Thursday, December 13, 2007
WHITE CITIZENS' COUNCILS
WHITE CITIZENS' COUNCILS Following the historic Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that racial segregation in state-supported public schools was unconstitutional, a plethora of southern segregationist societies, generally known as White Citizens' Councils, were organized throughout the South to resist integration. Called by one newspaper editor "uptown Ku Klux Klans," the Councils generally advocated the use of economic reprisals against blacks and sympathetic whites who favored compliance with the Supreme Court edict. Blacks, in turn, retaliated by boycotting white businesses. As a result, according to historian John Hope Franklin, "by 1956, something akin to economic warfare was being waged in the South, with many business firms caught in the middle for being regarded either as 'soft' on the NAACP or as favorable to the program of the councils."