Abiding Courage

Author: Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807862843
Size: 16.41 MB
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Between 1940 and 1945, thousands of African Americans migrated from the South to the East Bay Area of northern California in search of the social and economic mobility that was associated with the region's expanding defense industry and its reputation for greater racial tolerance. Drawing on fifty oral interviews with migrants as well as on archival and other written records, Abiding Courage examines the experiences of the African American women who migrated west and built communities there. Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo vividly shows how women made the transition from southern domestic and field work to jobs in an industrial, wartime economy. At the same time, they were struggling to keep their families together, establishing new households, and creating community-sustaining networks and institutions. While white women shouldered the double burden of wage labor and housework, black women faced even greater challenges: finding houses and schools, locating churches and medical services, and contending with racism. By focusing on women, Lemke-Santangelo provides new perspectives on where and how social change takes place and how community is established and maintained.

Thrown Among Strangers

Author: Douglas Monroy
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520082753
Size: 19.38 MB
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Every California schoolchild's first interaction with history begins with the missions and Indians. It is the pastoralist image, of course, and it is a lasting one. Children in elementary school hear how Father Serra and the priests brought civilization to the groveling, lizard- and acorn-eating Indians of such communities as Yang-na, now Los Angeles. So edified by history, many of those children drag their parents to as many missions as they can. Then there is the other side of the missions, one that a mural decorating a savings and loan office in the San Fernando Valley first showed to me as a child. On it a kindly priest holds a large cross over a kneeling Indian. For some reason, though, the padre apparently aims not to bless the Indian but rather to bludgeon him with the emblem of Christianity. This portrait, too, clings to the memory, capturing the critical view of the missionization of California's indigenous inhabitants. I carried the two childhood images with me both when I went to libraries as I researched the missions and when I revisited several missions thirty years after those family trips. In this work I proceed neither to dubunk nor to reconcile these contrary notions of the missions and Indians but to present a new and, I hope, deeper understanding of the complex interaction of the two antithetical cultures.

The Other Great Migration

Author: Bernadette Pruitt
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1623490030
Size: 31.86 MB
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The twentieth century has seen two great waves of African American migration from rural areas into the city, changing not only the country’s demographics but also black culture. In her thorough study of migration to Houston, Bernadette Pruitt portrays the move from rural to urban homes in Jim Crow Houston as a form of black activism and resistance to racism. Between 1900 and 1950 nearly fifty thousand blacks left their rural communities and small towns in Texas and Louisiana for Houston. Jim Crow proscription, disfranchisement, acts of violence and brutality, and rural poverty pushed them from their homes; the lure of social advancement and prosperity based on urban-industrial development drew them. Houston’s close proximity to basic minerals, innovations in transportation, increased trade, augmented economic revenue, and industrial development prompted white families, commercial businesses, and industries near the Houston Ship Channel to recruit blacks and other immigrants to the city as domestic laborers and wage earners. Using census data, manuscript collections, government records, and oral history interviews, Pruitt details who the migrants were, why they embarked on their journeys to Houston, the migration networks on which they relied, the jobs they held, the neighborhoods into which they settled, the culture and institutions they transplanted into the city, and the communities and people they transformed in Houston.

To Place Our Deeds

Author: Shirley Ann Wilson Moore
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520215658
Size: 38.21 MB
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"A fascinating study. . . . It truly comes alive in its expert use of African American oral histories"--Waldo E. Martin, University of California, Berkeley "A fascinating study. . . . It truly comes alive in its expert use of African American oral histories"--Waldo E. Martin, University of California, Berkeley

The African American Urban Experience

Author: J. Trotter
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1403979162
Size: 27.43 MB
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From the early years of the African slave trade to America, blacks have lived and laboured in urban environments. Yet the transformation of rural blacks into a predominantly urban people is a relatively recent phenomenon - only during World War One did African Americans move into cities in large numbers, and only during World War Two did more blacks reside in cities than in the countryside. By the early 1970s, blacks had not only made the transition from rural to urban settings, but were almost evenly distributed between the cities of the North and the West on the one hand and the South on the other. In their quest for full citizenship rights, economic democracy, and release from an oppressive rural past, black southerners turned to urban migration and employment in the nation's industrial sector as a new 'Promised Land' or 'Flight from Egypt'. In order to illuminate these transformations in African American urban life, this book brings together urban history; contemporary social, cultural, and policy research; and comparative perspectives on race, ethnicity, and nationality within and across national boundaries.

