Jim Crow: The New "Peculiar Institution" Even as the radical era came to an end, however, black citizens continued to vie for greater freedom, still boldly challenging centuries of anti-black traditions. Those most likely to violate white southern customs were the children and grandchildren of former slaves, the newest generation since the war and the first to have no recollection of slavery and its horrors. Whites spoke disparagingly of these "new negroes," those who seemed less respectful, less faithful, less moral, and less carefree than their ancestors. "They don't sing as they used to," one white woman from Atlanta told a northern visitor. "Every year, it seems to me, they have been losing more and more of their carefree good humor. I sometimes feel that I don't know them any more. .. they have grown so glum and serious that I'm free to say I'm scared of them!" 26 The growing population of "new negroes," many of them more educated and less fearful of white authority than their predecessors, posed a significant threat to white domination in the South. In
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black citizens, New Negroes, white southern customs, carefree good humor