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dc.contributor.authorNehrt, Jennifer Lynnen_US
dc.date.accessioned2017-06-30T08:01:00Z
dc.date.available2017-06-30T08:01:00Z
dc.date.issued2017-06-29en_US
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:11562en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/78287
dc.description.abstractSituating the 1878 yellow fever epidemic in Memphis's long history shows how concern over Memphis's national reputation influenced how city leaders dealt with crisis. Throughout its history, Memphis government officials and business leaders promoted Memphis as a good city to do business, free from disease and racial strife. Despite their best efforts, they could not deny explosive incidents of racially-based violence or disease outbreaks. Instead, they tried to mitigate negative repercussions on the local economy during times of crisis. When the 1878 yellow fever epidemic struck, the Citizen's Relief Committee, the impromptu government formed by business leaders after outbreak, promoted Memphis as a functioning white city that was operating the best it could under terrible circumstances so the city could resume normal economic activity once the fever passed. This became the dominant narrative, repeated by newspapers across the country in 1878 and historians today. This narrative is problematic because it ignores black Memphians, who composed of 80% of the city's population after outbreak. Instead of recognizing black Memphians participation in relief activities, they promoted stories in the media about lazy or riotous African Americans to justify denying sufficient aid to the black community. Catholics had better luck earning the gratitude of Memphis's leaders. They worked with the white government and charities as nurses and fundraisers, and earned a glowing reputation in national newspapers. The inclusion of African Americans and Catholics in this thesis tells a more complete story and challenges white Memphians' carefully cultivated narrative.en_US
dc.format.mediumETDen_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en_US
dc.subjectMemphis; Yellow Fever; Race; African Americans; Catholic Church; Epidemic; Disaster; Public Health; Urban Boosterism; Reconstructionen_US
dc.titlePromoting Positivity: Securing Memphis's Image in Times of Crisisen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentHistoryen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Artsen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Artsen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairKiechle, Melanie A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHeaton, Matthew M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWinling, LaDale C.en_US


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