A combination of biography and legal and political histories, Quigley’s book recounts the story of Mary Church Terrell’s career of antiracist activism in Washington, D.C. Recovering Terrell’s leading role in devising the District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson case against restaurant segregation in the capital—one of those cases enfolded in the litigation culminating in Brown v. Board of Education—Quigley reminds us that “Washington was just another southern town in its treatment of African Americans” (19), especially after President Woodrow Wilson implemented segregation. Thus, symbolically and legally, “to overturn Plessy [v. Ferguson]…, the Court had to start by upending government-sanctioned segregation in Washington” (160). Best known as the founding president of the National Association of Colored Women, Terrell has long been a famous but obscure figure. Quigley’s greatest and most fascinating contribution is the reconstruction of Terrell’s reflections, friendships, family life, and relationship with her husband Judge...
Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital. By Joan Quigley (New York, Oxford University Press, 2016) 368 pp. $29.95
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Erin D. Chapman; Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital. By Joan Quigley (New York, Oxford University Press, 2016) 368 pp. $29.95. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2016; 47 (3): 430–431. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JINH_r_01041
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