Upbuilding Black Durham : gender, class, and Black community development in the Jim Crow South /

Main Author: Brown, Leslie, 1954-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2008.
Series: The John Hope Franklin series in African American history and culture
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Review by Choice Review

Built on the tobacco industry and the development of the New South, Durham, North Carolina, was christened by E. Franklin Frazier the "capital of the black middle class." This insightful book portrays that and more. Durham's middle class was forged in response to post-Civil War migrations, Jim Crow, WW I, the Depression, and the initiation of the Civil Rights Movement. The development of middle-class Durham was profoundly affected by the role of women as they struggled not only to free themselves from the aftermath of slavery but also to redefine that role through work as teachers, nurses, and with the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and varied civic organizations. Those roles (and gender-based domestic roles) gave women both positions of influence and leverage with whites, and that helped reshape the African American experience and Durham. Weaving biographical information and economic, social, and political history, Brown (Williams College) interprets Durham's local history and records and a vast secondary literature. The book is a study in community transformation and a commentary on gender, race, and class within the African American community. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. T. F. Armstrong Louisiana State University at Alexandria

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.