Download Not Alms but Opportunity: The Urban League and the Politics by Touré F. Reed PDF

By Touré F. Reed

Illuminating the category matters that formed the racial uplift circulate, journey? Reed explores the ideology and guidelines of the nationwide, big apple, and Chicago city Leagues throughout the first half the 20 th century.. Reed argues that racial uplift within the city League mirrored a number of the classification biases pervading contemporaneous social reform hobbies, leading to an emphasis on behavioral, instead of structural, treatments to the hazards confronted by means of Afro-Americans.Reed lines the city League's ideology to the famed Chicago college of Sociology. The Chicago institution provided Leaguers strong clinical instruments with which to foil the thrust of eugenics. in spite of the fact that, Reed argues, options equivalent to ethnic cycle and social disorganization and reorganization led the League to embody behavioral types of uplift that mirrored a deep circumspection approximately negative Afro-Americans and fostered a preoccupation with the wishes of middle-class blacks. in response to Reed, the League's reform endeavors from the migration period via global struggle II oscillated among initiatives to "adjust" or perhaps "contain" unacculturated Afro-Americans and initiatives meant to reinforce the prestige of the African American center category. Reed's research complicates the mainstream account of ways specific classification issues and ideological impacts formed the League's imaginative and prescient of workforce development in addition to the implications of its endeavors.

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Additional info for Not Alms but Opportunity: The Urban League and the Politics of Racial Uplift, 1910-1950

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The housing bureau hoped to enhance the quality of ghetto life through a four-pronged approach that would serve as the foundation of the League’s housing work for years to come. ’’ Second, it served as an advocate for tenants, reporting legal infractions and health code violations to owners and/or the appropriate city agencies. ’’∞≥ Like most Urban League programs, the housing bureau viewed research and the collection of data as a major facet of its work. Thus over the next few years, the bureau expanded its efforts to acquire accurate information on living conditions in Harlem.

Between 1910 and 1920, Gotham’s black community increased by more than 66 percent (from 91,709 to 152,467 people). Over the next ten years, black New York grew by 115 percent, to 327,706 people. ≤ Prior to the Great Migration, Gotham’s blacks lived in a number of scattered enclaves. ≥ By the end of World War I, radical demographic changes were taking place in Manhattan. As the borough’s white population declined by 18 percent during the 1920s, its black population grew by 106 percent. ∑ Thus in the space of just a few decades, New York had become home to one of the nation’s largest black ghettos.

Adding insult to injury, Afro-American tenants were frequently compelled to pay exorbitant rents for overcrowded units that either were unattractive or lacked amenities. Urban Leaguers attributed blacks’ concentration in ‘‘unsavory’’ ghetto communities to two factors. Racial discrimination posed the greatest obstacle to neighborhood integration. Leaguers believed that a pernicious mix of preju28 C O M M U N I T Y D E V E L O P M E N T A N D H O U S I N G, 1 9 1 0 – 1 9 3 2 dice and ignorance prevented whites from distinguishing between respectable and dissolute blacks, thus leading many whites to exclude Afro-Americans from their communities through acts of violence and/or restrictive covenants.

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