Vorobyev D. N.


The article is devoted to the analysis of the phenomenon of Black populism associated with the participation of the African American community in the activities of the American farmers’ movement of the late XIX — early XX centuries. In conditions of the Republican Party renouncement of active support for black population in the 1880-1890s, African-Americans were forced to seek alternative political allies. The worsening finances of the broad masses of the rural population of America during this historical period created the basis for a political union of white and black agrarians, what resulted in the active participation of African-Americans in the Populist movement in the American South. Black populism possessed a number of specific characteristics: it was based on tenants and rural workers, and in addition to economic issues, black populists were especially concerned about issues of civil and political equality in the South. To achieve an alliance with white farmers, they were ready to agree with the system of interracial segregation of public places spreading in the southern states. Colored Farmers’ National Alliance became the main unifying organization of black populists having achieved the active participation of African Americans in the activities of the People’s Party created in 1892. The union with the Republican Party allowed populists to impose a successful struggle on Democrats in most states of the South with the support of black voters. However, a further reorientation of the Populist leadership to unite with the Democratic Party, which adopted a close economic program, led to a sharp drop in the popularity of populists among African Americans, and therefore black populism ceased to exist at the beginning of the 20th century.

Keywords: the US history, African-Americans, farmers’ movement, People’s Party, black populism, interracial relations, civil rights.

Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)


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