command at the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission. North Carolina’s antihookworm program...

  9. PART TWO. DELUXE JIM CROW COMES OF AGE, 1938–1945
    • chapter 4 THE SOUTH AND NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM (pp. 103-137)

      Several watershed events in 1938 heralded the emergence of deluxe Jim Crow health policy. In July, the Roosevelt administration simultaneously released theReport on Economic Conditions of the Southand the Technical Committee on Medical Care’s report on a national health program. In November, the inaugural Birmingham meeting of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (schw) represented the potential and limitations of southern biracial liberalism. Closing out a momentous year in December, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision inMissouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canadarequired segregated public higher education programs either to provide equal opportunities to blacks or to integrate....

    • chapter 5 STATE REFORM AND THE RACIAL DIVIDE OVER NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE (pp. 138-154)

      At the same time that Thomas Parran, Lister Hill, Claude Pepper, Michael M. Davis, and Louis Wright pursued national health reform, southern state officials began to accept responsibility for equalizing public services for blacks with regard to health and welfare spending. Not only in the American South but in every industrialized nation, the seemingly unlimited promise of medical science released a torrent of public and private funding to increase the supply of medical services by training medical professionals, building and equipping hospitals, and multiplying the number and scope of research laboratories. Southern efforts, substantially aided by federal funding, were motivated...

    • [Illustrations] (pp. None)
  10. PART THREE. DELUXE JIM CROW UNDER HARRY S. TRUMAN, 1945–1953
    • chapter 6 HILL-BURTON AND THE DELUXE JIM CROW HOSPITAL (pp. 157-181)

      During World War II, progressive southern leaders such as Claude Pepper and Lister Hill at the national level and Governor J. Melville Broughton and state health officer Carl V. Reynolds in North Carolina elevated health reform, particularly hospital construction, to the top of the political agenda. A variety of factors had laid the foundation for a large-scale federal hospital construction program that would represent the culmination of deluxe Jim Crow health policy’s strange hybrid of New Deal redistributive liberalism and racial parity under segregation. Hospital construction programs funded by the Works Progress Administration, Public Works Administration, Lanham Act, state health...

    • chapter 7 HILL-BURTON IN NORTH CAROLINA (pp. 182-207)

      Until 1963, Hill-Burton remained the only federal program governed in the South by a legislative separate but equal clause, which did not, in its original context, preclude segregation within funded hospitals as long as patients were admitted on an equal basis. The clause allowed individual facilities to exclude on the basis of race only in the context of overall parity within planned area facilities.

      North Carolina arguably gave the most serious thought of any state government to the health needs of black southerners. In response to public alarm over North Carolina’s rank of forty-second in hospital beds per capita, forty-fifth...

    • chapter 8 TRAINING BLACK DOCTORS AS PUBLIC POLICY (pp. 208-228)

      Abraham Flexner and early black reformers such as John A. Kenney, Eugene Dibble, Numa P. Adams, Midian O. Bousfield, Louis Wright, and Paul Cornely led the early twentieth-century efforts to improve black and southern medical education. In 1942, after the Rosenwald, General Education Board, and Carnegie philanthropies terminated their support for Meharry Medical College in Nashville, the school’s white and black representatives as well as white southern policy makers began to seek tax support from southern state governments. These two groups advocated the use of public funds to maximize the number of black M.D. graduates but mutually agreed to sidestep...

    • chapter 9 TRAINING BLACK DOCTORS IN NORTH CAROLINA (pp. 229-249)

      In February 1951, just before the controversy began to heat up over admitting the first African American student to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Dean Walter Reece Berryhill received a letter from J. Charles Jordan, president of the Old North State Medical Society. Jordan protested that there were “less facilities provided for the training of Negro medical aspirants in the entire United States than there are for North Carolina’s approximately two million white people.” Such a situation was “greatly jeopardizing the health of all the citizens of our State,” and Jordan demanded that “there must be some...

    • chapter 10 RACIAL DISPARITIES AND THE TRUMAN HEALTH PLAN (pp. 250-265)

      When Harry S. Truman assumed the presidency in April 1945, Thomas Parran had been surgeon general for nearly a decade. Parran was the federal official who most advanced the cause of deluxe Jim Crow health policy as an integral part of the New Deal and helped to define its emphasis on southern uplift, equitable access to health care, and targeting the needs of the medically underserved. As the senior U.S. representative during two years of planning meetings and president of the International Health Conference that established the World Health Organization (who), Parran applied and expanded these principles in formulating who’s...

  11. conclusion. DELUXE JIM CROW IN EDUCATION VERSUS HEALTH CARE (pp. 266-280)

    The rise and fall of the ideology of equalization among both blacks and whites provided the backdrop for racial change during the era of deluxe Jim Crow. Beginning in the 1930s, the southern movement to equalize black and white schools was black-led (primarily by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [naacp]), never secured federal funding, and garnered only lukewarm commitment at the state level from whites primarily bent on protecting segregation. Blacks, however, gave educational equalization their wholehearted support: the Louisiana Farmers’ Union, for example, endorsed the Harrison-Fletcher Bill in 1938. The Farmers’ Union agent who testified...

  12. APPENDIX 1. Deluxe Jim Crow Organizations (pp. 281-288)
  13. APPENDIX 2. Deluxe Jim Crow Individuals (pp. 289-296)
  14. APPENDIX 3. U.S. and Southern Populations by Race and Rural-Urban Residence, 1900–2000 (pp. 297-298)
  15. NOTES (pp. 299-346)
  16. BIBLIOGRAPHY (pp. 347-356)
  17. INDEX (pp. 357-372)