For most people, the idea of suburbia conjures up images of expansive lawns, backyard barbecues, swingsets, and SUVs - but not African Americans. As this pioneering work demonstrates, the suburbs have provided a home to black residents in increasing numbers for the past hundred years; in the past two decades alone, the numbers have nearly doubled, to just under twelve million. "Places of Their Own" begins a hundred years ago, painting an austere portrait of the conditions that early black residents found in isolated, poor suburbs. Andrew Wiese insists, however, that they moved there by choice, withstanding racism and poverty through efforts to shape the landscape to their own needs. Wiese continues to examine this phenomenon throughout the twentieth century, including, for example, differences between black suburbanization in the North and South. Ultimately, Wiese explores how the civil rights movement emboldened more black families to purchase suburban homes and how the passage of civil rights legislation helped pave the way for today's black middle class.
Tracing the precise contours of black migration to the suburbs over the past century, "Places of Their Own" will be a foundational book for anyone interested in the African American experience or the role of race and class in the making of America's suburbs.
Buy Places of Their Own book by Andrew Wiese from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 180mm x 24mm)
University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
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Author Biography - Andrew Wiese
Andrew Wiese is associate professor of history at San Diego State University.