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“One of the First-Fruits of the Victory”

Topic:
Election Results
Source:
Harper's Weekly
Cartoonist:
Thomas Nast
Date:
November 22, 1884, p. 763
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >
A former abolitionist and long-time advocate of civil rights for black Americans, cartoonist Thomas Nast presents "one of the first-fruits of the victory" of Democrat Grover Cleveland as the reconciliation between white and black Southerners. A confident President-elect Cleveland admonishes them to "Shake [hands] heartily, boys!" as a wary-looking black man accepts the outstretched hand of a white Southerner. To support his prediction, Nast includes an excerpt from the Atlanta Constitution promising better race relations in the South. George William Curtis also sounded an optimistic note in his lead editorial of the Harper's Weekly issue in which this cartoon appears. In reality, nothing was further from the truth. Dominant segments of the white population in the South continued to discriminate against their black neighbors, and established a legal system of racial segregation in schools, transportation, hotels, and other public accommodations. By the spring of 1886, Curtis was again criticizing Southern Democrats for their ill treatment of black Americans.
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >

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