Black Chicago's First Century: 1833-1900, Volume 1; Volumes 1833-1900

Front Cover
University of Missouri Press, 2005 M07 25 - 600 pages
In Black Chicago’s First Century, Christopher Robert Reed provides the first comprehensive study of an African American population in a nineteenth-century northern city beyond the eastern seaboard. Reed’s study covers the first one hundred years of African American settlement and achievements in the Windy City, encompassing a range of activities and events that span the antebellum, Civil War, Reconstruction, and post-Reconstruction periods. The author takes us from a time when black Chicago provided both workers and soldiers for the Union cause to the ensuing decades that saw the rise and development of a stratified class structure and growth in employment, politics, and culture. Just as the city was transformed in its first century of existence, so were its black inhabitants.
Methodologically relying on the federal pension records of Civil War soldiers at the National Archives, as well as previously neglected photographic evidence, manuscripts, contemporary newspapers, and secondary sources, Reed captures the lives of Chicago’s vast army of ordinary black men and women. He places black Chicagoans within the context of northern urban history, providing a better understanding of the similarities and differences among them. We learn of the conditions African Americans faced before and after Emancipation. We learn how the black community changed and developed over time: we learn how these people endured—how they educated their children, how they worked, organized, and played. Black Chicago’s First Century is a balanced and coherent work. Anyone with an interest in urban history or African American studies will find much value in this book.
 

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I was blown away by so much of the history. He wrote deeply and with supporting references to make me believe that he spent a lot of time and thought with this book.
I would recommend this work for
black historians especially those who can appreciate our early struggles for equality & social justice.  

Contents

Introduction
1
The Birth of Black Chicago
27
HAVEN OF LIBERTY FOR FORMER CHATTEL AND CONTRABAND 18331865
35
Introduction to Part I
37
Antebellum Frontier Town and City of Refuge 18331860
42
I THE DEMOGRAPHY OF A PEOPLE
43
FOUNDATIONS OF CULTURE AND COMMUNITY A Culture
58
B The Possibility of Internal Group Distinctions
63
Pullman Porters the Ambassadors of Hospitality
252
C Women Inside and Outside the Service Domain
255
D Business Growth and Development
256
E The Professions
264
IV THE FABRIC OF SOCIETY
267
A The Respectables or Ordinary People
268
B The Refined Element
274
C The Economically Dispossessed
284

C Religion Church Formation and Recreation
79
D CommunityBased Initiatives Associations and Secular Interests
87
III WHITE RACIAL CONSTRAINTS AND INTERRACIAL COLLABORATION
93
A The Illinois Black Laws
94
B Refuge and the Underground Railroad
96
A Decade Demanding Vigilance
100
The Civil War and Jubilee 18611865
110
I THE DEMOGRAPHY OF AN EVOLVING PEOPLE
111
A The Adjustment to Life under Freedom
114
B Emancipation
124
C Religion and Church Life
128
D Education
134
A Liberty and Distrust
135
B Employment Business and the Professions
138
C Quasipolitical Activities
141
IV WARTIME CHICAGO
142
A Organization of an African American Regiment
143
B Battlefield Participation and Experience in Combat
152
THE REALITY OF JUBILEE
165
HARBOR OF OPPORTUNITY FOR NEW CITIZENS 18661900
169
Introduction to Part II
171
Freedom and Fire during the Reconstruction Era 18661879
176
I DEMOGRAPHIC FEATURES OF LIFE
178
II THE RECONSTRUCTION AMENDMENTS
181
III THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE
185
EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS AND THE PROFESSIONS
190
The Pullman Porter Policeman Washerwoman and Fireman
194
B The Business Sphere
200
A New and Revitalized Attitudes and Institutions
203
B The First Newspaper
205
C Traditional Family Formation
208
VI POSTWAR MARTIAL SPIRIT
215
VII POLITICS
222
Gilded Age Chicago 18801892
228
I DEMOGRAPHICS
230
POPULATION AND PROPERTY OWNERSHIP
237
III THE ECONOMIC SPHERE
241
Commanders of the Dining Room
249
D The Riffraff or Underclass
289
The Black Desire for Equality of Opportunity and the White Fear of Social Equality
293
1 White Philanthropy and BlackWhite Bonding
297
2 Interracial Marriages
303
3 Biracialism and Passing for White
304
4 Interracial Amicability amid Black Distrust of White Intentions
305
5 Varied Responses to Issues of Race
307
CHURCH LIFE RELIGION AND SECULAR ASSOCIATIONS A Church Life and Religion
315
B Reporting the News
326
C Bonding along Martial Lines
327
D Provident Hospital
330
E Literary Societies and an Interest in Ideas and Letters
332
VI POLITICS AND INTERRACIAL LINKAGE
333
Fair and War 18931900
337
THE ARRIVAL OF THE MASSES AND THE TALENTED TENTH
339
II THE CHANGING CITY LANDSCAPE
340
III THE ECONOMIC FABRIC
348
IV THE WORLDS COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION
359
V THE SOCIAL FABRIC
382
B THE RESPECTABLES PERSEVERE
390
C Life among the Economically and Socially Depressed
391
VI THE CULTURAL FABRIC
395
VII INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
403
B Fraternal Organizations and Activities
409
C Spheres of Leadership
411
MILITANTS CONSERVATIVES AND PRAGMATISTS
417
IX POLITICS
420
X THE SPANISHAMERICAN WAR
425
The Foundation of the Black Metropolis
436
The Illinois Black Laws
445
An Act to Repeal the Black Laws
456
An Act to Protect Colored Children in Their Rights to Attend School
457
Illinois General Assembly House Bill 451885
458
Data from Jubilee Chicagos Black Civil War Soldiers
459
Notes
479
Bibliography
545
Index
567
Copyright

