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The Rise of Chicago's Black Metropolis, 1920-1929$
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Christopher Robert Reed

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036231

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036231.001.0001

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Conclusion and Legacy

Conclusion and Legacy

(p.209) Conclusion and Legacy
The Rise of Chicago's Black Metropolis, 1920-1929

Christopher Robert Reed

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the impact of the Great Depression on the dream of the Black Metropolis. Unfortunately, this dream foundered on the rocks of the Great Depression in which its black banking giants failed, as did one of the three community insurance giants and its real estate empire, along with so many smaller businesses. The Depression also affected black politics, and major race advancement and protest organizations. The Chicago Urban League suffered financially, faced the threat of its possible demise, and consequently changed the direction of its program. The Chicago NAACP transformed itself into an organization that could perform effectively in the economic arena under diverse leadership. The Communist Party seemingly thrived as it rallied behind a banner of protest and because of the apparent collapse of the American economic system that it vehemently opposed. It was, nonetheless, relatively ineffective in its attempts to control, first, a stagnant Republican-dominated milieu and then a progressive Democratic one.

Keywords:   African Americans, Chicago, blacks, Great Depression, unemployment, economic crisis, Chicago Urban League, NAACP, Communist Party

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