Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America by Douglas Flamming

By Douglas Flamming

Paul Bontemps made up our minds to maneuver his kin to l. a. from Louisiana in 1906 at the day he ultimately submitted to a strictly enforced Southern custom—he stepped off the sidewalk to permit white males who had simply insulted him to cross via. neighbors of the Bontemps family members, like many others beckoning their household West, had written that la used to be "a urban referred to as heaven" for individuals of colour. yet simply how unfastened was once Southern California for African american citizens?

This correct heritage, right away sweeping in its historic succeed in and intimate in its evocation of way of life, is the 1st complete account of Los Angeles's black neighborhood within the part century earlier than global warfare II. full of relocating human drama, it brings alive a time and position principally overlooked by way of historians earlier, detailing African American neighborhood lifestyles and political activism throughout the city's transformation from small city to sprawling city.

Writing with a novelist's sensitivity to language and drawing from clean ancient learn, Douglas Flamming takes us from Reconstruction to the Jim Crow period, in the course of the nice Migration, the Roaring Twenties, the nice melancholy, and the build-up to international struggle II. alongside the best way, he bargains wealthy descriptions of the neighborhood and its middle-class management, the ladies who have been entrance and heart with males within the conflict opposed to racism within the American West.

In addition to drawing a shiny portrait of a little-known period, Flamming indicates that the background of race in la is important for our knowing of race in the USA. The civil rights activism in l. a. laid the root for severe advancements within the moment 1/2 the century that proceed to persuade us to this day.

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