Description : A classic analysis of the Black middle class studies its origin and development, accentuating its behavior, attitudes, and values during the 1940s and 1950s
Description : When E. Franklin Frazier was elected the first black president of the American Sociological Association in 1948, he was established as the leading American scholar on the black family and was also recognized as a leading theorist on the dynamics of social change and race relations. By 1948 his lengthy list of publications included over fifty articles and four major books, including the acclaimed Negro Family in the United States. Frazier was known for his thorough scholarship and his mastery of skills in both history and sociology. With the publication of Bourgeoisie Noire in 1955 (translated in 1957 as Black Bourgeoisie), Frazier apparently set out on a different track, one in which he employed his skills in a critical analysis of the black middle class. The book met with mixed reviews and harsh criticism from the black middle and professional class. Yet Frazier stood solidly by his argument that the black middle class was marked by conspicuous consumption, wish fulfillment, and a world of make-believe. While Frazier published four additional books after 1948, Black Bourgeoisie remained by far his most controversial.
Description : Examines how generations of African Americans perceive, proclaim, and name the combined performance of race and class across genres.
Description : Published in 1939, this was one of the first titles to study the family life of African Americans. It began with colonial-era slavery, extending through emancipation, to the impact of migration to northern and southern cities in the early-20th century.
Description : Looks at the development of the Black American middle class, discusses salary, discrimination, and considers Black mobility, standards of living, and the effects of changing ecomomic conditions
Description : As early-twentieth-century Chicago swelled with an influx of at least 250,000 new black urban migrants, the city became a center of consumer capitalism, flourishing with professional sports, beauty shops, film production companies, recording studios, and other black cultural and communal institutions. Davarian Baldwin argues that this mass consumer marketplace generated a vibrant intellectual life and planted seeds of political dissent against the dehumanizing effects of white capitalism. Pushing the traditional boundaries of the Harlem Renaissance to new frontiers, Baldwin identifies a fresh model of urban culture rich with politics, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship. Baldwin explores an abundant archive of cultural formations where an array of white observers, black cultural producers, critics, activists, reformers, and black migrant consumers converged in what he terms a "marketplace intellectual life." Here the thoughts and lives of Madam C. J. Walker, Oscar Micheaux, Andrew "Rube" Foster, Elder Lucy Smith, Jack Johnson, and Thomas Dorsey emerge as individual expressions of a much wider spectrum of black political and intellectual possibilities. By placing consumer-based amusements alongside the more formal arenas of church and academe, Baldwin suggests important new directions for both the historical study and the constructive future of ideas and politics in American life.
Description : Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER New York Times: 100 Notable Books of 2015 New York Times: Dwight Garner’s Best Books of 2015 Washington Post: 10 Best Books of 2015 Los Angeles Times: 31 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 Marie Claire: Best Books of 2015 Vanity Fair: Best Book Gifts of 2015 TIME Best Books of 2015 At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac—here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of the author’s rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself against both. Born in upper-crust black Chicago—her father was for years head of pediatrics at Provident, at the time the nation’s oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite—Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.” Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments—the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of postracial America—Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions. Aware as it is of heart-wrenching despair and depression, this book is a triumphant paean to the grace of perseverance. (With 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.) From the Hardcover edition.
Description : A penetrating exposition of the Black middle class individuals who do not accept their role and responsibilties as advocates for all African Americans.
Description : On Her Own Ground is the first full-scale, definitive biography of Madam C. J. Walker—the legendary African American entrepreneur and philanthropist—by her great-great-granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles. The daughter of slaves, Madam C. J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at fourteen and widowed at twenty. She spent the better part of the next two decades laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. Then—with the discovery of a revolutionary hair care formula for black women—everything changed. By her death in 1919, Walker managed to overcome astonishing odds: building a storied beauty empire from the ground up, amassing wealth unprecedented among black women and devoting her life to philanthropy and social activism. Along the way, she formed friendships with great early-twentieth-century politi-cal figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. On Her Own Ground is not only the first comprehensive biography of one of recent history's most amazing entrepreneurs and philanthropists, it is about a woman who is truly an African American icon. Drawn from more than two decades of exhaustive research, the book is enriched by the author's exclusive access to personal letters, records and never-before-seen photographs from the family collection. Bundles also showcases Walker's complex relationship with her daughter, A'Lelia Walker, a celebrated hostess of the Harlem Renaissance and renowned friend to both Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. In chapters such as “Freedom Baby,” “Motherless Child,” “Bold Moves” and “Black Metropolis,” Bundles traces her ancestor's improbable rise to the top of an international hair care empire that would be run by four generations of Walker women until its sale in 1985. Along the way, On Her Own Ground reveals surprising insights, tells fascinating stories and dispels many misconceptions.
Description : "In his study, Green tells the story of how this unified consciousness was shaped. With this portrayal of black life - complemented by a dozen works of the Chicago photographer Wayne F. Miller - Green ultimately presents African Americans as agents, rather than casualties, of modernity, reenvisioning urban existence in a way that will resonate with anyone interested in race, culture, or the life of cities."--Jacket.
Description : Answering questions about black society from the 1700s to the mid 1970’s, this chronicle was written from the point of view of a woman who spent 50 years documenting the activities of the often alluded to but largely unknown class of black Americans. It describes the significant role played and contributions made by the black upper class within the historical context of the past 200 hundred years of American history.