We Too Are Americans

Author: Megan Taylor Shockley
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252028632
Size: 65.25 MB
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During World War II, factories across America retooled for wartime production, and unprecedented labor opportunities opened up for women and minorities. In "We, Too, Are Americans," Megan Taylor Shockley examines the experiences of the African American women who worked in two capitals of industry - Detroit, Michigan, and Richmond, Virginia - during the war and the decade that followed it, making a compelling case for viewing World War II as the crucible of the civil rights movement. As demands on them intensified, the women working to provide American troops with clothing, medical supplies, and support services became increasingly aware of their key role in the war effort. Middle-class African Americans worked to desegregate voluntary associations (such as the Red Cross and the USO) and institute a policy of respectability that would undercut pernicious racial stereotypes. Working-class black women began to use their indispensability in industry to leverage demands for equal employment, welfare and citizenship benefits, fair treatment on factory floors, good working conditions, and other considerations previously denied them. Shockley shows that in the decade and a half preceding Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, as these women strove to redefine citizenship, backing their claims to equality with lawsuits, sit-ins, and other forms of activism, they were forging tools that civil rights activists would continue to use in the years to come.

Making A Way Out Of No Way

Author: Lisa Krissoff Boehm
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 9781604733501
Size: 49.44 MB
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The Second Great Migration, the movement of African Americans between the South and the North that began in the early 1940s and tapered off in the late 1960s, transformed America. This migration of approximately five million people helped improve the financial prospects of black Americans, who, in the next generation, moved increasingly into the middle class. Over seven years, Lisa Krissoff Boehm gathered oral histories with women migrants and their children, two groups largely overlooked in the story of this event. She also utilized existing oral histories with migrants and southerners in leading archives. In extended excerpts from the oral histories, and in thoughtful scholarly analysis of the voices, this book offers a unique window into African American women's history. These rich oral histories reveal much that is surprising. Although the Jim Crow South presented persistent dangers, the women retained warm memories of southern childhoods. Notwithstanding the burgeoning war industry, most women found themselves left out of industrial work. The North offered its own institutionalized racism; the region was not the promised land. Additionally, these African American women juggled work and family long before such battles became a staple of mainstream discussion. In the face of challenges, the women who share their tales here crafted lives of great meaning from the limited options available, making a way out of no way.

The Challenge Of American History

Author: Louis P. Masur
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801862229
Size: 25.92 MB
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In The Challenge of American History, Louis Masur brings together a sampling of recent scholarship to determine the key issues preoccupying historians of American history and to contemplate the discipline's direction for the future. The fifteen summary essays included in this volume allow professional historians, history teachers, and students to grasp in a convenient and accessible form what historians have been writing about.

Remaking Respectability

Author: Victoria W. Wolcott
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469611007
Size: 78.13 MB
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In the early decades of the twentieth century, tens of thousands of African Americans arrived at Detroit's Michigan Central Station, part of the Great Migration of blacks who left the South seeking improved economic and political conditions in the urban North. The most visible of these migrants have been the male industrial workers who labored on the city's automobile assembly lines. African American women have largely been absent from traditional narratives of the Great Migration because they were excluded from industrial work. By placing these women at the center of her study, Victoria Wolcott reveals their vital role in shaping life in interwar Detroit. Wolcott takes us into the speakeasies, settlement houses, blues clubs, storefront churches, employment bureaus, and training centers of Prohibition- and depression-era Detroit. There, she explores the wide range of black women's experiences, focusing particularly on the interactions between working- and middle-class women. As Detroit's black population grew exponentially, women not only served as models of bourgeois respectability, but also began to reshape traditional standards of deportment in response to the new realities of their lives. In so doing, Wolcott says, they helped transform black politics and culture. Eventually, as the depression arrived, female respectability as a central symbol of reform was supplanted by a more strident working-class activism.