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Black Towns, Black FuturesThe Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West$
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Karla Slocum

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653976

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653976.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

History Stories

History Stories

(p.19) Chapter One History Stories
Black Towns, Black Futures

Karla Slocum

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter One argues that history is a central way that Black towns are identified and narrated. The chapter discusses various narratives about Black towns that focus on particular aspects of the towns’ history and show a complicated appeal of the communities, including racial trauma, loss, and social and economic mobility. Highlighted topics include state narratives about Black towns as emblems of economic success and black social mobility in the past; town elders’ narratives about their family members’ traumatic experiences fleeing the Jim Crow South to seek freedom in a Black town; Black town residents’ narratives of Black businesses and land acquisition as a hallmark of Black town success and history; and community narratives of losing celebrated Black town schools to integration mixed with racism.

Keywords:   Black towns, history, racial terror, Jim Crow South, economic mobility, freedom, racism, social mobility, Black schools, School integration

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