Thomas E. Wagner and Phillip J. Obermiller's African American Miners and Migrants documents the lives of Eastern Kentucky Social Club (EKSC) members, a group of black Appalachians who left the eastern Kentucky coalfields and their coal company hometowns in Harlan County.
Bound together by segregation, the inherent dangers of mining, and coal company paternalism, it might seem that black miners and mountaineers would be eager to forget their past. Instead, members of the EKSC have chosen to celebrate their Harlan County roots. African American Miners and Migrants uses historical and archival research and extensive personal interviews to explore their reasons and the ties that still bind them to eastern Kentucky. The book also examines life in the model coal towns of Benham and Lynch in the context of Progressive Era policies, the practice of welfare capitalism, and the contemporary national trend of building corporate towns and planned communities.
The Big Boxcar
Alfred Maund University of Illinois Press, 1957 Library of Congress PS3563.A876B54 1999 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Five men and a woman, all African Americans, huddle in the rattling darkness of a boxcar headed north, away from a brutal South, seeking freedom and opportunity. They are joined by a white intruder whose own quest puts them all in great danger. Like Chaucer's pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales, each of these travelers has a story to tell, and these stories—of humor and humiliation, of prostitution and pride, of love and murder—unfold in the course of the journey. They reveal the lives and secrets of the tellers and give this transient community self-respect and solidarity as it hurtles toward arrest or worse. The Big Boxcar, written from a totally black perspective by a white author, bears witness to the structural racism of a social order that sets ordinary people of different colors against each other to the disadvantage of all. Alan Wald's introduction documents Maund's life of activism and his uncompromising commitment to social emancipation.
Bogotá: A Novel
Alan Grostephan Northwestern University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3607.R6744B64 2013 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
In Bogotá, a taut, moving novel set in present-day Colombia, Wilfredo decides to uproot his family from their small town, where his ferry service on the river subjects him to the gruesome errands demanded by the local paramilitary. Moving in with relatives in a slum in Bogotá, the family tries desperately to achieve the smallest measure of comfort and hope in a world of almost total ruin, wracked by deprivation, fear, and ceaseless violence.
Alan Grostephan depicts with startling immediacy an urban landscape of extreme harshness and oppressive instability. The tension between the desperate conditions surrounding his characters and their efforts to hold on to their humanity gives Bogotá a ferocious energy. As Wilfredo and his family fight to stay alive and stay together, their plight emerges as equally enraging and uplifting, constituting a portrait of a society always on the verge of disintegration.
Bound for the Promised Land is the first extensive examination of the impact on the American religious landscape of the Great Migration—the movement from South to North and from country to city by hundreds of thousands of African Americans following World War I. In focusing on this phenomenon’s religious and cultural implications, Milton C. Sernett breaks with traditional patterns of historiography that analyze the migration in terms of socioeconomic considerations. Drawing on a range of sources—interviews, government documents, church periodicals, books, pamphlets, and articles—Sernett shows how the mass migration created an institutional crisis for black religious leaders. He describes the creative tensions that resulted when the southern migrants who saw their exodus as the Second Emancipation brought their religious beliefs and practices into northern cities such as Chicago, and traces the resulting emergence of the belief that black churches ought to be more than places for "praying and preaching." Explaining how this social gospel perspective came to dominate many of the classic studies of African American religion, Bound for the Promised Land sheds new light on various components of the development of black religion, including philanthropic endeavors to "modernize" the southern black rural church. In providing a balanced and holistic understanding of black religion in post–World War I America, Bound for the Promised Land serves to reveal the challenges presently confronting this vital component of America’s religious mosaic.
During the late nineteenth century, Chicago's population grew at an astonishing rate, with an estimated growth of 900,000 people between 1860 and 1890. Drawn to the opportunities generated by an expansive economy, hinterland migrants from the rural Midwest flocked to the city, their visions of prosperity creating a thriving modern urban culture. The hopes of these newcomers are the subject of Timothy B. Spears's book Chicago Dreaming—the story of Chicago's growth and the transplanted Midwesterners who so decisively shaped the young city's identity.
Through innovative readings of Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, and Richard Wright, Spears argues that the migratory perspective was crucial to the rise of Chicago's emerging literary culture. In following the paths of several well-known migrants, including Jane Addams, cartoonist John T. McCutcheon, and businessman John Glessner, Spears also shows how the view from the hinterland permeated urban culture and informed the development of key Chicago institutions. Further exploring the notion of dreaming, he brings to light the internal desires that lured Midwestern migrants to the city as well as the nostalgia that led them to dream of the homes they left behind.
With this fascinating new take on the rise of Chicago, Chicago Dreaming blurs the line between country and city to reveal the provincial character of modern urban culture.
This book shows how Zapotec peasants migrating to Mexico City utilize paisanazgo--which prescribes solidarity among people from the same locale--as the basis for cooperation and mutual aid within a new environment. This study focuses on three groups of Mountain Zapotecs to explain why migrant associations were created and why they took different forms, citing regional variations in ethnicity, solidarity, occupational pursuits, and sociopolitical articulation to the nation in the three points of origin.
Pakistan is already one of the most urbanized nations in South Asia, and a majority of its population is projected to be living in cities within three decades. This demographic shift is likely to have a significant impact on Pakistan’s politics and stability. This report briefly examines urbanization as a potential driver of long-term insecurity and instability, with particular attention to the cities of Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta.
In an era of transatlantic migration, Germans were fascinated by the myth of the frontier. Yet, for many, they were most likely to encounter frontier landscapes of new settlement and the taming of nature not in far-flung landscapes abroad, but on the edges of Germany’s many growing cities. Germany’s Urban Frontiers is the first book to examine how nineteenth-century notions of progress, community, and nature shaped the changing spaces of German urban peripheries as the walls and boundaries that had so long defined central European cities disappeared. Through a series of local case studies including Leipzig, Oldenburg, and Berlin, Kristin Poling reveals how Germans on the edge of the city confronted not only questions of planning and control, but also their own histories and futures as a community.
I Give You Half the Road
Carol Spindel University of Wisconsin Press, 2021 Library of Congress DT545.9.K35S65 2020 | Dewey Decimal 307.24096668
In Ivory Coast, the farewell “I give you half the road” is an expression of hospitality, urging a departing guest to come back again. After their first stay in a welcoming rural community in 1981, Carol Spindel and her husband did just that. Over the course of decades, they built a house and returned frequently, deepening their relationships with neighbors.
Once considered the most stable country in West Africa, Ivory Coast was split by an armed rebellion in 2002 and endured a decade of instability and a violent conflict. Spindel provides an intimate glimpse into this turbulent period by weaving together the daily lives and paths of five neighbors. Their stories reveal Ivorians determined to reunite a divided country through reliance on mutual respect and obligation even while power-hungry politicians pursued xenophobic and anti-immigrant platforms for personal gain. Illuminating democracy as a fragile enterprise that must be continually invented and reinvented, I Give You Half the Road emphasizes the importance of connection, generosity, and forgiveness.
Many observers in colonial Spanish America—whether clerical, governmental, or foreign—noted the large numbers of forasteros, or Indians who were not seemingly attached to any locality. These migrants, or “wanderers,” offended the bureaucratic sensibilities of the Spanish administration, as they also frustrated their tax and revenue efforts. Ann M. Wightman’s research on these early “undocumentals” in the Cuzco region of Peru reveals much of importance on Andean society and its adaptation and resistance to Spanish cultural and political hegemony. The book thereby informs our understanding of social change in the colonial period. Wightman shows that the dismissal of the forasteros as marginalized rural poor is superficial at best, and through laborious and painstaking archival research she presents a clear picture of the transformation of traditional society as the native populations coped with the disruptions of the conquest—and in doing so, reveals the reciprocal adaptations of the colonial power. Her choice of Cuzco is particularly appropriate, as this was a “heartland” region crucial to both the Incan and Spanish empires. The questions addressed by Wightman are of great concern to current Andean ethnohistory, one of the liveliest areas of such research, and are sure to have an important impact.
