Review Of "Upbuilding Black Durham: Gender, Class And Black Community Development In The Jim Crow South" By L. Brown

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Book Review

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Afro-Americans In New York Life And History


"Rather, the interrelated structures of gender, class, and over time, generation cast relationships, forged alliances, and fostered alienation among African Americans, creating interconnected, disjointed and even contradictory relations between women and men and among the black working, middle and elite classes, migrants and settlers, conservative elders and radical upstarts"( p. 16). The work addresses themes common to the historiography of this period: the sociological and economic impact of mutual aid, the slow rise of the middle class, the politics of respectability, disfranchisement, hat in hand racial appeals for philanthropy from paternalistic southern whites by members of the black elite charged with controlling the "ignorant" and "immoral" of their race, and the disorder, intemperance and crime of the black poor who displayed their "open sexuality," sang bawdy blues tunes in jukes and sometimes stabbed one another along every New South city's equivalent of Durham's Murder Alley.

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