Thursday, March 27, 2008

On The Reading List

"[A]n original and complex explanation for the urban crisis that transformed Oakland, California, from 1945 to 1978. . . . By placing the history of Oakland and its African American community in a new theoretical framework that emphasizes suburban growth, tax revolts, and battles over land, jobs, and political power, Self has challenged historians to reconsider the way that they study postwar black urban communities."--Albert S. Broussard, Journal of American History

American Babylon traces the dialectic of suburbanization and black power in my hometown of Oakland, California. Encapsulating the postwar history of hundreds of mid-sized American cities, Robert Self's original and fascinating case study historicizes city-suburb racial segregation as a creation within living memory. We cannot heal or make sense of the nation we live in now without American Babylon."--Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University, author of Southern History across the Color Line

I am going to follow through on those black history threads I posted earlier in the month and continue the story into the 1930s, 40s, and into modern times. The "road to Chocolate City" (tho Dayton is really Two-Tone Town). American Babylon looks like a good backgrounder and example from another small-to-midsize city

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