By Alexander S. Leidholdt
An established columnist for the Raleigh information and Observer, Cornelia conflict Lewis earned a countrywide popularity within the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties for her brave advocacy on behalf of women's rights, African american citizens, young ones, and exertions unions. overdue in her existence, in spite of the fact that, after struggling with psychological affliction, Lewis reversed lots of her stances and railed opposed to the liberalism she had spent her existence advancing. In struggling with Nell, Alexander S. Leidholdt tells the compelling and eventually tragic lifestyles tale of this groundbreaking journalist opposed to the backdrop of the turbulent post-Reconstruction Jim Crow South and speculates concerning the reason for her notable transformation. The daughter of North Carolina's so much well-liked public future health legit, Lewis grew up in Raleigh, yet her reviews at Smith collage in Massachusetts, and later in France in the course of international conflict I, led her to query the present racial attitudes and gender roles of her local sector. In 1920, Lewis started her storied profession with the scoop and Observer. encouraged by way of H. L. Mencken's scathing feedback of the South, she quickly verified herself because the region's top woman liberal journalist. Her column, "Incidentally," attacked the Ku Klux Klan, lobbied opposed to the exploitation of mill staff, defended strikers through the infamous communist-organized Gastonia hard work violence, mocked spiritual fundamentalists who fought the instructing of evolution, and decried lynch legislation. A suffragist and a feminist who observed women's rights as inextricably associated with human rights, Lewis ran for country legislature in 1928 and used to be one of many first girls in North Carolina to be admitted to the bar. within the Thirties, notwithstanding, Lewis confronted repeated institutionalizations for a debilitating bout of psychological sickness and sought remedy from Christian technological know-how practitioners, spiritualists, and psychotherapists. As she elderly, her perspectives grew more and more reactionary, and he or she insisted that she had served as a communist dupe throughout the Gastonia strike and trials, that communists had infiltrated the college of North Carolina, and that a lot of her former innovative allies had ties to communism. eventually, a lot of her critiques thoroughly reversed, and within the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board selection, she served as an influential spokesperson for the South's monstrous resistance to public institution desegregation. She persisted to espouse those conservative ideals till her demise in 1956. In his exact retelling of Lewis's attention-grabbing lifestyles, Leidholdt chronicles the turbulent historical past of North Carolina from the Twenties during the Fifties, as industrialization and racial integration started to tear on the region's conservative textile. He vividly explains the history and ramifications of Lewis's many arguable stances and explores the prospective purposes for her ideological about-face. during the notable tale of "Battling Nell," Leidholdt finds how the complicated problems with gender, exertions, and race intertwined to persuade the convulsive occasions that formed the process early twentieth-century southern background.
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Extra resources for Battling Nell: The Life of Southern Journalist Corneila Battle Lewis, 1893–1956 (Southern Biography Series)
Dead squelch) to teach the culprit her proper place. The 1912 Donnybrook Fair contained an arch “college primer” that discussed the use of this correction: Who is this Sweet Young Thing? Oh, this is an Innocent Freshman. Where is she Going? She is going to be Squelched. How Strange! why does she Do It? Because she does Not Know any Better. Will she Feel Bad? At first she will Look Around to see Who was Looking, but after awhile she will Not Care. Is it not Cruel to Taunt this Trusting Soul? 16 Hazing in a mild form also helped initiate freshmen into Goucher’s social hierarchy.
The Routine,” St. Mary’s Muse 16, no. 3 (November 1911): 79–80; N&O, 4 November 1923, 15 September 1935; Stoops, Heritage, 33, 201–2, 209. 49. “The Graduation Exercises and Address,” St. Mary’s Muse 16, no. 1 (June 1911): 11, 16–23. 50. “Graduation Exercises and Address,” 11–13. 51 As the St. Mary’s faculty and administration and Nell applauded their distinguished guest’s commencement address that May morning, however, neither these dignitaries nor she would have predicted that she would ever, despite her obvious potential, earn such lofty praise.
Mary’s, Nell Lewis seemed to choose unaccountably to attend the most rigorous woman’s college in the South, Baltimore’s newly named Goucher College. At St. 1 The juncture following her graduation from St. Mary’s, in which Nell almost certainly resided at Cloverdale (perhaps entreating her father to reconsider his opposition to “college-bred women”), and including her freshman year at Goucher during the 1912–13 session remains among the most poorly documented periods of a life that would contain several puzzling hiatuses.