Catalogue


Bound for freedom [electronic resource] : Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America /
Douglas Flamming.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2005.
description
xviii, 467 p. : ill., maps.
ISBN
0520239199 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
added author
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2005.
isbn
0520239199 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
"George Gund Foundation imprint in African American studies".
catalogue key
8838128
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 427-438) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-11-01:
African Americans have lived in Los Angeles since its founding in 1781; despite its distance from the segregated South, it served as a beacon to those seeking freedom. Southern middle-class, urban blacks moved to southern California for its openness and weather rather than for employment opportunities. Even though conditions started out well, they quickly deteriorated as more blacks moved west. Segregated housing became the norm, with the black community laying claim to Central Avenue. As the city divided, black middle-class leaders--"race" men and women and club women--believed civic action the best way to battle for civil rights. One of this book's strengths is its in-depth analysis of black LA through the eyes of its leading African American citizens. Flamming (Georgia Institute of Technology) uses these local figures and their successes and failures with integration to explore civil rights activity in the US. More than just an excellent history of black Los Angeles, Flamming has written a fascinating study of post-Reconstruction black history that will appeal to scholars and generalists alike. It compares favorably to James Oliver Horton's Hard Road to Freedom (CH, Jul'01, 38-6388) and complements Josh Sides's L.A. City Limits (CH, Oct'04, 42-1124a). ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. D. R. Jamieson Ashland University
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-12-01:
Historian Flamming (Georgia Inst. of Technology) painstakingly details the tribulations and triumphs of the African American community of pre-World War II Los Angeles. From the South's brutal intransigence blacks came to what they hoped would be the West's transformative openness, only to find, at best, a half-free environment. Fighting racial hostility in a double battle, black Angelenos campaigned for rights refused them while clinging to rights they had. Leading the charge in denouncing racism and demanding equal rights was a striving black middle class, Flamming argues, joining the ranks of writers like Darlene Clark Hine who are trying to reverse the damage caused by sociologist E. Franklin Frazier's damning depiction in his 1957 classic Black Bourgeoisie. Densely populated with rich personal detail and provocative interpretation, Flamming's history of hierarchies of racial power in a sprawling multiracial metropolis is recommended for collections on blacks, race relations, and the urban West.-Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, December 2004
Los Angeles Times, January 2005
Choice, November 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Paul Bontemps decided to move his family to Los Angeles from Louisiana in 1906 on the day he finally submitted to a strictly enforced Southern custom--he stepped off the sidewalk to allow white men who had just insulted him to pass by. Friends of the Bontemps family, like many others beckoning their loved ones West, had written that Los Angeles was "a city called heaven" for people of color. But just how free was Southern California for African Americans? This splendid history, at once sweeping in its historical reach and intimate in its evocation of everyday life, is the first full account of Los Angeles's black community in the half century before World War II. Filled with moving human drama, it brings alive a time and place largely ignored by historians until now, detailing African American community life and political activism during the city's transformation from small town to sprawling metropolis. Writing with a novelist's sensitivity to language and drawing from fresh historical research, Douglas Flamming takes us from Reconstruction to the Jim Crow era, through the Great Migration, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the build-up to World War II. Along the way, he offers rich descriptions of the community and its middle-class leadership, the women who were front and center with men in the battle against racism in the American West. In addition to drawing a vivid portrait of a little-known era, Flamming shows that the history of race in Los Angeles is crucial for our understanding of race in America. The civil rights activism in Los Angeles laid the foundation for critical developments in the second half of the century that continue to influence us to this day.
Unpaid Annotation
A breakthough history of Los Angeles' black community in the half century before World War II.
Main Description
Paul Bontemps decided to move his family to Los Angeles from Louisiana in 1906 on the day he finally submitted to a strictly enforced Southern custom-he stepped off the sidewalk to allow white men who had just insulted him to pass by. Friends of the Bontemps family, like many others beckoning their loved ones West, had written that Los Angeles was "a city called heaven" for people of color. But just how free was Southern California for African Americans? This splendid history, at once sweeping in its historical reach and intimate in its evocation of everyday life, is the first full account of Los Angeless black community in the half century before World War II. Filled with moving human drama, it brings alive a time and place largely ignored by historians until now, detailing African American community life and political activism during the citys transformation from small town to sprawling metropolis. Writing with a novelists sensitivity to language and drawing from fresh historical research, Douglas Flamming takes us from Reconstruction to the Jim Crow era, through the Great Migration, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the build-up to World War II. Along the way, he offers rich descriptions of the community and its middle-class leadership, the women who were front and center with men in the battle against racism in the American West. In addition to drawing a vivid portrait of a little-known era, Flamming shows that the history of race in Los Angeles is crucial for our understanding of race in America. The civil rights activism in Los Angeles laid the foundation for critical developments in the second half of the century that continue to influence us to this day.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
List of Maps Where We Begin
Staking a Claim in the West Arrival
Southern Roots, Western Dreams
The Conditions of Heaven
Claiming Central Avenue
Civic Engagement
Politics and Patriotism
Civil Rights as a Way of Life
Fighting Spirit in the Twenties
The Business of Race
Surging Down Central
Responding to the Depression
Race and the New Deal Liberalism Departure
Appendixes and Tables
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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