By Christopher Robert Reed
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Additional resources for Black Chicago's First Century: 1833-1900
So the unending challenge at hand required validation of the very being of African Americans. The transition from chattel to contraband and finally to citizen illustrated this odyssey only too well. This meant showing, in effect, that the African American existed as part of a global humanity, an idea challenged during the time of slavery and just as aggressively once the tenets of Social Darwinism gained widespread acceptance during the Gilded Age of the 1880s and 1890s. Without question, the descent from being to acknowledged nonexistence was painful for the victim.
Crossing interdisciplinary lines, the works of sociologists Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Horace R. Cayton, and St. Clair Drake proved especially helpful since they demonstrated scholarly concern and intimate familiarity with the nuances of thinking, motives, and behavior of the African Americans in Chicago; their works have withstood decades of scrutiny. Outside of the city, W. E. B. 20 More recent scholarship on nineteenth-century life was incorporated into this study inasmuch as its theoretical and narrative relevancies allowed.
What this contributes is the subjective element of life, a component that sociologist E. 58 Comple- Reed-FM/Intro(i-xviii, 1-34) 5/9/05 1:18 PM Page 26 26 / Introduction menting these sources and written accounts is the record of participation and presentation of an event as played out through camera lenses. In an effort to resurrect the unsung and the unseen, I have intentionally mentioned names of persons whose lives and possible achievements will never be fully uncovered. Details normally subsumed into and by larger themes are given deliberate prominence in this study, and I believe a general readership, upon reflection, will appreciate this approach.
Black Chicago's First Century: 1833-1900 by Christopher Robert Reed