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William Dorsey's Philadelphia and Ours : On the Past and Future of the Black City in America - Roger Lane

William Dorsey's Philadelphia and Ours

On the Past and Future of the Black City in America

Hardcover Published: 15th August 1991
ISBN: 9780195065664
Number Of Pages: 512

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Lane here illuminates the African-American experience through a close look at a single city, once the metropolitan headquarters of black America, now typical of many. He recognizes that urban history offers more clues, both to modern accomplishments and to modern problems, than the dead past of rural slavery. The book's historical section is based on hundreds of newly discovered scrapbooks kept by William Henry Dorsey, Philadelphia's first black historian. These provide an intimate and comprehensive view of the critical period between the Civil War and about 1900, when African-Americans, formally free and increasingly urban, made the biggest educational and occupational gains in history. Dorsey's tens of thousands of newspaper clippings and other sources, detail records of high culture and low, success and scandal, personal and public life. In the final chapters Lane outlines the urban situation today, the strong parallels between past and present that suggest the power of continuity and the equally strong differences that point to the possibility of change.

Industry Reviews

"Roger Lane's book joins the best studies of Black urban history of the past generation....Lane's tour de force is penetrating....must reading for historians and policy makers genuinely concerned about racial justice."--The Historian "A finely drawn portrait of black Philadelphia....Always informed, generally sympathetic and...insightful."--New York Times Book Review "A major work and among the most detailed and comprehensive studies of an urban black community ever undertaken. For that, historians and others will be grateful."--Philadelphia Inquirer "A comprehensive, insightful and clearly written chronicle of black life in this city."--Philadelphia "An insightful reexamination of Afro-American life in post reconstructionist Philadelphia."--History: Reviews of New Books "No short review can do justice to the many subtle observations Lane makes about blacks in politics, religion, education, or wherever....[An] extraordinary achievement....Lane gives us much more than a history."--Pennsylvania Magazine "In this moving and profound work, Roger Lane has shown us all how William Dorsey's Philadelphia is ours, a task of historical imagination and courage. Lane demonstrates to us the differences between Dorsey's world and the urban world we now inhabit, yet in so doing he makes us realize that this world has shaped and influenced our world, no matter who we are or where we live. To think carefully about race and racial difference is one of the greatest challenges of our age, and Lane, in opening himself to learning from William Dorsey, helps us to learn. The two, Lane and Dorsey, enable us to see in human differences, human ties. A great achievement."--Eric H. Monkkonen, University of California, Los Angeles "At once, uncompromising, incisive, and provocative, Lane's book is an important contribution to our understanding of America's most pressing social problem."--Elijah Anderson, University of Pennsylvania "[P]rovocative, nuanced, and rich....a fine contribution to our understanding of the subject....offers a detailed and highly perceptive discussion of black urban culture."--Labor History "Lane paints one of the most textured pictures we have of an African-American community."--Journal of Social History "[One of] the most ambitious, detailed, and provocative analyses of urban northern postbellum black life in print."--Reviews in American History "This book is a significant addition to the historical literature on urban and African-American history. It is also a timely source for those struggling to understand and overcome the impact of...earlier injustices."--American Historical Review "Lane has written a big, bounteous, and brave book....This book will figure prominently in discussions of modern African-American history for years. Few are the historians who research as deeply, analyze as deftly, and write as lucidly as Lane....Excellent as history, his book also cuts through much of the rhetoric and facile solutions emanating from today's policymakers and political pundits."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Introductionp. xi
The Medium and the Message: The Dorsey Collection and the Black Portrait in the Popular Press
Of Politics, Religion, and Popular Culturep. 5
Of Race, Sex, and Lynchingp. 33
Occupations and Making a Living
The "Unskilled" Majorityp. 63
Owners, Artisans, and Entrepreneursp. 98
Education and Educatorsp. 134
The Learned Occupationsp. 166
Politics, Politicians, and Civil Servantsp. 197
The Web of Organization: Religion, Race, Class, and Recreation
The Churchesp. 231
Race Pride and Race Relationsp. 253
Organization and Social Classp. 279
Recreation, Entertainment, and Postscriptum to William Henry Dorseyp. 309
William Dorsey's City and Ours
Survivals and Evolution: The Black City Todayp. 337
Transition: From There to Herep. 354
A Common Destiny: Prospects for the Black Cityp. 374
The William Henry Dorsey Collection at Cheyney State Universityp. 411
Sources for William Dorsey and His Familyp. 413
Philadelphians Most Noted in the Dorsey Collectionp. 416
"Elite" Philadelphians, 1860s and 1890sp. 420
Notesp. 423
Indexp. 459
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195065664
ISBN-10: 0195065662
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 15th August 1991
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.49 x 16.36  x 3.96
Weight (kg): 0.94

Earn 286 Qantas Points
on this Book