Published with a new preface, this innovative case study from Nova Scotia analyzes the relationship between rural communities and contemporary education. Rather than supporting place-sensitive curricula and establishing networks within community populations, the rural school has too often stood apart from local life, with the generally unintended consequence that many educationally successful rural youth come to see their communities and lifestyles as places to be left behind. They face what Michael Corbett calls a mobility imperative, which, he shows, has been central to contemporary schooling. Learning to Leave argues that if education is to be democratic and serve the purpose of economic, social, and cultural development, then it must adapt and respond to the specificity of its locale, the knowledge practices of the people, and the needs of those who struggle to remain in challenged rural places.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, northern resort towns were in their heyday as celebrated retreats for America's wealthy. "Lord, Please Don't Take Me in August" documents the experiences of African Americans in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island--towns that provided a recurring season of expanded employment opportunities, enhanced social life, cosmopolitan experience, and, in a good year, enough money to last through the winter.
Affirming that the decision to live in their tiny resort communities was conscious and deliberate, Myra B. Young Armstead shows how Afro-Saratogians and Afro-Newporters organized their rhythms, their routines, and their communities to create meaningful identities for themselves.
Living on streets close to their churches, developing social organizations that promoted their standards of gentility and respectability, and lobbying for wider opportunities, these African Americans actively shaped their lives within the structures and limitations imposed on them.
Armstead situates the resort town between the poles of the rural South and the large industrial cities of the North. She shows how these small northern towns, with their seasonal economic rhythms and domestic wage work, permitted an important continuity between rural and urban lifestyles and a path from rural South to urban North besides the jarring, disruptive journey that often ended in the ghetto.
"Lord, Please Don't Take Me in August" tells a story that is at once American and uniquely African American: a story of economic imperatives and enlarged social aspirations culminating in a season--June, July, and August--that brought blacks as close as they could get to the American Dream.
"A model study, one of two or three genuinely indispensable books
on that momentous movement historians know as the Great Migration. Peter
Gottlieb shatters the received portrait of southern migrants as bewildered,
premodern folk, 'utterly unprepared' for the complexities of urban life.
African Americans in his account emerge as complex, creative agents, exploiting
old solidarities and building new ones, transforming the urban landscape
even as it transformed them." -- James Campbell, Northwestern University
"Engagingly written and well organized. . . . A major addition to
the fields of Afro-American, urban, and working-class history." --
Howard N. Rabinowitz, Georgia Historical Quarterly
"Gottlieb uses oral histories, corporate records, and primary and
secondary scholarship to present a useful picture of an important part
of the Great Migration that followed World War I." -- George Lipsitz, Choice
"Sensitive and yet also incisive. . . . clear and often compelling.
An outstanding study." -- James R. Barrett, Journal of American Ethnic History Publication of this work was supported in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Mieres Reborn reveals how patient observation and an analysis of one small community have much to tell us about human progress more generally.
Not long ago Mieres, a village in the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees, seemed destined to die. As in countless thousands of rural communities around the world, young people in Mieres over the years have moved to the towns and cities, leaving behind abandoned fields and meadows, derelict houses, and their aging and disconsolate parents and grandparents.
Close observation of this social microcosm over two decades reveals the capacity of ordinary people in a locality to reinvent themselves, reconstruct relationships with the wider world, and confront new threats to their collective survival. A. F. Robertson describes how the determination that Mieres should survive is most evident in a vigorous round of fiestas, fairs, and other public events in which natives, exiles, and newcomers work to create a lively sense of belonging. Since the 1980s, Mieres has been enlivened by a reverse flow of migrants from the cities, new settlers who have brought an infusion of youth to the community, devised new livelihoods, revitalized the village school, energized the native ”Mierencs,” and provided the impetus for a rediscovery of historical roots and political identity.
The regeneration of life in the countryside, in part a reaction to urban expansion and decay, is a global phenomenon of increasing political, economic, and social significance.
In the early 1940s, $10 bought a bus ticket from Appalachia to a better job and promise of prosperity in the flatlands of northeast Ohio. A mountaineer with a strong back and will to work could find a job within twenty-four hours of arrival.
