“An extraordinary history…Deeply researched, elegantly written…a towering achievement that will not be soon forgotten.”—Brent Staples, New York Times Book Review “[This] epic, meticulously detailed account not only reminds its readers that newspapers matter, but so do black lives, past and present.”—USA Today Giving voice to the voiceless, TheChicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost in 1960 if not for TheDefender’s support. Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs, from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama.
Author: Patrick S. Washburn
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Release Date: 2006-12-21
Winner, 2007 Tankard Award In March of 1827 the nation's first black newspaper appeared in New York City--to counter attacks on blacks by the city's other papers. From this signal event, The African American Newspaper traces the evolution of the black newspaper--and its ultimate decline--for more than 160 years until the end of the twentieth century. The book chronicles the growth of the black press into a powerful and effective national voice for African Americans during the period from 1910 to 1950--a period that proved critical to the formation and gathering strength of the civil rights movement that emerged so forcefully in the following decades. In particular, author Patrick S. Washburn explores how the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender led the way as the two most influential black newspapers in U.S. history, effectively setting the stage for the civil rights movement's successes. Washburn also examines the numerous reasons for the enormous decline of black newspapers in influence and circulation in the decades immediately following World War II. His book documents as never before how the press's singular accomplishments provide a unique record of all areas of black history and a significant and shaping affect on the black experience in America.
Author: William G. Jordan
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2003-01-14
Genre: Social Science
During World War I, the publishers of America's crusading black newspapers faced a difficult dilemma. Would it be better to advance the interests of African Americans by affirming their patriotism and offering support of President Wilson's war for democracy in Europe, or should they demand that the government take concrete steps to stop the lynching, segregation, and disfranchisement of blacks at home as a condition of their participation in the war? This study of their efforts to resolve that dilemma offers important insights into the nature of black protest, race relations, and the role of the press in a republican system. William Jordan shows that before, during, and after the war, the black press engaged in a delicate and dangerous dance with the federal government and white America--at times making demands or holding firm, sometimes pledging loyalty, occasionally giving in. But although others have argued that the black press compromised too much, Jordan demonstrates that, given the circumstances, its strategic combination of protest and accommodation was remarkably effective. While resisting persistent threats of censorship, the black press consistently worked at educating America about the need for racial justice.
"The author of The Butler presents a revelatory biography of the first African-American Supreme Court justice--one of the giants of the civil rights movement, and one of the most transforming Supreme Court justices of the 20th century, "--Novelist.
Freedom's Journal is a comprehensive study of the first African-American newspaper, which was founded in the first half of the 19th Century. The book investigates all aspects of publication as well as using the source material to extract information about African-American life at that time.
Author: Sydney Nathans
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-20
Sydney Nathans offers a counterpoint to the narrative of the Great Migration, a central theme of black liberation in the twentieth century. He tells the story of enslaved families who became the emancipated owners of land they had worked in bondage.
Author: Daniel Friedman
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2017-05-23
“More than a son’s paean to his father . . . An intergenerational portrait of the quintessential American Jewish family, a rags-to-riches story” (Ethan Michaeli, author of The Defender). The King of Chicago is the story of a father-son relationship as real and hugely loving as that in Philip Roth’s Patrimony. At its heart is a young son who tries furiously to heal his father from a violent childhood inside a Chicago orphanage. The orphanage, the Marks Nathan Home, still stands today on the West Side of Chicago, marked by a tarnished, barely legible plaque. Once home to fourteen thousand Jewish orphans, it is now just another barely remembered relic of a great city. Using original articles from the orphanage newspaper, Friedman attempts to reconstruct and understand his father’s childhood, a time that his father never discussed. Expanding its reach, The King of Chicago becomes a multigenerational saga of Jewish life, moving from a mysterious little man named Kasiel, who arrived in the Port of Baltimore in 1903 with two dollars to his name, to the factory floor of a scrap paper business, a golf course where children played without knowing the rules, and a home on the North Shore among fellow immigrants looking for something better for their children. At its core, this memoir is both a snapshot of immigrant life in Chicago in the early twentieth century and a poignant reminder about the need to never forget who you are and where you come from.
