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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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The Struggle for Control over Black Politics and Protest

The Struggle for Control over Black Politics and Protest

(p.146) Chapter 5 The Struggle for Control over Black Politics and Protest
The Rise of Chicago's Black Metropolis, 1920-1929

Christopher Robert Reed

University of Illinois Press

The 1920s witnessed a dual black presence beyond tokenism in the chambers of the Chicago City Council as well as possessing the nation's sole black voice in the U.S. Congress. Further, the Illinois Senate, the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Cook County Municipal Court, and the Chicago Library Board accommodated a new African American membership. Among white racists, Chicago's City Hall even derisively carried the label of being “Uncle Tom's Cabin” because of extensive black employment and a small black decision-making capability. This chapter explores this occurrence. Focusing on economically regenerative politics and robust economics as integral features of the bedrock foundation for the heralded Black Metropolis, the chapter also explores the nexus of politics and nonpolitical economic protest, along with this pivotal relationship to the economic fabric of black Chicago in business, labor, associational linkages, the professions, and the underground economy.

Keywords:   African Americans, Chicago, political participation, blacks, political activity, Black Metropolis, economic protest

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