But the cost of a bus ticket was more than a week's wages in a lumber camp, and the mountaineer paid dearly in loss of kin, culture, homeplace, and freedom.
Numerous scholarly works have addressed this migration that brought more than one million mountaineers to Ohio alone. But Mountain People in a Flat Land is the first popular history of Appalachian migration to one community — Ashtabula County, an industrial center in the fabled “best location in the nation.”
These migrants share their stories of life in Appalachia before coming north. There are tales of making moonshine, colorful family members, home remedies harvested from the wild, and life in coal company towns and lumber camps.
The mountaineers explain why, despite the beauty of the mountains and the deep kinship roots, they had to leave Appalachia.
Stories of their hardships, cultural clashes, assimilation, and ultimate successes in the flatland provide a moving look at an often stereotyped people.
Increasingly popular in the United States and Europe, Andean panpipe and flute music draws its vitality from the traditions of rural highland villages and of rural migrants who have settled in Andean cities. In Moving Away from Silence, Thomas Turino describes panpipe and flute traditions in the context of this rural-urban migration and the turbulent politics that have influenced Peruvian society and local identities throughout this century.
Turino's ethnography is the first large-scale study to concentrate on the pervasive effects of migration on Andean people and their music. Turino uses the musical traditions of Conima, Peru as a unifying thread, tracing them through the varying lives of Conimeos in different locales. He reveals how music both sustains and creates meaning for a people struggling amid the dramatic social upheavals of contemporary Peru.
Moving Away from Silence contains detailed interpretations based on comparative field research of Conimeo musical performance, rehearsals, composition, and festivals in the highlands and Lima. The volume will be of great importance to students of Latin American music and culture as well as ethnomusicological and ethnographic theory and method.
On March 9, 1996, tens of thousands of readers of a daily newspaper in China’s Anhui province saw a photograph of two young women at a local long-distance bus station. Dressed in fashionable new winter coats and carrying luggage printed with Latin letters, the women were returning home from their jobs in one of China’s large cities. As the photo caption indicated, the image represented the “transformation of migrant women”; the women’s “transformation” was signaled by their status as consumers. New Masters, New Servants is an ethnography of class dynamics and the subject formation of migrant domestic workers. Based on her interviews with young women who migrated from China’s Anhui province to the city of Beijing to engage in domestic service for middle-class families, as well as interviews with employers, job placement agencies, and government officials, Yan Hairong explores what these migrant workers mean to the families that hire them, to urban economies, to rural provinces such as Anhui, and to the Chinese state. Above all, Yan focuses on the domestic workers’ self-conceptions, desires, and struggles.
Yan analyzes how the migrant women workers are subjected to, make sense of, and reflect on a range of state and neoliberal discourses about development, modernity, consumption, self-worth, quality, and individual and collective longing and struggle. She offers keen insight into the workers’ desire and efforts to achieve suzhi (quality) through self-improvement, the way workers are treated by their employers, and representations of migrant domestic workers on television and the Internet and in newspapers and magazines. In so doing, Yan demonstrates that contestations over the meanings of migrant workers raise broad questions about the nature of wage labor, market economy, sociality, and postsocialism in contemporary China.
The Northeast border region of India is a crossroads of Southeast Asia, where India meets China and the Himalayas, and home to many ethnic minorities from across the continent. The area is also the birthplace of a number of secessionist and insurgent movements and a hotbed of political fervor and violent instability. In this trailblazing new study, Duncan McDuie-Ra observes the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who leave the region every year to work, study, and find refuge in Delhi. He examines how new migrants navigate the rampant racism, harassment, and even violence they face upon their arrival in Delhi. But McDuie-Ra does not paint them simply as victims of the city, but also as contributors to Delhi’s vibrant community and increasing cosmopolitanism. India’s embrace of globalization has created employment opportunities for Northeast migrants in many capitalistic enterprises: shopping malls, restaurants, and call centers. They have been able to create their own “map” of Delhi and their own communities within the larger and often unfriendly one of the metropolis.
