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 : 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 : 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 : 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 : First published in 1999, Mary Pattillo’s Black Picket Fences explores an American demographic group too often ignored by both scholars and the media: the black middle class. Nearly fifteen years later, this book remains a groundbreaking study of a group still underrepresented in the academic and public spheres. The result of living for three years in “Groveland,” a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, Black Picket Fences explored both the advantages the black middle class has and the boundaries they still face. Despite arguments that race no longer matters, Pattillo showed a different reality, one where black and white middle classes remain separate and unequal. Stark, moving, and still timely, the book is updated for this edition with a new epilogue by the author that details how the neighborhood and its residents fared in the recession of 2008, as well as new interviews with many of the same neighborhood residents featured in the original. Also included is a new foreword by acclaimed University of Pennsylvania sociologist Annette Lareau.
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 : 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 : 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 : 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 : 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 : 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 : 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 : "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 : 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 : "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 : This is the true story of America's first black dynasty. The years after the Civil War represented an astonishing moment of opportunity for African-Americans. The rush to build a racially democratic society from the ruins of slavery is never more evident than in the personal history of Blanche Kelso Bruce and his heirs. Born a slave in 1841, Bruce became a local Mississippi sheriff, developed a growing Republican power base, amassed a real-estate fortune, and became the first black to serve a full Senate term. He married Josephine Willson, the daughter of a wealthy black Philadelphia doctor. Together they broke racial barriers as a socialite couple in 1880s Washington, D.C. By befriending President Ulysses S. Grant, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and a cadre of liberal black and white Republicans, Bruce spent six years in the U.S. Senate, then gained appointments under four presidents (Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, and McKinley), culminating with a top Treasury post, which placed his name on all U.S. currency. During Reconstruction, the Bruce family entertained lavishly in their two Washington town houses and acquired an 800-acre plantation, homes in four states, and a fortune that allowed their son and grandchildren to attend Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, beginning in 1896. The Senator's legacy would continue with his son, Roscoe, who became both a protégé of Booker T. Washington and a superintendent of Washington, D.C.'s segregated schools. When the family moved to New York in the 1920s and formed an alliance with John D. Rockefeller Jr., the Bruces became an enviable force in Harlem society. Their public battle to get their grandson admitted into Harvard University's segregated dormitories elicited the support of people like W. E. B. Du Bois and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and broke brave new ground for blacks of their day. But in the end, the Bruce dynasty's wealth and stature would disappear when the Senator's grandson landed in prison following a sensational trial and his Radcliffe-educated granddaughter married a black Hollywood actor who passed for white. By drawing on Senate records, historic documents, and the personal letters of Senator Bruce, Josephine, their colleagues, friends, children, and grandchildren, author Lawrence Otis Graham weaves a riveting social history that spans 120 years. From Mississippi to Washington, D.C., to New York, The Senator and the Socialite provides a fascinating look into the history of race and class in America.
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 : John H. Stanfield II, a leading historian of Black social science, distills decades of his research and thinking in a set of articles—some original to the volume, others from fugitive sources—that trace the trajectories of Black scholars and scholarship in relationship to the broader African American experience over the past two centuries. Stanfield’s signature contributions to this research tradition range from the role of philanthropy in the study and life of African Americans to institutional racism in sociology and the impacts of race on scholarly careers. His analyses run from global formulations to individual biographies, including his own, and stretch from the early decades of social science to the present. This work creates a nuanced historical context for reflective Black sociology that will be of interest to social historians, sociologists, and scholars of color from all disciplines.
Description : To study this transition from universalism to cultural particularism, Richard King focuses on the arguments of major thinkers, movements, and traditions of thought, attempting to construct a map of the ideological positions that were staked out and an intellectual history of this transition.