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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 Redevelopment and Negro Conservation

Black Redevelopment and Negro Conservation

(p.127) 6 Black Redevelopment and Negro Conservation
Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis

Preston H. Smith

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter provides an account of the efforts of black civic and business elites to lead the redevelopment of black middle-class neighborhoods in order to combat the city’s land-clearance onslaught, and also to serve as a model community for the rest of Bronzeville, Chicago. It discusses the black institutional elites’ promotion of self-help rehabilitation schemes to avoid the demolition of another black neighborhood where middle-class blacks owned homes and rental property. It also shows the black elites’ interest in using new federal, state, and municipal laws to direct conservation efforts in their neighborhoods. Whether black elites wanted to control redevelopment on the Mid-South Side or to safeguard their effluent enclaves in Hyde Park and Kenwood, their housing interests trumped those of working-class blacks.

Keywords:   black elites, redevelopment, land clearance, Bronzeville, middle-class neighborhoods

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