By Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo
Among 1940 and 1945, millions of African american citizens migrated from the South to the East Bay quarter of northern California looking for the social and financial mobility that used to be linked to the region's increasing safeguard and its popularity for better racial tolerance. Drawing on fifty oral interviews with migrants in addition to on archival and different written files, Abiding braveness examines the stories of the African American ladies who migrated west and outfitted groups there.Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo vividly exhibits how ladies made the transition from southern household and box paintings to jobs in an business, wartime economic system. even as, they have been suffering to maintain their households jointly, setting up new families, and developing community-sustaining networks and associations. whereas white ladies shouldered the double burden of salary exertions and house responsibilities, black ladies confronted even higher demanding situations: discovering homes and faculties, finding church buildings and scientific companies, and contending with racism. by way of targeting girls, Lemke-Santangelo offers new views on the place and the way social switch occurs and the way neighborhood is validated and maintained.
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Extra info for Abiding courage: African American migrant women and the East Bay community
Some restaurants and cafes served black Page 14 patrons on a take-out basis or in the kitchen; others refused them service altogether. "Negro" or "colored" restrooms, if they existed, were dirty and poorly maintained. Finally, whites retained exclusive use of most swimming pools, skating rinks, bowling alleys, and parks, and they relegated black spectators to less desirable sections of movie theaters and ballparks. Medical care was separate and unequal. Few white hospitals and physicians served black patients except in the case of extreme emergency, and even then, care was far from certain.
Filling defense jobs and caring for their families, they also performed many of the tasks associated with relocation and community-building: finding schools and housing; locating markets, churches, and medical services; establishing new institutions; building reciprocal relationships with other migrants; and maintaining ties to those back home. Moreover, black migrant women facilitated chain migration by encouraging friends and family to join them and by providing newcomers with food, shelter, and emotional support until they found their own jobs and housing.
Her brothers shined shoes or sorted cotton. Theresa's parents had already made sacrifices to keep her in high school, and she wanted to go on to college as some of her middle-class friends had done. 17 Page 17 As late as 1940, the majority of black southerners labored in the region's fields, growing and harvesting crops by the same methods used nearly a century earlier. Mechanization, which was not widely adopted until after World War II, did not represent a major threat to the livelihood of this generation.
Abiding courage: African American migrant women and the East Bay community by Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo