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West of Jim CrowThe Fight against California's Color Line$
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Lynn M. Hudson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043345

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043345.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Only Difference between Pasadena and Mississippi Is the Way They’re Spelled

The Only Difference between Pasadena and Mississippi Is the Way They’re Spelled

Swimming in Southern California

(p.208) Chapter 6 The Only Difference between Pasadena and Mississippi Is the Way They’re Spelled
West of Jim Crow

Lynn M. Hudson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter centers on the work of Ruby McKnight Williams, Edna Griffin, and other southern Californians who fought racial restrictions. Williams and her allies in the NAACP touched a nerve in the wealthy enclave of Pasadena when they joined forces to integrate the public swimming pool. The backlash against their efforts was swift and lengthy. While segregating bodies in water was not solely a western project, California had more pools than any other state by the 1920s and pioneered systems of restricting these spaces. Pools became a focal point for the battle over Jim Crow in the state, just as streetcars had in the previous century. The struggle over the Brookside pool lasted longer than any other case in the history of the Pasadena NAACP and shaped the memories of black Californians, including Jackie Robinson.

Keywords:   swimming pool, color line, Pasadena, California, Ruby McKnight Williams, Edna Griffin, NAACP, Brookside pool, Jackie Robinson

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