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 : The Great Migration was the most significant event in black life since emancipation and Reconstruction. Passionately Human, No Less Divine analyzes the various ways black southerners transformed African American religion in Chicago during their Great Migration northward. A work of religious, urban, and social history, it is the first book-length analysis of the new religious practices and traditions in Chicago that were stimulated by migration and urbanization. The book illustrates how the migration launched a new sacred order among blacks in the city that reflected aspects of both Southern black religion and modern city life. This new sacred order was also largely female as African American women constituted more than 70 percent of the membership in most black Protestant churches. Ultimately, Wallace Best demonstrates how black southerners imparted a folk religious sensibility to Chicago's black churches. In doing so, they ironically recast conceptions of modern, urban African American religion in terms that signified the rural past. In the same way that working class cultural idioms such as jazz and the blues emerged in the secular arena as a means to represent black modernity, he says, African American religion in Chicago, with its negotiation between the past, the present, rural and urban, revealed African American religion in modern form.
Description : The apron-clad, white, stay-at-home mother. Black bus boycotters in Montgomery, Alabama. Ruth Feldstein explains that these two enduring, yet very different, images of the 1950s did not run parallel merely by ironic coincidence, but were in fact intimately connected. What she calls "gender conservatism" and "racial liberalism" intersected in central, yet overlooked, ways in mid-twentieth-century American liberalism.Motherhood in Black and White analyzes the widespread assumption within liberalism that social problems—ranging from unemployment to racial prejudice—could be traced to bad mothering. This relationship between liberalism and motherhood took shape in the 1930s, expanded in the 1940s and 1950s, and culminated in the 1960s. Even as civil rights moved into the mainstream of an increasingly visible liberal agenda, images of domineering black "matriarchs" and smothering white "moms" proliferated. Feldstein draws on a wide array of cultural and political events that demonstrate how and why mother-blaming furthered a progressive anti-racist agenda. From the New Deal into the Great Society, bad mothers, black or white, were seen as undermining American citizenship and as preventing improved race relations, while good mothers, responsible for raising physically and psychologically fit future citizens, were held up as a precondition to a strong democracy.By showing how ideas about gender roles and race relations intersected in films, welfare policies, and civil rights activism, as well as in the assumptions of classic works of social science, Motherhood in Black and White speaks to questions within women's history, African American history, political history, and cultural history. Ruth Feldstein analyzes representations of black women and white women, as well as the political implications of these representations. She brings together race and gender, culture and policy, vividly illuminating each.
Description : In late twentieth-century America, the black middle class has occupied a unique position. It greatly influenced the way African Americans were perceived and presented to the greater society, and it set roles and guidelines for the nation's black masses. Though historically a small group, it has attempted to be a model for inspiration and uplift. As a key force in the "Africanizing" of American culture, the black middle class has been both a shaper and a mirror during the past three decades. This study of that era shows that the fruits of integration have been at once sweet and bitter. This history of a pivotal group in American society will cause reflection, discussion, and debate.
Description : This collection of essays engages two of the most fundamental social and political issues of our time: community and identity. Wrestling with the perplexities of these two issues within the Africana world, the contributors delve into the influences of a postmodern world of globalization with outdated, crumbling forms of identity and sociality. In the wake of such an order, new forms of identity and community must be established. Birt has collected an informed group of contributors here, who lay the foundation for a new approach to finding community and identity in the Africana world.
Description : From the 1920s through the 1970s, Howard University was home to America’s most renowned assemblage of black scholars. This book traces some of the personal and professional activities of this community of public intellectuals, demonstrating their scholar-activist nature and the myriad ways they influenced modern African American, African, and Africana policy studies. In Search of the Talented Tenth tells how individuals like Rayford Logan, E. Franklin Frazier, John Hope Franklin, Merze Tate, Charles Wesley, and Dorothy Porter left an indelible imprint on academia and black communities alike through their impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and women’s rights. Zachery Williams explores W. E. B. Du Bois’s Talented Tenth by describing the role of public intellectuals from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Power movement, in times as trying as the Jim Crow and Cold War eras. Williams first describes how the years 1890 to 1926 laid the foundation for Howard’s emergence as the “capstone of Negro education” during the administration of university president Mordecai Johnson. He offers a wide-ranging discussion of how the African American community of Washington, D.C., contributed to the dynamism and intellectual life of the university, and he delineates the ties that linked many faculty members to one another in ways that energized their intellectual growth and productivity as scholars. He also discusses the interaction of Howard’s intellectual community with those of the West Indies, Africa, and other places, showing the international impact of Howard’s intellectuals and the ways in which black and brown elites outside the United States stimulated the thought and scholarship of the Howard intellectuals. In Search of the Talented Tenth marks the first in-depth study of the intellectual activity of this community of scholars and further attests to the historic role of women faculty in shaping the university. It testifies to the impact of this group as a model against which the twenty-first century’s black public intellectuals can be measured.
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