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Race and Renaissance

Race and Renaissance

Author: Joe W. Trotter, Jared N. Day
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
ISBN: 0822977559
Pages: 304
Year: 2010-06-27
African Americans from Pittsburgh have a long and distinctive history of contributions to the cultural, political, and social evolution of the United States. From jazz legend Earl Fatha Hines to playwright August Wilson, from labor protests in the 1950s to the Black Power movement of the late 1960s, Pittsburgh has been a force for change in American race and class relations. Race and Renaissance presents the first history of African American life in Pittsburgh after World War II. It examines the origins and significance of the second Great Migration, the persistence of Jim Crow into the postwar years, the second ghetto, the contemporary urban crisis, the civil rights and Black Power movements, and the Million Man and Million Woman marches, among other topics. In recreating this period, Trotter and Day draw not only from newspaper articles and other primary and secondary sources, but also from oral histories. These include interviews with African Americans who lived in Pittsburgh during the postwar era, uncovering firsthand accounts of what life was truly like during this transformative epoch in urban history. In these ways, Race and Renaissance illuminateshow African Americans arrived at their present moment in history. It also links movements for change to larger global issues: civil rights with the Vietnam War; affirmative action with the movement against South African apartheid. As such, the study draws on both sociology and urban studies to deepen our understanding of the lives of urban blacks.
African Americans in Pittsburgh

African Americans in Pittsburgh

Author: John M. Brewer Jr.
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1439617848
Pages: 128
Year: 2012-09-18
African Americans in Pittsburgh chronicles the distinct trends in this African American community. There was never one centralized neighborhood where a majority of the black population lived, and city schools were integrated until after desegregation laws were passed. Photographs captured by famed Pittsburgh photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris show the candid experiences of residents, including the achievements and celebrations of people struggling to put scraps of food on the table.
Smoketown

Smoketown

Author: Mark Whitaker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501122398
Pages: 432
Year: 2018-01-30
“Smoketown brilliantly offers us a chance to see this other black renaissance and spend time with the many luminaries who sparked it…It’s thanks to such a gifted storyteller as Whitaker that this forgotten chapter of American history can finally be told in all its vibrancy and glory.”—The New York Times Book Review The other great Renaissance of black culture, influence, and glamour burst forth joyfully in what may seem an unlikely place—Pittsburgh, PA—from the 1920s through the 1950s. Today black Pittsburgh is known as the setting for August Wilson’s famed plays about noble but doomed working-class strivers. But this community once had an impact on American history that rivaled the far larger black worlds of Harlem and Chicago. It published the most widely read black newspaper in the country, urging black voters to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party and then rallying black support for World War II. It fielded two of the greatest baseball teams of the Negro Leagues and introduced Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pittsburgh was the childhood home of jazz pioneers Billy Strayhorn, Billy Eckstine, Earl Hines, Mary Lou Williams, and Erroll Garner; Hall of Fame slugger Josh Gibson—and August Wilson himself. Some of the most glittering figures of the era were changed forever by the time they spent in the city, from Joe Louis and Satchel Paige to Duke Ellington and Lena Horne. Mark Whitaker’s Smoketown is a captivating portrait of this unsung community and a vital addition to the story of black America. It depicts how ambitious Southern migrants were drawn to a steel-making city on a strategic river junction; how they were shaped by its schools and a spirit of commerce with roots in the Gilded Age; and how their world was eventually destroyed by industrial decline and urban renewal. Whitaker takes readers on a rousing, revelatory journey—and offers a timely reminder that Black History is not all bleak.
Teenie Harris, Photographer

Teenie Harris, Photographer

Author: Cheryl Finley, Teenie Harris, Laurence Admiral Glasco, Joe William Trotter
Publisher:
ISBN: 0822944146
Pages: 192
Year: 2011
"Charles "Teenie" Harris (1908-1998) photographed the events and daily life of African Americans for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the nation's most influential Black newspapers. From the 1930s to 1970s, Harris created a richly detailed record of public personalities, historic events, and the lives of average people. In 2001, Carnegie Museum of Art purchased Harris's archive of nearly 80,000 photographic negatives, few of which are titled and dated; the archive is considered one of the most important documentations of 20th?century African American life (www.cmoa.org/teenie). The book will serve as the definitive publication on the life and work of Teenie Harris, consisting of three significant essays: Cheryl Finley, assistant professor in the history of art at Cornell University, offers the first thorough analysis of Harris as an artist, situating him within the history of 20th?century African American art as well as American documentary and vernacular photography; Larry Glasco, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, draws on new research to present a detailed biography of the photographer; and Joe Trotter, professor of history and social justice at Carnegie Mellon University, explores the social and historical context of Harris's photographs. The book will also include a foreword by Deborah Willis, professor at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. In addition to comparative illustrations within the essays, the book includes 100 plates of Harris's signature work and a complete bibliography and chronology"--
The Ghetto in Global History

