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Front Pages, Front LinesMedia and the Fight for Women's Suffrage$
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Linda Steiner, Carolyn Kitch, and Brooke Kroeger

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043109

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043109.001.0001

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Discourses of Race and Masculinity in the Nashville Press

Discourses of Race and Masculinity in the Nashville Press

“A White Man’s Country and a White Man’s Government”?

(p.153) 8 Discourses of Race and Masculinity in the Nashville Press
Front Pages, Front Lines

Jane Marcellus

University of Illinois Press

As the state that provided the final vote ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, Tennessee is critical. The two newspapers in Nashville, the state capital, differed vehemently on suffrage. Using discourse theory to interrogate suffrage coverage in the decade preceding 1920, this chapter focuses on the intersection of gender and race at the height of the Jim Crow era. Although the prosuffrage Tennessean strongly favored ratification while the antisuffrage Banner opposed it, this chapter argues that a more complicated story emerges when race and masculinity are considered. Despite its prosuffrage stance, the Tennessean included subtle warning signs against Black women’s power when race was integral to a story. The Banner consistently reinforced traditional gender roles, responding to ratification with an eruption of verbal violence aimed at recouping hegemonic white masculinity.

Keywords:   Tennessee, the South, Jim Crow, hegemonic masculinity, recuperative masculinity

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