Alabama North: African-American Migrants, Community, and Working-Class Activism in Cleveland, 1915-45

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 1999-10-19
Publisher(s): Univ of Illinois Pr
List Price: $27.00

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"Langston Hughes called it ""a great dark tide from the South"": the unprecedented influx of blacks into Cleveland that gave the city the nickname ""Alabama North."" In this remarkable study, Kimberley Phillips reveals the breadth of working-class black experiences and activities in Cleveland and the extent to which these were shaped by traditions and values brought from the South. Phillips shows how migrants' moves north established complex networks of kin and friends and infused the city with a highly visible southern African-American culture. She examines the wide variety of black fraternal, benevolent, social, and church-based organizations working-class migrants created and demonstrates how they prepared the way for new forms of individual and collective activism in workplaces and the city. Giving special consideration to the employment patterns and experiences of working- class black women in Cleveland, AlabamaNorth reveals how migrants' expressions of tradition and community gave them a new consciousness of themselves as organized workers in the urban North and created the underpinning for new forms of black labor activism."

Author Biography

Kimberley L. Phillips teaches at the College of William and Mary.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction: ``Militancy and Courage'' in AlabamaNorth: African-American Migrants and the Crossroads of Southern Black Culture 1(14)
``Pins'' North: The Routes of African-American Migration to Cleveland
Encountering Work: African-American Workers' Experiences in the Cleveland Labor Market, 1915-29
``Join a Union'': African-American Workers and Organized Labor, 1915-30
A New World in the City: Making Homes in Cleveland
``AlabamaNorth'': A Community of Southerners
``The Future Is Yours'': Store Boycott Campaigns and Black Workers' Militancy
``The Plight of Negro Workers'': Federal Initiatives and African-American Working-Class Militancy during World War II
Conclusion: We Will make a Way Somehow: The Legacy of a Southern Past in a Northern City
Notes 261(66)
Index 327

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