It’s late October, which means the Journal editors are getting ready for two things: the SHA annual meeting (#2018SHA) and the release of the November issue. Here is a look at what is forthcoming in the final issue of Volume 84.
Sylvia D. Hoffert, professor emerita at Texas A&M University, offers “Earnest Efforts to Be Friends: Teacher-Student Relationships in the Nineteenth-Century South,” a study of the important long-term relationships of North Carolina teacher Maria Louisa Spear with her students, most especially Mary Ruffin Smith. These relationships, Hoffert argues, “illustrate the roles that teachers and students could play in each other’s emotional lives, the pattern of mutual and enduring support that could emerge from the classroom, the role of religion in giving women a frame of reference for understanding their feelings for one another, and the flexibility and variability of acceptable behavior for southern white women both before and after the Civil War. ”
Joy M. Giguere, an assistant professor of history at Penn State York, explores the cultural role of cemeteries in urban development in “Localism and Nationalism in the City of the Dead: The Rural Cemetery Movement in the Antebellum South.” In an era before the Confederate dead turned southern cemeteries into shrines for the Lost Cause, southern city boosters and white urban elites embraced the rural cemetery movement as a marker of their cosmopolitanism, while creating landscapes that “suited their regionally specific needs.”
Historians of race, civil rights, and labor will be especially interested in the final two articles of the November issue. Robert H. Woodrum, associate professor of history at Perimeter College of Georgia State University, explores labor activism among Gulf Coast longshoremen in “The ‘Culture of Unity’ Meets Racial Solidarity: Race and Labor on the Mobile Waterfront, 1931–1938.” This case study of the efforts of the AFL's International Longshoreman’s Association and the CIO-affiliated International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union to organize the predominantly black waterfront workers in Depression-era Mobile, Alabama, demonstrates the opportunities and challenges of competing union strategies in the context of the longshoremen’s priorities.
Finally, in “Odell Smith, Teamsters Local 878, and Civil Rights Unionism in Little Rock, 1943–1965,” Michael Pierce of the University of Arkansas explores the civil rights unionism of the Teamsters local in post–World War II Little Rock. Pierce highlights the central role of labor in a black-labor-liberal political alliance in the decades surrounding the desegregation of Central High School, in efforts to combat right-to-work measures, to abolish the poll tax, to integrate the city’s buses, and to support open schools. This activism, he argues, complicates the historiographical reliance on the racism of working-class whites to explain the era of massive resistance in Arkansas.Tweet