Freedom's Ballot: African American Political Struggles In Chicago From Abolition To The Great…

Hardcover | April 28, 2014

byMargaret Garb

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In the spring of 1915, Chicagoans elected the city’s first black alderman, Oscar De Priest. In a city where African Americans made up less than five percent of the voting population, and in a nation that dismissed and denied black political participation, De Priest’s victory was astonishing. It did not, however, surprise the unruly group of black activists who had been working for several decades to win representation on the city council.

Freedom’s Ballot is the history of three generations of African American activists—the ministers, professionals, labor leaders, clubwomen, and entrepreneurs—who transformed twentieth-century urban politics. This is a complex and important story of how black political power was institutionalized in Chicago in the half-century following the Civil War. Margaret Garb explores the social and political fabric of Chicago, revealing how the physical makeup of the city was shaped by both political corruption and racial empowerment—in ways that can still be seen and felt today.

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In the spring of 1915, Chicagoans elected the city’s first black alderman, Oscar De Priest. In a city where African Americans made up less than five percent of the voting population, and in a nation that dismissed and denied black political participation, De Priest’s victory was astonishing. It did not, however, surprise the unruly gro...

Margaret Garb is associate professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis.

other books by Margaret Garb

Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:April 28, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022613590X

ISBN - 13:9780226135908

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION / From Party to Race

ONE / History, Memory, and One Man’s Vote

TWO / Setting Agendas, Demanding Rights, and the Black Press

THREE / Women’s Rights, the World’s Fair, and Activists on the National Stage

FOUR / Challenging Urban Space, Organizing Labor

FIVE / Virtue, Vice, and Building the Machine

SIX / Representation and “Race Men”

EPILOGUE / Film, History, and the Birth of a Black Political Culture

Acknowledgments
Appendix 1: African American Political Leaders, 1870–1920
Appendix 2: Election Results for Mayoral and Aldermanic Candidates in the First, Second, and Third Wards, 1900–1920
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Garb skillfully traces changes in both the citywide political system and the black response to the emergence of machine politics. . . . Freedom’s Ballot is an important contribution to the growing body of literature on African American political development.”