Crucibles of Black Empowerment
Chicago's Neighborhood Politics from the New Deal to Harold Washington
In Crucibles of Black Empowerment, Jeffrey Helgeson recounts the rise of African American political power and activism from the 1930s onward, revealing how it was achieved through community building. His book tells stories of the housewives who organized their neighbors, building tradesmen who used connections with federal officials to create opportunities in a deeply discriminatory employment sector, and the social workers, personnel managers, and journalists who carved out positions in the white-collar workforce. Looking closely at black liberal politics at the neighborhood level in Chicago, Helgeson explains how black Chicagoans built the networks that eventually would overthrow the city’s seemingly invincible political machine.