Black Corona: Race and the Politics of Place in an Urban Community

Black Corona: Race and the Politics of Place in an Urban Community

by Steven Gregory
     
 

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In Black Corona, Steven Gregory examines political culture and activism in an African-American neighborhood in New York City. Using historical and ethnographic research, he challenges the view that black urban communities are "socially disorganized." Gregory demonstrates instead how working-class and middle-class African Americans construct and negotiate complex

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Overview

In Black Corona, Steven Gregory examines political culture and activism in an African-American neighborhood in New York City. Using historical and ethnographic research, he challenges the view that black urban communities are "socially disorganized." Gregory demonstrates instead how working-class and middle-class African Americans construct and negotiate complex and deeply historical political identities and institutions through struggles over the built environment and neighborhood quality of life. With its emphasis on the lived experiences of African Americans, Black Corona provides a fresh and innovative contribution to the study of the dynamic interplay of race, class, and space in contemporary urban communities. It questions the accuracy of the widely used trope of the dysfunctional "black ghetto," which, the author asserts, has often been deployed to depoliticize issues of racial and economic inequality in the United States. By contrast, Gregory argues that the urban experience of African Americans is more diverse than is generally acknowledged and that it is only by attending to the history and politics of black identity and community life that we can come to appreciate this complexity. This is the first modern ethnography to focus on black working-class and middle-class life and politics. Unlike books that enumerate the ways in which black communities have been rendered powerless by urban political processes and by changing urban economies, Black Corona demonstrates the range of ways in which African Americans continue to organize and struggle for social justice and community empowerment. Although it discusses the experiences of one community, its implications resonate far more widely.Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Amsterdam News
Gregory employs the discipline of anthropology to penetrate the many myths and clichés that obscure the dynamics of black life in an urban community. Corona is the perfect subject for his investigation.... Black Corona is ideal for the community organizer, neighborhood historian, or academic.... [A] well-researched and beautifully written study.
— Bill Batson
Booklist
Gregory gives an up-close look at community organization in a black middle-class community that defies stereotypes by outsiders about urban pathology and the disorganization and chaos that are supposed to exist in black neighborhoods.
American Journal of Sociology
[Gregory] investigates class within race, race within place, and place within politics. . . . [He] makes important points about the structuring of black identities in reaction to racial, class, and gender hierarchies. . . .
— Mary Pattillo-McCoy
Choice
Gregory's analysis of race, ethnic, and class contacts and cooperation is clear and well written. . . . [A] welcome addition to the sparse ethnographic literature on middle-class African America.
Isis
An excellent case study and microanalysis of a single community. It is a well written and documented confutation of black stereotypes and their communities. . . . A classic piece of urban anthropology.
— Wilbur C. Rich
New York Amsterdam News - Bill Batson
Gregory employs the discipline of anthropology to penetrate the many myths and clichés that obscure the dynamics of black life in an urban community. Corona is the perfect subject for his investigation.... Black Corona is ideal for the community organizer, neighborhood historian, or academic.... [A] well-researched and beautifully written study.
American Journal of Sociology - Mary Pattillo-McCoy
[Gregory] investigates class within race, race within place, and place within politics. . . . [He] makes important points about the structuring of black identities in reaction to racial, class, and gender hierarchies. . . .
Isis - Wilbur C. Rich
An excellent case study and microanalysis of a single community. It is a well written and documented confutation of black stereotypes and their communities. . . . A classic piece of urban anthropology.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 1998 Anthony Leeds Prize, Society for Urban Anthropology

"Gregory employs the discipline of anthropology to penetrate the many myths and clichés that obscure the dynamics of black life in an urban community. Corona is the perfect subject for his investigation.... Black Corona is ideal for the community organizer, neighborhood historian, or academic.... [A] well-researched and beautifully written study."—Bill Batson, New York Amsterdam News

"Gregory gives an up-close look at community organization in a black middle-class community that defies stereotypes by outsiders about urban pathology and the disorganization and chaos that are supposed to exist in black neighborhoods."Booklist

"[Gregory] investigates class within race, race within place, and place within politics. . . . [He] makes important points about the structuring of black identities in reaction to racial, class, and gender hierarchies."—Mary Pattillo-McCoy, American Journal of Sociology

"Gregory's analysis of race, ethnic, and class contacts and cooperation is clear and well written. . . . [A] welcome addition to the sparse ethnographic literature on middle-class African America."Choice

"While asserting that race and economics are important elements in the mix that creates and perpetuates poor communities, [Gregory] believes poverty at root is a political problem regardless of race. A well-documented analysis that counters prevailing views."Library Journal

An excellent case study and microanalysis of a single community. It is a well written and documented confutation of black stereotypes and their communities. . . . A classic piece of urban anthropology."—Wilbur C. Rich, Isis

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400839315
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2011
Series:
Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
1,097,667
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

Manning Marable
Gregory's great insight is to focus on the ways in which the dynamics of class and race inform the actual patterns of daily struggle in real communities. Black Corona represents a significant contribution to the study of contemporary black urban life.
Manning Marable, Professor of History and Director, Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia University

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