Other Side Of Middletown / Edition 1

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Prompted by the overt omission of Muncie's black community from the famous community study by Robert S. Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture, the authors initiated this project to reveal the unrecorded historical and contemporary life of Middletown, a well-known pseudonym for the Midwestern city of Muncie, Indiana. As a collaboration of community and campus, this book recounts the early efforts of Hurley Goodall to develop a community history and archive that told the story of the African American community, and rectify the representation of small town America as exclusively white. The authors designed and implemented a collaborative ethnographic field project that involved intensive interviews, research, and writing between community organizations, local experts, ethnographers, and teams of college students. This book is a unique model for collaborative research, easily accessible to students. It will be a valuable resource for instructors in anthropology, creative writing, sociology, community research, and African American studies.

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Editorial Reviews

Indiana Magazine of History
Readers who are interested in the black experience in Indiana will value this work. Still others will find the university/community collaborative approach fascinating and may be inspired to adopt it.
Juan Williams
A puzzle is complete only when the last piece is in place. With this fascinating study, the path breaking 1929 book Middletown is finally complete. Now the true flavor and feel of middle American life emerges. This is a breakthrough.
Indiana Magazine Of History
Readers who are interested in the black experience in Indiana will value this work. Still others will find the university/community collaborative approach fascinating and may be inspired to adopt it.
Gregory H. Williams
The Other Side of Middletown truly captures the voices of Muncie's black community, which the Lynds admittedly ignored in their book Middletown, published over three-quarters of a century ago. The depiction of the 'other side of Middletown' I knew as a youth is accurate, authentic, and in many cases painfully recalled. Unfortunately, this work shows that some of the division between black and white which existed in Muncie in the 1920s and 1930s and even into the 1950s and 1960s when I was a youngster still exists in my hometown. While showing that black citizens were always an important part of Muncie's history and development, this book also shows that Muncie has much work to do to be able to come together as a model for America to emulate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759104846
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Luke Eric Lassiter is Professor of Humanities and Anthropology and director of the graduate humanities program at Marshall University Graduate College in South Charleston, WV. Hurley Goodall is a former Indiana state legislator and recipient of the Distinguished Hoosier Award from Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon. Elizabeth Campbell is an independent folklorist who specializes in community-based arts and history. Michelle Natasya Johnson is in the anthropology department at Ball State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Story of a Collaborative Project
PART I. Middletown and Muncie's African American Community
Chapter 1. The Enduring Legacy of Muncie as Middletown
Chapter 2. A City Apart
PART II. Collaborative Understandings
Chapter 3. Getting a Living
Chapter 4. Making a Home
Chapter 5. Training the Young
Chapter 6. Using Leisure
Chapter 7. Engaging in Religious Practices
Chapter 8. Engaging in Community Activities
Conclusion: Lessons Learned about Muncie, Race, and Ethnography
Appendix A. Notes on the Collaborative Process
Appendix B. House Concurrent Resolution 33
About the Authors and Community Advisors

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