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Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Award - 2014
A timely reminder that blacks in the South were by no means passive bystanders during Reconstruction.
A well-researched, nuanced book...The bibliography and endnotes are a mother lode of local history references.
Help[s] further our understanding of the post Civil War but pre-Civil Rights era in the South.
--New Books in African American Studies
Offers a valuable look at the shift from postwar access to Jim Crow exclusion in public life in a fairly typical southern city. It reveals how segregation was not the immediate result of slavery, nor an inevitable outcome.
Deftly chronicles the dance between the fluid circumstances of power and the endlessly re-ordered public spaces through which Jacksonville’s black population sought to exercise self-defense, control its labor, and exert political influence.
--Blood and Oranges blog
A valuable, competently researched study of an important and oft-neglected southern community at a key time in its development . . . Cassanello’s work deserves to be read by all students of the urban New South, the Jim Crow era, and the history of Florida.
--Journal of American History
Cassanello creatively combines an analysis of the public sphere with an exploration of the Jim Crow South in this first book-length exploration of African Americans in Jacksonville, Florida, from the Civil War to the 1920s.
--Journal of Southern History
Cassanello reinforces the fact that we cannot accurately understand Florida history without a fuller understanding of its black population. As with all significant books, this one both satisfies and opens up more questions.
An important contribution to our understanding of the development of legal segregation and the black public sphere.
--Journal of African American History
Cassanello interestingly applies theories of urban public space from scholars like Jürgen Habermas to Jacksonville and offers a new interpretation of its New South racial experience.
Offers tantalizing glimpses of the segregation process at work.
--Florida Historical Quarterly
Cassanello interprets an extensive array of traditional archival sources such as newspapers, court records, manuscript collections, census data, as well as municipal, state, and federal documents. And he positions his sophisticated argument historiographically within the long civil rights movement.
--American Historical Review
Reinforc[es] the point that black political activity did not simply stop with the end of Reconstruction, but continued in response to the changing nature of Jim Crow.
--Reviews in American History