Author: Eleanor Alexander
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2001-09-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A New York Times Notable Book of 2002! On February 10, 1906, Alice Ruth Moore, estranged wife of renowned early twentieth-century poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, boarded a streetcar, settled comfortably into her seat, and opened her newspaper to learn of her husband's death the day before. Paul Laurence Dunbar, son of former slaves, whom Frederick Douglass had dubbed "the most promising young colored man in America," was dead from tuberculosis at the age of 33. Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow traces the tempestuous romance of America's most noted African-American literary couple. Drawing on a variety of love letters, diaries, journals, and autobiographies, Eleanor Alexander vividly recounts Dunbar's and Moore's tumultuous affair, from a courtship conducted almost entirely through letters and an elopement brought on by Dunbar's brutal, drunken rape of Moore, through their passionate marriage and its eventual violent dissolution in 1902. Moore, once having left Dunbar, rejected his every entreaty to return to him, responding to his many letters only once, with a blunt, one-word telegram ("No"). This is a remarkable story of tragic romance among African-American elites struggling to define themselves and their relationships within the context of post-slavery America. As such, it provides a timely examination of the ways in which cultural ideology and politics shape and complicate conceptions of romantic love.
Author: Brent M.S. Campney
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 2015-08-30
Genre: Social Science
Often defined as a mostly southern phenomenon, racist violence existed everywhere. Brent M. S. Campney explodes the notion of the Midwest as a so-called land of freedom with an in-depth study of assaults both active and threatened faced by African Americans in post–Civil War Kansas. Campney's capacious definition of white-on-black violence encompasses not only sensational demonstrations of white power like lynchings and race riots, but acts of threatened violence and the varied forms of pervasive routine violence--property damage, rape, forcible ejection from towns--used to intimidate African Americans. As he shows, such methods were a cornerstone of efforts to impose and maintain white supremacy. Yet Campney's broad consideration of racist violence also lends new insights into the ways people resisted threats. African Americans spontaneously hid fugitives and defused lynch mobs while also using newspapers and civil rights groups to lay the groundwork for forms of institutionalized opposition that could fight racist violence through the courts and via public opinion. Ambitious and provocative, This Is Not Dixie rewrites fundamental narratives on mob action, race relations, African American resistance, and racism's grim past in the heartland.
Author: Patrick Phillips
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2016-09-20
“Gripping and meticulously documented.”—Don Schanche Jr., Washington Post Forsyth County, Georgia, at the turn of the twentieth century, was home to a large African American community that included ministers and teachers, farmers and field hands, tradesmen, servants, and children. But then in September of 1912, three young black laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. One man was dragged from a jail cell and lynched on the town square, two teenagers were hung after a one-day trial, and soon bands of white “night riders” launched a coordinated campaign of arson and terror, driving all 1,098 black citizens out of the county. The charred ruins of homes and churches disappeared into the weeds, until the people and places of black Forsyth were forgotten. National Book Award finalist Patrick Phillips tells Forsyth’s tragic story in vivid detail and traces its long history of racial violence all the way back to antebellum Georgia. Recalling his own childhood in the 1970s and ’80s, Phillips sheds light on the communal crimes of his hometown and the violent means by which locals kept Forsyth “all white” well into the 1990s. In precise, vivid prose, Blood at the Root delivers a “vital investigation of Forsyth’s history, and of the process by which racial injustice is perpetuated in America” (Congressman John Lewis).
Author: Manisha Sinha
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2016-02-23
Genre: Social Science
Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. Manisha Sinha overturns this image, broadening her scope beyond the antebellum period usually associated with abolitionism and recasting it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism and utopian socialism to anti-imperialism and efforts to defend the rights of labor. Drawing on extensive archival research, including newly discovered letters and pamphlets, Sinha documents the influence of the Haitian Revolution and the centrality of slave resistance in shaping the ideology and tactics of abolition. This book is a comprehensive new history of the abolition movement in a transnational context. It illustrates how the abolitionist vision ultimately linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine American democracy and human rights across the globe.
Author: Ronald H. Bayor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016
Scholarship on immigration to America is a coin with two sides: how did America change immigrants, and how did they change America? Were the immigrants uprooted from their ancestral homes, leaving all behind, or were they transplanted, bringing many aspects of their culture with them? Althoughhistorians 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 explores how Americans think of themselves and how science, religion,period of migration, gender, education, politics, and occupational mobility shape both this image and American life. Since the 1965 Immigration Act opened the gates to newer groups, historical writing on immigration and ethnicity has evolved over the years to include numerous immigrant sources and to provide trenchant analyses of American immigration and ethnicity. For the first time, this handbook brings togetherthirty leading scholars in the field to make sense of all the themes, methodologies, and trends that characterize the debate on American immigration. They examine a wide-range of topics, including pan-ethnicity, whiteness, intermarriage, bilingualism, religion, museum ethnic displays,naturalization, regional mobility, census categorization, immigration legislation and its reception, ethnicity-related crime and gang formation. The Oxford Handbook of American Immigration and Ethnicity explores the idea of assimilation in a multicultural society showing how deeply pan-ethnicitychanged American identity over the time.