Beginning in the 1870s, a great many Bretons—men and women from Brittany, a region in western France—began arriving in Paris. Every age has its pariahs, and in 1900, the “pariahs of Paris” were the Bretons, the last distinct group of provincials to come en masse to the capital city. The pariah designation took hold in Paris, in Brittany, and among historians. Yet the derision of recent migrants can be temporary. Tracing the changing status of Bretons in Paris since 1870, Leslie Page Moch demonstrates that state policy, economic trends, and the attitudes of established Parisians and Breton newcomers evolved as the fortunes of Bretons in the capital improved. The pariah stereotype became outdated. Drawing on demographic records and the writings of physicians, journalists, novelists, lawyers, and social scientists, Moch connects internal migration with national integration. She interprets marriage records, official reports on employment, legal and medical theses, memoirs, and writings from secular and religious organizations in the Breton community. As the pariahs of yesterday, Bretons are an example of successful integration into Parisian life. At the same time, their experiences show integration to be a complicated and lengthy process.
Rural and Small Town America
Glenn V. Fuguitt Russell Sage Foundation, 1989 Library of Congress HB2385.F836 1989 | Dewey Decimal 304.60973091734
Important differences persist between rural and urban America, despite profound economic changes and the notorious homogenizing influence of the media. As Glenn V. Fuguitt, David L. Brown, and Calvin L. Beale show in Rural and Small Town America, the much-heralded disappearance of small town life has not come to pass, and the nonmetropolitan population still constitutes a significant dimension of our nation's social structure. Based on census and other recent survey data, this impressive study provides a detailed and comparative picture of rural America. The authors find that size of place is a critical demographic factor, affecting population composition (rural populations are older and more predominantly male than urban populations), the distribution of poverty (urban poverty tends to be concentrated in neighborhoods; rural poverty may extend over large blocks of counties), and employment opportunities (job quality and income are lower in rural areas, though rural occupational patterns are converging with those of urban areas). In general, rural and small town America still lags behind urban America on many indicators of social well-being. Pointing out that rural life is no longer synonymous with farming, the authors explore variations among nonmetropolitan populations. They also trace the impact of major national trends—the nonmetropolitan growth spurt of the 1970s and its current reversal, for example, or changing fertility rates—on rural life and on the relationship between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan communities. By describing the special characteristics and needs of rural populations as well as the features they share with urban America, this book clearly demonstrates that a more accurate picture of nonmetropolitan life is essential to understanding the larger dynamics of our society. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
The authors of this highly original book set out to remove the persistent boundary between the authors and readers of ethnography on one hand and the subjects of ethnography on the other – those who observe and those who are observed.
The authors use stories to reveal Siaya, the Luo-speaking area of Western Kenya down near the Lake but still surprisingly vulnerable to drought. There are the stories of survival by a woman with her carpenter husband in Nairobi, there is the launching of a boat as bride into the Lake and there is the great Boro Christmas disco riot. The book finishes with an Afterword on the burial of the lawyer S. M. Otiono that divided its whole of Kenya.
It is both written about and for the Luo. It brings together Luo ideas and debates about their own past and present with findings, arguments and questions produced about this “other people;” by outside scholars writing in their own disciplines. Among the Luo, what constitutes culture, what is correct behavior, what is history, are questions that are heavily fought over.
This is one of those rare books that makes students and other interested individuals question their own cultural preconceptions and what are the genuine concerns of academic disciplines.
Street Corner Secrets challenges widespread notions of sex work in India by examining solicitation in three spaces within the city of Mumbai that are seldom placed within the same analytic frame—brothels, streets, and public day-wage labor markets (nakas), where sexual commerce may be solicited discretely alongside other income-generating activities. Focusing on women who migrated to Mumbai from rural, economically underdeveloped areas within India, Svati P. Shah argues that selling sexual services is one of a number of ways women working as laborers may earn a living, demonstrating that sex work, like day labor, is a part of India's vast informal economy. Here, various means of earning—legitimized or stigmatized, legal or illegal—overlap or exist in close proximity to one another, shaping a narrow field of livelihood options that women navigate daily. In the course of this rich ethnography, Shah discusses policing practices, migrants' access to housing and water, the idea of public space, critiques of states and citizenship, and the discursive location of violence within debates on sexual commerce. Throughout, the book analyzes the epistemology of prostitution, and the silences and secrets that constitute the discourse of sexual commerce on Mumbai's streets.
