Synopses & Reviews
Historians have devoted surprisingly little attention to African American urban history ofthe postwar period, especially compared with earlier decades. Correcting this imbalance, African American Urban History since World War II features an exciting mix of seasoned scholars and fresh new voices whose combined efforts provide the first comprehensive assessment of this important subject.
The first of this volumeand#8217;s five groundbreaking sections focuses on black migration and Latino immigration, examining tensions and alliances that emerged between African Americans and other groups. Exploring the challenges of residential segregation and deindustrialization, later sections tackle such topics as the real estate industryand#8217;s discriminatory practices, the movement of middle-class blacks to the suburbs, and the influence of black urban activists on national employment and social welfare policies. Another group of contributors examines these themes through the lens of gender, chronicling deindustrializationand#8217;s disproportionate impact on women and womenand#8217;s leading roles in movements for social change. Concluding with a set of essays on black culture and consumption, this volume fully realizes its goal of linking local transformations with the national and global processes that affect urban class and race relations.
andldquo;As the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War draws to an end, Slap and Towers have given us a wonderful collection of incisive and provocative essays by some of the best historians in the field. Southern cities were vital crucibles of mobilization, information, and contestation during the Old Southandrsquo;s last stand, and they later became dynamic catalysts for change in the New South.andrdquo;
andldquo;The image of an agrarian Confederacy engaged in a massive war against a more urban, industrial United States remains popular and influential. The essays in this impressive collection highlight the centrality of Confederate cities during the conflict. As a group, the authors illuminate questions relating to governmental reach, the structure of slavery, military affairs, refugees, industrialization, gender, and other important topicsandmdash;while also demonstrating how wartime changes carried over into the postwar years.andrdquo;
andldquo;For too long historians have gazed at the South from the veranda of the plantation, rarely looking beyond the fields of cotton and tobacco to see the urban South. The essays in Confederate Cities strip away the veneer of a pastoral South to find a dynamic and diversified region imbedded within a world of transatlantic capitalism. The Civil War disrupted global connections and strained relations between town and country, but with the destruction of slavery and transportation expanded, urban spaces became enclaves of freedom for African Americans. Editors Slap and Towers have assembled a cast of superb historians who show a multitude of perspectives on the urban South as it endured the revolutionary consequences of Confederate defeat.andrdquo;
When we talk about the Civil War, we often describe it in terms of battles that took place in small towns or in the countryside: Antietam, Gettysburg, Bull Run, and, most tellingly, the Battle of the Wilderness. One reason this picture has persisted is that few urban historians have studied the war, even though cities hosted, enabled, and shaped Southern society as much as they did in the North.
Confederate Cities, edited by Andrew L. Slap and Frank Towers, shifts the focus from the agrarian economy that undergirded the South to the cities that served as its political and administrative hubs. The contributors use the lens of the city to examine now-familiar Civil Warandndash;era themes, including the scope of the war, secession, gender, emancipation, and warandrsquo;s destruction. This more integrative approach dramatically revises our understanding of slaveryandrsquo;s relationship to capitalist economics and cultural modernity. By enabling a more holistic reading of the South, the book speaks to contemporary Civil War scholars and students alikeandmdash;not least in providing fresh perspectives on a well-studied war.
When we talk about the Civil War, it is often with references to battles like Antietam, Gettysburg, Bull Run, and, perhaps most tellingly, the Battle of the Wilderness, which all took place in the countryside or in small towns. Part of the reason this picture has persisted is that few of the historians who have studied the war have been urban historians, even though cities hosted, enabled, and shaped southern society as much as in the North. The essays in Andrew Slap and Frank Towersandrsquo;s collection seek to shift the focus from the agrarian economy that undergirded the South to the cities that served as its political and administrative hubs. By demanding a more holistic reading of the South, this collection speaks to contemporary Civil War scholars and classrooms alikeandmdash;not least in providing surprisingly fresh perspectives on a well-studied war.
About the Author
Andrew L. Slap is professor of history at East Tennessee State University. He is the author of The Doom of Reconstruction: The Liberal Republicans in the Civil War Era and editor of Reconstructing Appalachia: The Civil Warandrsquo;s Aftermath.Frank Towers is associate professor of history at the University of Calgary. He is the author of The Urban South and the Coming of the Civil War and coeditor of The Old Southandrsquo;s Modern Worlds: Slavery, Region, and Nation in the Age of Progress.
Table of Contents
Kenneth L. Kusmer and Joe W. Trotter
Part 1: The Second Great Migration and the New Immigration
Chapter 1: The Second Great Migration: A Historical Overview
James N. Gregory
Chapter 2: Blacks, Latinos, and the New Racial Frontier in American Cities of Color: Californiaand#8217;s Emerging Minority-Majority Cities
Albert M. Camarillo
Chapter 3: The Young Lords and the Postwar City: Notes on the Geographical and Structural Reconfigurations of Contemporary Urban Life
Chapter 4: Great Expectations: African American and Latino Relations in Phoenix since World War II
Chapter 5: Citizens and Workers: African Americans and Puerto Ricans in Philadelphiaand#8217;s Regional Economy since World War II
Carmen Teresa Whalen
Part 2: The Second Ghetto and the Suburb
Chapter 6: Realtors and Racism in Working-Class Philadelphia, 1945and#8211;1970
Chapter 7: Deadly Inequalities: Race, Illness, and Poverty in Washington, D.C., since 1945
Chapter 8: and#8220;The House I Live Inand#8221;: Race, Class, and African American Suburban Dreams in the Postwar United States
Part 3: Class, Race, and Politics
Chapter 9: All Across the Nation: Urban Black Activism, North and South, 1965and#8211;1975
Heather Ann Thompson
Chapter 10: Harvesting the Crisis: The Newark Uprising, the Kerner Commission, and Writings on Riots
Chapter 11: Affirmative Action from Below: Civil Rights, the Building Trades, and the Politics of Racial Equality in the Urban North, 1945and#8211;1969
Thomas J. Sugrue
Chapter 12: and#8220;Trouble Wonand#8217;t Lastand#8221;: Black Church Activism in Postwar Philadelphia
Karl Ellis Johnson
Chapter 13: The Black Professional Middle Class and the Black Community: Racialized Class Formation in Oakland and the East Bay
Eric S. Brown
Part 4: Gender, Class, and Social-Welfare Policy
Chapter 14: Shifting Paradigms of Black Womenand#8217;s Work in the Urban North and West: World War II to the Present
Chapter 15: and#8220;Somethingand#8217;s Wrong Down Hereand#8221;: Poor Black Women and Urban Struggles for Democracy
Rhonda Y. Williams
Chapter 16: Gendering Postwar Urban History: African American Women, Welfare, and Poverty in Philadelphia
Part 5: Culture, Consumption, and the Black Community
Chapter 17: African American Consumers since World War II
Robert E. Weems, Jr.
Chapter 18: Black Dollar Power: Assessing African American Consumerism since 1945
Chapter 19: Race, Place, and Memory: African American Tourism in the Postindustrial City