Description : An acclaimed sociologist illuminates the public life of an American city, offering a major reinterpretation of the racial dynamics in America. Following his award-winning work on inner-city violence, Code of the Street, sociologist Elijah Anderson introduces the concept of the “cosmopolitan canopy”—the urban island of civility that exists amidst the ghettos, suburbs, and ethnic enclaves where segregation is the norm. Under the cosmopolitan canopy, diverse peoples come together, and for the most part practice getting along. Anderson’s path-breaking study of this setting provides a new understanding of the complexities of present-day race relations and reveals the unique opportunities here for cross-cultural interaction. Anderson walks us through Center City Philadelphia, revealing and illustrating through his ethnographic fieldwork how city dwellers often interact across racial, ethnic, and social borders. People engage in a distinctive folk ethnography. Canopies operating in close proximity create a synergy that becomes a cosmopolitan zone. In the vibrant atmosphere of these public spaces, civility is the order of the day. However, incidents can arise that threaten and rend the canopy, including scenes of tension involving borders of race, class, sexual preference, and gender. But when they do—assisted by gloss—the resilience of the canopy most often prevails. In this space all kinds of city dwellers—from gentrifiers to the homeless, cabdrivers to doormen—manage to co-exist in the urban environment, gaining local knowledge as they do, which then helps reinforce and spread tolerance through contact and mutual understanding. With compelling, meticulous descriptions of public spaces such as 30th Street Station, Reading Terminal Market, and Rittenhouse Square, and quasi-public places like the modern-day workplace, Anderson provides a rich narrative account of how blacks and whites relate and redefine the color line in everyday public life. He reveals how eating, shopping, and people-watching under the canopy can ease racial tensions, but also how the spaces in and between canopies can reinforce boundaries. Weaving colorful observations with keen social insight, Anderson shows how the canopy—and its lessons—contributes to the civility of our increasingly diverse cities.
Description : This book focuses on the subjective side of success of black professionals and it documents that no matter how much money, power, or prestige, racism is still a salient issue in their lives.
Description : The author of “Our Crowd” takes readers inside the gossip-tinged world of the 1970s Black elite, one obsessed with history, standing and appearance.
Description : Ground-breaking when first published in 1945, Black Metropolis remains a landmark study of race and urban life. Few studies since have been able to match its scope and magnitude, offering one of the most comprehensive looks at black life in America. Based on research conducted by Works Progress Administration field workers, it is a sweeping historical and sociological account of the people of Chicago's South Side from the 1840s through the 1930s. Its findings offer a comprehensive analysis of black migration, settlement, community structure, and black-white race relations in the first half of the twentieth century. It offers a dizzying and dynamic world filled with captivating people and startling revelations. A new foreword from sociologist Mary Pattillo places the study in modern context, updating the story with the current state of black communities in Chicago and the larger United States and exploring what this means for the future. As the country continues to struggle with race and our treatment of black lives, Black Metropolis continues to be a powerful contribution to the conversation.
Description : Semmes extends Afrocentric social theory by formulating the problem of structured inequality for African Americans in terms of cultural hegemony. This innovative work challenges oppositional and segmented analyses that look at Black inequality in terms of either economic dislocation or racial oppression, and introduces the idea that what is at stake are the issues of progressive cultural adaptation, cultural reconstruction, and institutional development. What emerges is a new way of seeing and understanding the intellectual tradition and body of knowledge called Black, African-American, or Africana studies.
Description : "The best sort of introductory study... packed with enlightening information." -- The Times Literary Supplement Poor whites have been isolated from mainstream white Southern culture and have been in turn stereotyped as rednecks and Holy Rollers, discriminated against, and misunderstood. In their isolation, they have developed a unique subculture and defended it with a tenacity and pride that puzzles and confuses the larger society. Written 25 years ago, this book was one scholar's attempt to understand these people and their culture. For this new edition, Wayne Flynt has provided a new retrospective introduction and an up-to-date bibliography.
Description : "Feagin and Sikes . . . effectively drive home the point that 'mere' slights, racist jokes, common stereotyping-the myriad minor acts of prejudice and discrimination to which blacks are subjected even when separated by days or weeks-can gradually leave a sediment of bitterness and despair in the souls of black folk that makes normal interaction with whites very difficult." -The Texas Observer
Description : Spirituals, folk rhymes, and poems by such writers as Phyllis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Don L. Lee reveal the development of Black poetic expression
Description : Debutante cotillions. Million-dollar homes. Summers in Martha's Vineyard. Membership in the Links, Jack & Jill, Deltas, Boule, and AKAs. An obsession with the right schools, families, social clubs, and skin complexion. This is the world of the black upper class and the focus of the first book written about the black elite by a member of this hard-to-penetrate group. Author and TV commentator Lawrence Otis Graham, one of the nation's most prominent spokesmen on race and class, spent six years interviewing the wealthiest black families in America. He includes historical photos of a people that made their first millions in the 1870s. Graham tells who's in and who's not in the group today with separate chapters on the elite in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nashville, and New Orleans. A new Introduction explains the controversy that the book elicited from both the black and white communities.
Description : Debra Dickerson pulls no punches in this electrifying manifesto. Outspoken journalist and author of the critically acclaimed memoir An American Story, she challenges black Americans to stop obsessing about racism and start focusing on problems they can fix. The way out of the ghetto, she asserts, is to take a good, hard look in the mirror. Get angry, Dickerson says, but use that anger to fuel excellence and civic participation rather than crime or drug addiction. Drawing richly on black history and thought, as well as her own hard-won wisdom, she urges blacks to let go of the past and claim their full freedom. It’s only by shaping their own future, she argues, that blacks will finally abolish the myth of white superiority. From the Trade Paperback edition.