Jim Crow Nostalgia: Reconstructing Race in Bronzeville

Jim Crow Nostalgia: Reconstructing Race in Bronzeville

by Michelle R. Boyd
     
 

ISBN-10: 0816646783

ISBN-13: 9780816646784

Pub. Date: 08/06/2008

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

During the Jim Crow era of the early twentieth century, Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood on the city's South Side was a major center of African American cultural vitality and a destination for thousands of Southern blacks seeking new opportunities in the North during the Great Migration. After decades of decline, the 1980s saw several community organizations in the…  See more details below

Overview

During the Jim Crow era of the early twentieth century, Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood on the city's South Side was a major center of African American cultural vitality and a destination for thousands of Southern blacks seeking new opportunities in the North during the Great Migration. After decades of decline, the 1980s saw several community organizations in the neighborhood collaborating on a revitalization plan called "Restoring Bronzeville," envisioning an idealized version of the neighborhood as it had thrived during segregation.

Opening with a description by a Bronzeville tour guide, wistful for the days of its famously rich and rewarding cultural life, Michelle R. Boyd examines how black leaders reinvented the neighborhood's history in ways that, amazingly, sanitized the brutal elements of life under Jim Crow. Connecting such collective inventions of memory to neighborhood projects in the present, Boyd emphasizes how interpretations of history are mobilized for political goals and how links between nostalgia and redevelopment contribute to the politization of racial identity. Acknowledging the present and growing public anxiety over the existence of a stable and collective black identity, Boyd takes a nuanced view of nostalgia for the neighborhoods of the Jim Crow era and develops a new way to understand the political significance of race today.

About the Author:
Michelle R. Boyd is assistant professor of African American studies and political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816646784
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
08/06/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Race, nostalgia, and neighborhood redevelopment

1 The way we were : political accommodation and neighborhood change, 1870-1950 1

2 When we were colored : black civic leadership and the birth of nostalgia, 1950-1990 39

3 Back to the future : marketing the race for neighborhood development 67

4 Ties and chitlins : political legitimacy and racial authentication 99

5 We're all in this mess together : identity and the framing of racial agendas 131

Conclusion Nostalgia and identity in the twenty-first century 155

Notes 165

Bibliography 171

Index 191

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