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Racial Democracy and the Black MetropolisHousing Policy in Postwar Chicago$
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Preston H. Smith II

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816637027

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816637027.001.0001

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Racial Violence and the Crisis of Black Elite Leadership

Racial Violence and the Crisis of Black Elite Leadership

(p.157) 7 Racial Violence and the Crisis of Black Elite Leadership
Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis

Preston H. Smith

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the crisis of black civic leadership in Chicago over its failure to stop whites’ violence against black citizens seeking housing in white neighborhoods. Housing-based racial violence, which coexisted with and reinforced the city’s slum clearance and public housing policy decisions, gives further credence to the view of black elites that a racial lens was the only legitimate one for analyzing and evaluating housing policy in the city and that racial democracy was the only legitimate political goal. The chapter then explores the growth of the militant approach to suppress racial violence, comparing it to the more moderate approaches of white-led race relations agencies and the cautious leaders of the National Urban League.

Keywords:   black civic leadership, Chicago, housing-based racial violence, slum clearance, public housing policy, racial democracy

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