The deeply personal story of a historic time in Chicago, Robert B. McKersie’s A Decisive Decade follows the unfolding action of the Civil Rights Movement as it played out in the Windy City. McKersie’s participation as a white activist for black rights offers a unique, firsthand viewpoint on the debates, boycotts, marches, and negotiations that would forever change the face of race relations in Chicago and the United States at large.
Described within are McKersie’s intimate observations on events as they developed during his participation in such historic occasions as the impassioned marches for open housing in Chicago; the campaign to end school segregation under Chicago Schools Superintendent Benjamin Willis; Operation Breadbasket’s push to develop economic opportunities for black citizens; and dialogs with corporations to provide more jobs for blacks in Chicago. In addition, McKersie provides up close and personal descriptions of the iconic Civil Rights leaders who spearheaded some of the most formative battles of Chicago’s Civil Rights movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Jesse Jackson, Timuel Black Jr. and W. Alvin Pitcher. The author illumines the tensions experienced by two major institutions in responding to the demands of the civil rights movement: the university and the church. Packed with historical detail and personal anecdotes of these history-making years, A Decisive Decade offers a never-before-seen perspective on one of our nation’s most tumultuous eras.
Examines relations between peoples of color to offer a compelling new approach to understanding race in America.
Since the Great Migration of the early twentieth century, Chicago has been a cauldron of race relations, symbolizing the tenacity of discrimination and segregation. But as in other cities with significant populations of Latinos and Asians, Arabs and Jews, this image belies complex racial dynamics. In Double Cross, Jacalyn D. Harden provides an essential rethinking of the ways we understand and talk about race, using an examination of the Japanese American community of Chicago's Far North Side to form an innovative new framework for looking at race, identity, and political change.
The Japanese American community in Chicago rapidly expanded between 1940 and 1950 in the aftermath of wartime internment and government relocation programs. Harden tells their story through archival research and interviews with some of the first Japanese Americans who were relocated to Chicago in the 1940s, incorporating her own experiences as an African American scholar who has lived in Japan. The result is a compelling and surprising account of racial interactions, one that clarifies the complex interweaving between black and Asian lives and reclaims a lost history of solidarity between the two groups.
Moving from the Great Migration to the "great relocation" to gentrification, Harden explores the shared history of civil rights struggles that firmly links Japanese and African Americans, most importantly the issue of reparations (for internment during World War II and slavery, respectively). She describes the efforts of Japanese Americans to "double-cross the color line" by building coalitions across race, age, and class boundaries, and their vexed position as sometimes "colored," sometimes white (for example, the Japanese American soldier who was instructed to use the white washrooms at boot camp in Alabama during World War II, while thousands were being relocated to internment camps).
Double Cross is a major contribution to our thought about race relations, challenging orthodoxy and shedding new light on the complex identities, conflicting interests, and external forces that have defined the concept of race in the United States.
"This is a thoroughly researched, well written, and provocative study that adds to our understanding of the complexities of race relations. It situates Japanese Americans within the racial dynamics of the Midwest also highlighting the historic black-white color line. This book is highly recommended as a forward-looking, serious study of race and civil rights." Frank Wu
Jacalyn D. Harden is assistant professor of anthropology at Seattle University.
This detailed study of the
relationship between race relations and unionization in Chicago's meatpacking
industry draws on traditional primary and secondary materials and on an
extensive set of interviews conducted in the mid-1980s that explore subjective
dimensions of the workers' experience.
"An ideal case study
to analyze one of the central problems in American labor history--the
relation ship between racial identity and working class formation and
organization." -- James R. Barrett, author of Work and Community in the Jungle: Chicago's Packinghouse Workers, 1894-1922
grounded firmly in extensive oral history and archival sources, and carefully
argued, Down on the Killing Floor will be indispensable reading
for everyone interested in race and labor."
-- Eric Arnesen, author of Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class and Politics, 1863-1923 A volume in the series The Working Class in American History, edited by David Brody, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Montgomery, and Sean Wilentz
Drawing the Future: Chicago Architecture on the International Stage, 1900–1925 is an illustrated catalog with companion essays for an exhibition of the same name at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. Drawing the Future explores the creative ferment among Chicago architects in the early twentieth century, coinciding with similar visions around the world. The essays focus on the highlights of the exhibition. David Van Zanten profiles Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, Chicago architects who created an influential, prize-winning plan for Canberra, the new capital of Australia. Ashley Dunn looks at the two exhibits at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, one devoted to the Griffins in 1914 and the other to the French architect Tony Garnier in 1925, demonstrating the impact of World War I on city planning and architecture. Leslie Coburn examines Chicago’s Neighborhood Center Competition of 1914–15, which sought to redress gaps in Daniel Burnham’s plan of 1909. The ambition and reach of Chicago architecture in this epoch would have lasting influence on cities of the future.