African American Urban Experience: Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present
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Although African Americans have lived in cities since the colonial era, the transformation of rural blacks into a predominantly urban people is largely a twentieth century phenomenon. Only during World War I did African Americans move into cities in large numbers, and only during World War II did more blacks reside in cities than in the countryside. In their quest for full citizenship rights, economic democracy, and release from an oppressive rural past, black southerners turned to urban migration and employment in the nation's industrial sector as a new "Promised Land".

In this ground-breaking text, the work of fifteen top scholars provides a truly interdisciplinary examination of these transformations in African American urban life. Bringing together urban history; contemporary social, cultural, and policy research; and comparative perspectives on race, ethnicity, and nationality within and across national boundaries, the editors have organized this innovative volume in a three part structure ideal for classroom use. The first section provides historical perspectives, the second employs social scientific approaches, and the third offers compares the African American experience to those of other ethnic groups in twentieth-century America using the lens of race and class.
Joe Trotter is Mellon Bank Professor and Director of the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is one of the foremost historians of African American urban history, and has written numerous books on the topic.

Earl Lewis is Dean of the Graduate School and professor of history and African American studies at the University of Michigan. He is author of In Their Own Interests: Race, Class and Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk and co-author of Love on Trial.

Tera Hunter is associate professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, and author of the award-winning book To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War.