Black Los Angeles started small. The first census of the newly formed LosAngeles County in 1850 recorded only twelve Americans of African descentalongside a population of more than 3,500 Anglo Americans. Over the followingseventy years, however, the African American founding families ofLos Angeles forged a vibrant community within the increasingly segregatedand stratified city. In this book, historian Marne L. Campbell examines theintersections of race, class, and gender to produce a social history of communityformation and cultural expression in Los Angeles. Expanding on thetraditional narrative of middle-class uplift, Campbell demonstrates that theblack working class, largely through the efforts of women, fought to securetheir own economic and social freedom by forging communal bonds withblack elites and other communities of colour. This women-led, black working-class agency and cross-racial community building, Campbell argues, wasmarkedly more successful in Los Angeles than in any other region in thecountry.
Drawing from an extensive database of all African American householdsbetween 1850 and 1910, Campbell vividly tells the story of how middle-classAfrican Americans were able to live, work, and establish a community oftheir own in the growing city of Los Angeles.
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Number of pages: 246
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
Enriched by copious demographic data and extensive biographic content, and best appreciated by upper-level students, Campbell's history of LA's early black community underscores the city's multiracial, multiethnic roots. Recommended.--Choice
A rich and innovative portrayal of pre-Great Migration Los Angeles's working-class and female black community.--Western Historical Quarterly
Marne L. Campbell's Making Black Los Angeles: Class, Gender, and Community, 1850-1917
, is an essential history within a rapidly growing list of histories about the African American experience in the City of Angels.--American Historical Review
A compelling and finely-grained history of African American Los Angeles over the long nineteenth century.--Pacific Historical Review