- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; New edition edition (April 2, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807857998
- ISBN-13: 978-0807857991
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chicago's New Negroes: Modernity, the Great Migration, and Black Urban Life New edition Edition
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A theoretically informed and thought-provoking monograph. . . . A risk-taking, important, and creative work that deserves to find a wide readership among students of popular and consumer culture, and U.S., working-class, and African American history.--The Journal of African American History
A welcome addition to a growing body of work exploring the New Negro Movement outside of Harlem during the 1920s. . . . Offers unparalleled insight on black life during these years. . . . A provocative examination.--Business History Review
[A] bold and innovative book [which] seeks to challenge commonly held assumptions about the lack of a thriving black intelligentsia in early twentieth-century Chicago. . . . A pioneering work.--Journal of American Ethnic History
An important book on the New Negro. . . . Stands tall beside works that have shaped Great Migration historiography. . . . For the pleasure it provides as well as for the intellectual challenges it presents, it should be required reading. I borrow from a cultural icon from another era to sum it up: r-e-s-p-e-c-t.-- Journal of American History
This monograph is much more than an intellectual history . . . . [It] is a fine addition to not only urban history, but also racial and economic historiography.--CHOICE
An ideal text for undergraduates and for scholars in American Studies. . . . Offers an incisive reading of the meanings of a market economy for Chicago black communities.--Journal of Social History
Makes a significant contribution in shifting the focus of intellectual history from the erudite to cultural producers. . . . Centralizes mass consumers' ideas of modernity alongside key producers and entrepreneurs. . . . A must-read in African American and cultural studies.--The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
Richly researched and a welcomed democratization of intellectual history. Baldwin's vibrant prose accentuates the excitement of the city and the stimulating interplay between cultural innovators and their active patrons.--Journal of Illinois History
Baldwin breaks new ground in his critique of beauty culture as a class, gender, and racial 'battleground' in black women's struggle to resist servitude, reclaim self-identity, and establish economic independence. With early-twentieth-century Chicago as his canvas, he connects the quest for New Negro womanhood to the entrepreneurial aspirations of hair care industry pioneers like Madam C. J. Walker, Annie Malone, and Marjorie Joyner, then reexamines the still-raging natural-versus-straightened-hair debate within the context of a newly urbanized, northern black community.--A'Lelia Bundles, author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker
Davarian Baldwin's Chicago's New Negroes offers a major reframing of our view of the New Negro era, black intellectual production, and the roles of popular culture and leisure in that production. With this publication Baldwin emerges as one of the dynamic and innovative voices in contemporary African American studies.--Mark Anthony Neal, author of New Black Man
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To the reader's delight, Baldwin resists the tendency to provide a straightforward "history" of African Americans in Chicago in the early twentieth century. While the text does follow the stories and innovations of such major players as Madame CJ Walker, Thomas A. Dorsey, Oscar Micheaux and baseball's Rube Foster, it also provides a much needed space in which we get to hear the thoughts and words of everyday people, those who sat in beauty parlors, enjoyed the early years of cinema, attended sporting events, and made a way despite the racial, social and economic limitations. We soon determine that southern migrants to Chicago brought with them not country ways, but entirely new, entirely modern, ways of thinking.
For authors, allowing everyday people to speak for themselves is sometimes difficult. Yet, Baldwin manages to make these voices heard and it is a credit to his writing style. His presentation is especially adept in the sports chapter. Here, Baldwin takes the reader on a tour of Black Chicago's various "playgrounds." We have no problem envisioning the juking, the fakes, the fast forwards, the trucking, the passing and dribbling and their possible meanings for building a better world.
Through chapters devoted to the "mapping" of the Black Metropolis, beauty culture, film exhibition and filmmaking, the rise of gospel music and the sporting life, Baldwin allows a glimpse into a world of possibility, a world where popular culture is just as, if not more, worthy of study as so-called arts and letters. He forces a new understanding of even the Harlem Renaissance, an ambitious project for sure. While the book is a scholarly monograph, Baldwin's forays into social and cultural theory are so nuanced as to make the book accessible to a wider audience. And for that we should be thankful. Even though the urgent and triumphant stories within Chicago's New Negroes take place seventy five or a hundred years ago, the lessons we learn from them and the hope we take with us when we close the book are timeless. And are even more so in an era when Black culture is appropriated, diffused, and often taken for granted.