The Ghetto in Global History

Author: Wendy Z. Goldman, Joe William Trotter, Jr.
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351584103
Pages: 360
Year: 2017-11-27
The Ghetto in Global History explores the stubborn tenacity of ‘the ghetto’ over time. As a concept, policy, and experience, the ghetto has served to maintain social, religious, and racial hierarchies over the past five centuries. Transnational in scope, this book allows readers to draw thought-provoking comparisons across time and space among ghettos that are not usually studied alongside one another. The volume is structured around four main case studies, covering the first ghettos created for Jews in early modern Europe, the Nazis' use of ghettos, the enclosure of African Americans in segregated areas in the United States, and the extreme segregation of blacks in South Africa. The contributors explore issues of discourse, power, and control; examine the internal structures of authority that prevailed; and document the lived experiences of ghetto inhabitants. By discussing ghettos as both tools of control and as sites of resistance, this book offers an unprecedented and fascinating range of interpretations of the meanings of the "ghetto" throughout history. It allows us to trace the circulation of the idea and practice over time and across continents, revealing new linkages between widely disparate settings. Geographically and chronologically wide-ranging, The Ghetto in Global History will prove indispensable reading for all those interested in the history of spatial segregation, power dynamics, and racial and religious relations across the globe.
The Oxford Handbook of American Immigration and Ethnicity

The Oxford Handbook of American Immigration and Ethnicity

Author: Ronald H. Bayor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190612886
Pages: 640
Year: 2016-06-01
Scholarship on immigration to America is a coin with two sides: it asks both how America changed immigrants, and how they changed America. Were the immigrants uprooted from their ancestral homes, leaving everything behind, or were they transplanted, bringing many aspects of their culture with them? Although historians agree with the transplantation concept, the notion of the melting pot, which suggests a complete loss of the immigrant culture, persists in the public mind. The Oxford Handbook of American Immigration and Ethnicity bridges this gap and offers a comprehensive and nuanced survey of American racial and ethnic development, assessing the current status of historical research and simultaneously setting the goals for future investigation. Early immigration historians focused on the European migration model, and the ethnic appeal of politicians such as Fiorello La Guardia and James Michael Curley in cities with strong ethno-political histories like New York and Boston. But the story of American ethnicity goes far beyond Ellis Island. Only after the 1965 Immigration Act and the increasing influx of non-Caucasian immigrants, scholars turned more fully to the study of African, Asian and Latino migrants to America. This Handbook brings together thirty eminent scholars to describe the themes, methodologies, and trends that characterize the history and current debates on American immigration. The Handbook's trenchant chapters provide compelling analyses of cutting-edge issues including identity, whiteness, borders and undocumented migration, immigration legislation, intermarriage, assimilation, bilingualism, new American religions, ethnicity-related crime, and pan-ethnic trends. They also explore the myth of "model minorities" and the contemporary resurgence of anti-immigrant feelings. A unique contribution to the field of immigration studies, this volume considers the full racial and ethnic unfolding of the United States in its historical context.
Smoketown