A baseline study of the growth of preindustrial cities worldwide.
This work employs a subset of preindustrial cities on many continents to answer questions archaeologists grapple with concerning the populating and growth of cities before industrialization. It further explores how scholars differently conceive and execute their research on the population of cities. The subject cities are in Greece, Mesoamerica, the Andes, Italy, Egypt, Africa, United States, Denmark, and China. This broad sample provides a useful framework for answers to such questions as “Why did people agglomerate into cities?” and “What population size and what age of endurance constitute a city?”
The study covers more than population magnitude and population makeup, the two major frameworks of urban demography. The contributors combine their archaeological and historical expertise to reveal commonalities, as well as theoretical extrapolations and methodological approaches, at work here and outside the sample.
Urbanism in the Preindustrial World is a unique study revealing the variety of factors involved in the coalescing and dispersal of populations in preindustrial times.
In a manufacturing metropolis in south China lies Dafen, an urban village that famously houses thousands of workers who paint van Goghs, Da Vincis, Warhols, and other Western masterpieces for the world market, producing an astonishing five million paintings a year. To write about work and life in Dafen, Winnie Wong infiltrated this world, first investigating the work of conceptual artists who made projects there; then working as a dealer; apprenticing as a painter; surveying wholesalers and retailers in Europe, East Asia and North America; establishing relationships with local leaders; and organizing a conceptual art exhibition for the Shanghai World Expo. The result is Van Gogh on Demand, a fascinating book about a little-known aspect of the global art world—one that sheds surprising light on the workings of art, artists, and individual genius.
Confronting big questions about the definition of art, the ownership of an image, and the meaning of originality and imitation, Wong describes an art world in which idealistic migrant workers, lofty propaganda makers, savvy dealers, and international artists make up a global supply chain of art and creativity. She examines how Berlin-based conceptual artist Christian Jankowski, who collaborated with Dafen’s painters to reimagine the Dafen Art Museum, unwittingly appropriated the work of a Hong Kong-based photographer Michael Wolf. She recounts how Liu Ding, a Beijing-based conceptual artist, asked Dafen “assembly-line” painters to perform at the Guangzhou Triennial, neatly styling himself into a Dafen boss. Taking the Shenzhen-based photojournalist Yu Haibo’s award-winning photograph from the Amsterdam's World Press Photo organization, she finds and meets the Dafen painter pictured in it and traces his paintings back to an unlikely place in Amsterdam. Through such cases, Wong shows how Dafen’s painters force us to reexamine our preconceptions about creativity, and the role of Chinese workers in redefining global art.
Providing a valuable account of art practices in an ascendant China, Van Gogh on Demand is a rich and detailed look at the implications of a world that can offer countless copies of everything that has ever been called “art.”
Through interviews with three generations of Yalálag Zapotecs (“Yaláltecos”) in Los Angeles and Yalálag, Oaxaca, this book examines the impact of international migration on this community. It traces five decades of migration to Los Angeles in order to delineate migration patterns, community formation in Los Angeles, and the emergence of transnational identities of the first and second generations of Yalálag Zapotecs in the United States, exploring why these immigrants and their descendents now think of themselves as Mexican, Mexican Indian immigrants, Oaxaqueños, and Latinos—identities they did not claim in Mexico.
Based on multi-site fieldwork conducted over a five-year period, Adriana Cruz-Manjarrez analyzes how and why Yalálag Zapotec identity and culture have been reconfigured in the United States, using such cultural practices as music, dance, and religious rituals as a lens to bring this dynamic process into focus. By illustrating the sociocultural, economic, and political practices that link immigrants in Los Angeles to those left behind, the book documents how transnational migration has reflected, shaped, and transformed these practices in both their place of origin and immigration.