Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century
Emma Lou Thornbrough
Edited and with a final chapter by Lana Ruegamer
Sequel to Thornbroug’s early groundbreaking study of African Americans.
Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century is the long-awaited sequel to Emma Lou Thornbrough’s classic study The Negro in Indiana before 1900. In this posthumous volume, Thornbrough (1913–1994), the acknowledged dean of black history in Indiana, chronicles the growth, both in numbers and in power, of African Americans in a northern state that was notable for its antiblack tradition. She shows the effects of the Great Migration of African Americans to Indiana during World War I and World War II to work in war industries, linking the growth of the black community to the increased segregation of the 1920s and demonstrating how World War II marked a turning point in the movement in Indiana to expand the civil rights of African Americans.
Indiana Blacks describes the impact of the national civil rights movement on Indiana, as young activists, both black and white, challenged segregation and racial injustice in many aspects of daily life, often in new organizations and with new leaders. The final chapter by Lana Ruegamer explores ways that black identity was affected by new access to education, work, and housing after 1970, demonstrating gains and losses from integration.
Emma Lou Thornbrough (1913–1994), the acknowledged expert on Indiana black history, was author of The Negro in Indiana before 1900: A Study of a Minority (1957, reprinted 1993) and Since Emancipation: A Short History of Indiana Negroes, 1863–1963 (1964) and editor of This Far by Faith: Black Hoosier Heritage (1982). Professor of History at Butler University from 1946 to 1983, Thornbrough held the McGregor Chair in History and received the university’s highest award, the Butler Medal. Born in Indianapolis, she was educated at Shortridge High School, Butler University, and the University of Michig