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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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Black Civic Ideology and Political Economy in Postwar Chicago

Black Civic Ideology and Political Economy in Postwar Chicago

(p.1) 1 Black Civic Ideology and Political Economy in Postwar Chicago
Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis

Preston H. Smith

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter gives historical and ideological context of housing policies by explaining the appeal of racial democracy to the postwar cohort of black civic leaders in Chicago. After World War II, black civic leaders presented the black community with a more conventional agenda than the social democratic one that black unionists and radicals had promoted. The chapter then explores the anatomy of racial democracy as a reform ideology, and examines the claims that black civic elites made for racial leadership. It also outlines Chicago’s postwar political economy, and the material stakes involved in the reconstruction of its inner-city neighborhoods for the city’s progrowth coalition and its black elite.

Keywords:   black civic leaders, housing policies, racial democracy, reform ideology, racial leadership, postwar Chicago

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