William Dorseys Philadelphia and Ours: On the Past and Future of the Black City in America by Roger Lane

William Dorseys Philadelphia and Ours: On the Past and Future of the Black City in America

byRoger Lane

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

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Lane here illuminates the African-American experience through a close look at a single city, once the metropolitan headquarters of black America, now typical of many. He recognizes that urban history offers more clues, both to modern accomplishments and to modern problems, than the dead pastof rural slavery. The book's historical section is based on hundreds of newly discovered scrapbooks kept by William Henry Dorsey, Philadelphia's first black historian. These provide an intimate and comprehensive view of the critical period between the Civil War and about 1900, whenAfrican-Americans, formally free and increasingly urban, made the biggest educational and occupational gains in history. Dorsey's tens of thousands of newspaper clippings and other sources, detail records of high culture and low, success and scandal, personal and public life. In the final chaptersLane outlines the urban situation today, the strong parallels between past and present that suggest the power of continuity and the equally strong differences that point to the possibility of change.

About The Author

Roger Lane is at Haverford College.
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Details & Specs

Title:William Dorseys Philadelphia and Ours: On the Past and Future of the Black City in AmericaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:512 pages, 9.57 × 6.5 × 1.57 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195065662

ISBN - 13:9780195065664

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In the crucial decades after the Civil War, Philadelphia was the archetypical city for African-Americans. Not only did it have the largest African-American population in actual numbers, but it was also the preferred destination in the North for blacks migrating from the South after the Civil War. A host of national and even international institutions, churches, lodges and newspapers tied the black leadership together--especially the Grand and United Order of Odd Fellows and the African Methodist Episcopalian Church.

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"Lane paints one of the most textured pictures we have of an African-American community."--Journal of Social History