Smoketown

Author: Mark Whitaker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501122398
Pages: 432
Year: 2018-01-30
“Smoketown brilliantly offers us a chance to see this other black renaissance and spend time with the many luminaries who sparked it…It’s thanks to such a gifted storyteller as Whitaker that this forgotten chapter of American history can finally be told in all its vibrancy and glory.”—The New York Times Book Review The other great Renaissance of black culture, influence, and glamour burst forth joyfully in what may seem an unlikely place—Pittsburgh, PA—from the 1920s through the 1950s. Today black Pittsburgh is known as the setting for August Wilson’s famed plays about noble but doomed working-class strivers. But this community once had an impact on American history that rivaled the far larger black worlds of Harlem and Chicago. It published the most widely read black newspaper in the country, urging black voters to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party and then rallying black support for World War II. It fielded two of the greatest baseball teams of the Negro Leagues and introduced Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pittsburgh was the childhood home of jazz pioneers Billy Strayhorn, Billy Eckstine, Earl Hines, Mary Lou Williams, and Erroll Garner; Hall of Fame slugger Josh Gibson—and August Wilson himself. Some of the most glittering figures of the era were changed forever by the time they spent in the city, from Joe Louis and Satchel Paige to Duke Ellington and Lena Horne. Mark Whitaker’s Smoketown is a captivating portrait of this unsung community and a vital addition to the story of black America. It depicts how ambitious Southern migrants were drawn to a steel-making city on a strategic river junction; how they were shaped by its schools and a spirit of commerce with roots in the Gilded Age; and how their world was eventually destroyed by industrial decline and urban renewal. Whitaker takes readers on a rousing, revelatory journey—and offers a timely reminder that Black History is not all bleak.
The Black Skyscraper

The Black Skyscraper

Author: Adrienne Brown
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421423847
Pages: 280
Year: 2017-11-19
With the development of the first skyscrapers in the 1880s, urban built environments could expand vertically as well as horizontally. Tall buildings emerged in growing cities to house and manage the large and racially diverse populations of migrants and immigrants flocking to their centers following Reconstruction. Beginning with Chicago’s early 10-story towers and concluding with the 1931 erection of the 110-story Empire State Building, Adrienne Brown’s The Black Skyscraper provides a detailed account of how scale and proximity shape our understanding of race. Over the next half-century, as city skylines grew, American writers imagined the new urban backdrop as an obstacle to racial differentiation. Examining works produced by writers, painters, architects, and laborers who grappled with the early skyscraper’s outsized and disorienting dimensions, Brown explores this architecture’s effects on how race was seen, read, and sensed at the turn of the twentieth century. In lesser-known works of apocalyptic science fiction, light romance, and Jazz Age melodrama, as well as in more canonical works by W. E. B. Du Bois, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Aaron Douglas, and Nella Larsen, the skyscraper mediates the process of seeing and being seen as a racialized subject. From its distancing apex—reducing bodies to specks—to the shadowy mega-blocks it formed at street level, Brown argues that the skyscraper called attention to the malleable nature of perception. A highly interdisciplinary work, The Black Skyscraper reclaims the influence of race on modern architectural design as well as the less-well-understood effects these designs had on the experience and perception of race.
Toxic Communities

Toxic Communities

Author: Dorceta Taylor
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479861626
Pages: 352
Year: 2014-06-20
From St. Louis to New Orleans, from Baltimore to Oklahoma City, there are poor and minority neighborhoods so beset by pollution that just living in them can be hazardous to your health. Due to entrenched segregation, zoning ordinances that privilege wealthier communities, or because businesses have found the ‘paths of least resistance,’ there are many hazardous waste and toxic facilities in these communities, leading residents to experience health and wellness problems on top of the race and class discrimination most already experience. Taking stock of the recent environmental justice scholarship, Toxic Communities examines the connections among residential segregation, zoning, and exposure to environmental hazards. Renowned environmental sociologist Dorceta Taylor focuses on the locations of hazardous facilities in low-income and minority communities and shows how they have been dumped on, contaminated and exposed. Drawing on an array of historical and contemporary case studies from across the country, Taylor explores controversies over racially-motivated decisions in zoning laws, eminent domain, government regulation (or lack thereof), and urban renewal. She provides a comprehensive overview of the debate over whether or not there is a link between environmental transgressions and discrimination, drawing a clear picture of the state of the environmental justice field today and where it is going. In doing so, she introduces new concepts and theories for understanding environmental racism that will be essential for environmental justice scholars. A fascinating landmark study, Toxic Communities greatly contributes to the study of race, the environment, and space in the contemporary United States.
The Great War and the Culture of the New Negro

