Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2001-01-01
Publisher(s): Indiana Univ Pr
List Price: $30.00

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Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century is the long-awaited sequel to Emma Lou Thornbrough's classic study, The Negro in Indiana before 1900: The Study of a Minority (1957; reprint by Indiana University Press, 1993). Thornbrough (1913-1994), the acknowledged dean of black history in Indiana, wrote seminal essays on the Klan in Indiana and on the movement to remove barriers to public accommodations in the state, and before her death she also completed a full study of the history of busing in Indianapolis to desegregate the public schools. In the last decade of her life Thornbrough worked on the present study, a pioneering survey of Indiana's African American population in a century full of momentous change. Thornbrough, a lifelong Indianapolis resident, Butler University professor, and active in the Greater Indianapolis NAACP, had a personal knowledge of many of the events and personalities she analysed.Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century chronicles the growth, both in numbers and in power, of African Americans in a northern state that was notable for its antiblack tradition; Indiana's 1851 constitution had forbidden free Negroes even to migrate into the state. Thornbrough shows the impact of the Great Migration of African Americans to Indiana during World War I and World War II to work in war industries, linking the growth of the black community to the increased segegation of the 1920s, when all-black high schools were built in Indianapolis, Evansville, and Gary. The author also shows how World War II marked a turning point in the movement in Indiana to expand the civil rights of African Americans, leading to the landmark law ending legal segregation in the schools in 1949.Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century describes the impact of the national civil rights movement on Indiana, as young activists, both black and white, challenged segregation and racial injustice in many aspects of daily life, often in new organisations and with new leaders. In Gary the African American majority elected Richard Hatcher mayor in 1967, where he served until 1987, one of a handful of big city black majors with long tenures, until the hard times of the late 1980s led black voters to try new leadership. The final chapter by Lana Ruegamer explores ways that black identity was affected by new access to education, work, and housing after 1970, demonstrating gains and losses from integration.

Author Biography

Emma Lou Thornbrough (1913-1994) was the acknowledged expert on Indiana black history; she was author of The Negro in Indiana before 1900: A Study of a Minority (1957, reprinted 1993), Since Emancipation: A Short History of Indiana Negroes, 1863-1963 (1964), and edited This Far by Faith: Black Hoosier Heritage (1982). Professor of history at Butler University from 1946 to 1983, Thornbrough held the McGregor chair in history and received the university's highest award, the Butler medal, in 1981. Born in Indianapolis, she was educated at Shortridge High School, Butler University, and the University of Michigan (PhD 1946). She completed a draft of the present book before her death in 1994.

Lana Ruegamer, editor for the Indiana Historical Society from 1975 to 1984, is the author of A History of the Indiana Historical Society, 1830-1980. She taught at Indiana University from 1986 to 1998 and is presently associate editor of the Indiana Magazine of History. Her article, "Dorothy Lois Riker, 1904-1994: Reflections on Indiana History, Historical Editing, and Women in the Indiana Magazine of History," won in the 1995 Thornbrought prize for best article published in the Indiana Magazine of History. Born in Lafayette and educated in its public schools, Ruegamer received her BA from Harvsard University and her Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction ix
The Age of Accommodation
The Great Migration and the First World War
The Twenties: Increased Segregation
Depression, the New Deal, and Political Realignment
The Second World War
Postwar Years: Beginnings of the Civil Rights Struggle
School Desegregation
The Turbulent Sixties
Since 1970: Advances and Retreats
The Continuing Search for Identity
Notes 237(36)
Index 273

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