- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Black Eden chronicles the history of Idlewild, a Michigan black community founded during the aftermath of the Civil War. As one of the nation’s most popular black resorts, Idlewild functioned as a gathering place for African Americans, and more importantly as a touchstone of black identity and culture. Benjamin C. Wilson and Lewis Walker examine Idlewild’s significance within a historical context, as well as the town’s revitalization efforts and the need for comprehensive planning in future development. In a segregated America, Idlewild became a place where black audiences could see rising black entertainers.
Profusely illustrated with photos from the authors’ personal collections, Black Eden provides a lengthy discussion about the crucial role that Idlewild played in the careers of artists such as Louis Armstrong, B. B. King, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, and Della Reese. Fundamentally, the book explores issues involved in living in a segregated society, the consequences of the civil rights movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent integration, and the consequences of integration vs. racial solidarity. The authors ask: Did integration kill Idlewild?, suggesting rather that other factors contributed to its decline.
|1||Establishing the Foundations of a Black Resort in Michigan||1|
|2||Continuation of a Good Deal||29|
|3||The Popular Place to Be||47|
|4||An Emergent Black Entertainment Showcase||69|
|5||Some Intended and Unintended Consequences in the Black Community During the Civil Rights Era||121|
|6||A Snapshot of Idlewild's Contemporary Social Status||149|
|7||Revitalization: 1960-2000 Activities||169|
|8||A Need for a Comprehensive Strategic Plan: Some Suggestions||195|
|9||An Epilogue for Idlewild||221|
|App. 1||Sample Coupons||240|
|App. 2||Scott's Letter of Endorsement||241|
|App. 3||Curry's Letter of Endorsement||242|
|App. 4||Some Early Pioneers in Idlewild||243|
|App. 5||Purchase Agreement Letter||244|
|App. 6||Sheet Music: "Idlewild"||245|
|App. 7||Sheet Music: "(Idlewild) Duett Chorus: Tango Dance"||247|
Posted November 13, 2002
As an undergraduate assistant to Dr. Wilson, my opinion is biased. The information in this book covers not just the black community of Michigan but of the United States. Not all black folks in the Great Lakes State live or come from Motown. The "chitlin" circuit ran through these parts and built the careers of a number of legends. "Black Eden" reminds us of the family atmosphere we once had and the conditions that we have overcome. A bit technical at times with statistics and figures, it is a people's history.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.