The Great War and the Culture of the New Negro

Author: Mark Whalan
Publisher:
ISBN: 0813032067
Pages: 303
Year: 2008
More than 200,000 African American soldiers fought in World War I, and returning troops frequently spoke of "color-blind" France. Such cosmopolitan experiences, along with the brutal, often desegregated no-man's-land between the trenches, forced African American artists and writers to reexamine their relationship to mainstream (white) American culture. The war represented a seminal moment for African Americans, and in the 1920s and 1930s it became a touchstone for such diverse cultural concerns as the pan-African impulse, the burgeoning civil rights movement, and the redefinition of black masculinity. In examining the legacy of the Great War on African American culture, Mark Whalan considers the work of such canonical writers as W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and Alain Locke. In addition, he considers the legacy of the war for African Americans as represented in film, photography, and anthropology, with a particular focus on the photographer James VanDerZee.
L.A. City Limits

L.A. City Limits

Author: Josh Sides
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520248309
Pages: 288
Year: 2006-06-12
A lively history of modern black Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the present.
Black Milwaukee

Black Milwaukee

Author: Joe William Trotter
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252060350
Pages: 302
Year: 1985
Other historians have tended to treat black urban life mainly in relation to the ghetto experience, but in Black Milwaukee, Joe William Trotter Jr. offers a new perspective that complements yet also goes well beyond that approach. The blacks in Black Milwaukee were not only ghetto dwellers; they were also industrial workers. The process by which they achieved this status is the subject of Trotter's ground-breaking study. This second edition features a new preface and acknowledgments, an essay on African American urban history since 1985, a prologue on the antebellum and Civil War roots of Milwaukee's black community, and an epilogue on the post-World War II years and the impact of deindustrialization, all by the author. Brief essays by four of Trotter's colleagues--William P. Jones, Earl Lewis, Alison Isenberg, and Kimberly L. Phillips--assess the impact of the original Black Milwaukee on the study of African American urban history over the past twenty years.
Race and the Totalitarian Century

Race and the Totalitarian Century

Author: Vaughn Rasberry
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674972996
Pages: 410
Year: 2016-10-03
Vaughn Rasberry turns to black culture and politics for an alternative history of the totalitarian century. He shows how black writers reimagined the standard anti-fascist, anti-communist narrative through the lens of racial injustice, with the U.S. as a tyrannical force in the Third World but also an agent of Asian and African independence.
Urban Castles

Urban Castles

Author: Jared N. Day
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231114036
Pages: 262
Year: 1999
In the first comprehensive investigation of the role of landlords in shaping the urban landscapes of today, Jared Day explores the unique case of New York City from the close of the nineteenth century through the World War II era. During this period, tenement landlords were responsible for designing and shaping America's urban landscapes, building housing for the city's ever-growing industrial workforce. Fueled by the illusion of easy money, entrepreneurs managed their buildings in ways that punished compassion and rewarded neglect -- and created some of the most haunting images of urban squalor in American history. Urban Castles mines a previously uninvestigated body of tenant and landlord newspapers, journals, and real estate records to understand how tenement landlords operated in an era before tenant rights developed into a central issue for urban reformers. Day contends that -- perhaps more than any other group of property owners -- urban landlords stood upon the very fault lines of class, ethnicity, and race. In contrast to many urban histories set in executive boardrooms and state houses, and which chronicle struggles between large corporations, government officials, and organized labor, this fascinating work deals with the more chaotic world of small-scale entrepreneurs and their frequently antagonistic relationships with their customers -- working-class tenants. Urban Castles is a richly informative chronicle of the dark underbelly of America's emerging welfare state. The neglected side of this important story covered by Day's research says much about the sea changes in landlord-tenant relations and urban policy today.
River Jordan

River Jordan

Author: Joe William Trotter
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813109507
Pages: 200
Year: 1998
Since the nineteenth century, the Ohio River has represented a great divide for African Americans. It provided a passage to freedom along the underground railroad, and during the industrial age, it was a boundary between the Jim Crow South and the urban North. The Ohio became known as the "River Jordan," symbolizing the path to the promised land. In the urban centers of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Evansville, blacks faced racial hostility from outside their immediate neighborhoods as well as class, color, and cultural fragmentation among themselves. Yet despite these pressures, African Americans were able to create vibrant new communities as former agricultural workers transformed themselves into a new urban working class. Unlike most studies of black urban life, Trotter's work considers several cities and compares their economic conditions, demographic makeup, and political and cultural conditions. Beginning with the arrival of the first blacks in the Ohio Valley, Trotter traces the development of African American urban centers through the civil rights movement and the developments of recent years.