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Building the Beloved Community: Philadelphia’s Interracial Civil Rights Organizations and Race Relations, 1930–1970 Hardcover – May 28, 2014
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“A thoughtful study of race, urbanity, and a certain vision of an American modernity that centers harmonious interracial relations, even while struggling to see past institutional, structural, and historical barriers that inhibited a full articulation of this aspirational ethos. It cogently chronicles massive white resistance to school desegregation, the Catholic Church’s patent indifference or even hostility to civil rights work, and ongoing black suspicions of alliances with whites of any class background. The book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the tumultuous evolution of civil rights activism in the City of Brotherly Love.”
―Claude Clegg, Indiana University
“Stanley Arnold’s compelling book pulls us back in time to the origins and across time to the growth of interracialism, which became the seed for modern multiculturalism. He does so by locating the idea in experiences in building interracial organizations and relationships in Philadelphia. The genius of Arnold’s work is his recognition that experiments in interracialism demanded relationships more than rhetoric and policy more than protest. As Arnold tells it so well, in pushing for education, jobs, and fair housing, interracial activists changed not only civil rights law and practice but also, and perhaps more so, expanded people’s imagination to include the possibility of a dynamic, democratic society built on diversity. Arnold also reminds us that northern communities were just as much the soul of civil rights as southern ones. In doing so, he enlarges the compass of what civil rights meant, and means, and he shows how discovering the civil rights narrative in its various and particular places makes it truly a people’s history. Building the Beloved Community gives us all that and more and repays reading many times over.”
―Randall M. Miller, Saint Joseph’s University
About the Author
Stanley Keith Arnold is an assistant professor of history at Northern Illinois University. His work has appeared in the Journal of Sports History, Popular Music and Society, and the Historian.