Life for Us Is What We Make It

Life for Us Is What We Make It

Building Black Community in Detroit, 1915–1945
Richard W. Thomas
Distribution: World
Publication date: 08/22/1992
Format: Hardback 13 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-35990-2
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A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 19941994 Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History

Thomas's ground-breaking study should occupy a central place in the literature of American urban history." —Choice

... path-breaking... a fine community study... " —Journal of American Studies

Thomas’s work is essential reading... succeeds in providing a bridge of information on the social, political, legal, and economic development of the Detroit black community between the turn of the century and 1945."—Michigan Historical Review

The black community in Detroit developed into one of the major centers of black progress. Richard Thomas traces the building of this community from its roots in the 19th century, through the key period 1915-1945, by focusing on how industrial workers, ministers, politicians, business leaders, youth, and community activists contributed to the process.

Author Bio

RICHARD W. THOMAS, Associate Professor of History and Urban Affairs Programs at Michigan State University, is author or co-author of numerous publications in race relations and black history.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables



One Early Struggles and Community Building

Two The Demand for Black Labor, Migration, and the Emerging Black Industrial Working Class, 1915-1930

Three The Role of the Detroit Urban League in the Community Building Process, 1916-1945

Fourt Weathering the Storm

Five Racial Discrimination in Industrial Detroit: Preparing the Ground for Community Social Consciousness

Six Social Consciousness and Self-Helf: The Heart and Soul of Community Building

Seven Protest and Politics: Emerging Forms of Community Empowerment

Eight Conflicting Strategies of Black Community Building: Unionization vs. Ford Corporate Paternalism, 1936-1941