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Page 1 - Though it is orthodox to think of America as the one country where it is unnecessary to have a past, what is a luxury for the nation as a whole becomes a prime social necessity for the Negro. For him, a group tradition must supply compensation for persecution, and pride of race the antidote for prejudice. History must restore what slavery took away, for it is the social damage of slavery that the present generations must repair and offset.
Page 13 - I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids — and I might even be said to possess a mind.

About the author (2005)

Christopher Robert Reed currently holds the rank of Professor Emeritus of History at Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois. He previously was awarded a distinguished chair within the history department and served as Seymour Logan Professor of History and North American Studies between 1998 and 2001. He received his B.A. and M.A. in American history from Roosevelt and completed his doctoral studies in American history at Kent State University in 1982. On June 1, 2001, the Roosevelt University Alumni Association honored Professor Reed by naming him the recipient of the St. Clair Drake Award for Outstanding Scholarship. As part of a tribute to the memory and community efforts of the late distinguished social anthropologist, St. Clair Drake, Reed has helped lead the movement to promote Black Chicago history as public history and not just as knowledge suitable for the privileged few. Presently, he co-directs the NEH project, “Social Origins of Chicago’s New Negro Artists and Intellectuals. 1893-1930,” which is based at Roosevelt University.

In his own words, the most important of Reed’s credentials is his connection to the heart and soul of Chicago—its people and their history. He is a native Chicagoan who describes himself as attempting to blend a love of place with a holistic, scholarly view of what made Chicago and its citizens behave as they have done and presently do, and that is, dynamically. An original resident of the South Side’s historic Bronzeville community, he is a permanent resident of the city where he is active in civic, community and political affairs which include the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club, the John Marshall High School Alumni Association, the East Garfield Park Residents, and the Black Chicago History Forum.

Reed has also taught as a member of the full-time faculties at Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has lectured before local and national scholarly conferences, along with speaking before church and community groups and elementary and high school students. Utilizing modern communications, Reed has appeared frequently on radio and television, in PBS film documentaries such as the award-winning Du Sable to Obama and in newspapers, and on the Internet. In order to inform Chicago citizenry on issues of vital importance, he has appeared in hearings before the Chicago City Council. Likewise, this historian served as Historical Coordinator for the 1990 Local Chicago Community Fact Book published under the auspices of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has published extensively, authoring six books on life in Black Chicago, along with many articles and reviews. His interest in historical preservation is seen through his over six-year tenure on the City of Chicago’s Landmark Commission where he chaired the Program Committee. He is also the author of Knock at the Door of Opportunity: Black Migration to Chicago, 1900-1919.

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