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Progress is Painful: Race Relations and Education in Chicago Before The Great Migration


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/3613

Progress is Painful: Race Relations and Education in Chicago Before The Great Migration

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dc.contributor.author Bernstein, Matthew D.
dc.date.accessioned 2008-02-07T18:47:30Z
dc.date.available 2008-02-07T18:47:30Z
dc.date.issued 2008-02-07T18:47:30Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/3613
dc.description.abstract This thesis is the first work focused directly on race relations and education in Chicago before the Great Migration. Proceeding from the dearth of sources covering black Chicago before the First World War era, I argue three main points. First, I disagree with historians who assert that because African-Americans received certain educational opportunities, this period represented a kind of racial golden age. Only when compared to the South and to the post-World War I period in Chicago, I assert, does the era before 1914 seem racially egalitarian. While members of the black community before the Great Migration were able to attend school with whites and thus were not subjected to the targeted and systematic deprivations that legislated segregation mandated, on an individual basis, black Chicagoans faced second-class citizenship each and every day. Second, I argue that despite the lack of extant primary sources recounting the full extent of segregation during this period, there is evidence that national and regional trends formed race relations in Chicago long before the post-Great War migration. In business, housing, and education, strictures were in place by the end of the Gilded Age that would govern social relations to World War II and after. Third, in the absence of official northern court-imposed Jim Crow laws (or de jure segregation), white Chicagoans turned to informal but organized de facto discrimination to usher in a separation of the races before the turn of the century. Running throughout these arguments is the suggestion that black Chicagoans were active in proportions far beyond their numbers in fighting for their rights as United States, Illinois, and Chicago citizens. In this thesis, I chart the increasing incidence of racial violence in the schools as the black community in Chicago expanded, but I also argue that levels of discrimination were not directly tied to the size of the population. Thus, Chicago was a place of opportunity and restriction for black Americans by the early twentieth century, a city where progress did not come without profound struggle. en_US
dc.format.extent 456704 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/msword
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Chicago en_US
dc.subject Education en_US
dc.subject Race Relations en_US
dc.subject Great Migration en_US
dc.subject 19th Century en_US
dc.subject African American en_US
dc.subject World War I en_US
dc.subject Schools en_US
dc.subject Integration en_US
dc.subject Class en_US
dc.title Progress is Painful: Race Relations and Education in Chicago Before The Great Migration en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.advisor Sandoval-Strausz, Andrew
dc.description.committee-member Yazawa, Melvin
dc.description.committee-member Cahill, Cathleen

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