Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History. By Carolyn Renee Dupont.
Carolyn Renee Dupont's examination of Mississippi white evangelicals' fervent support of segregation during the s and s offers historians a fresh interpretation of the confounding paradox of God-fearing whites condoning and even participating in massive resistance. In the process, Dupont challenges the idea of "cultural captivity"--which many contemporaneous and early historical accounts asserted--whereby white evangelicals were primarily guilty at worst of refusing to speak out against the violent backlash to civil rights because they were subsumed by the larger culture of white supremacy p.
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Instead, the author argues that these white evangelicals actively supported the preservation of segregation, having constructed both a theological and a social rationale for their commitment to the racial status quo, which proved instrumental to the Mississippi white power structure's ability to resist desegregation for as long as it did. Similarly, Dupont finds a symbiosis between evangelicals' theology and racial stances. According to the author, "Having accepted both evangelicalism and white supremacy as unassailable truths for years, these Mississippians generally regarded as patently absurd the notion that God frowned on their racial arrangements; the sudden appearance of segregation in some syllabus of sins jolted their sensibilities' p.
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