Before and Beyond the Color Line: Harlem’s White Accommodators

Thursday, January 2, 2014: 1:00 PM
Washington Room 4 (Marriott Wardman Park)
Kevin McGruder, Antioch College
In the first two decades of the twentieth century, northern cities were flooded with African Americans fleeing oppressive conditions of the South and limited economic opportunities in the Caribbean. The migrants created the first large African American neighborhoods, and were often met with intense hositility and resistance to their presence from whit residents.  But there were exceptions to the dominant narrative of black invasion and white resistance. In New York’s  Harlem neighborhood, in 1904 a small group of independent white men enabled African Americans to purchase property at a pivotal time of growing white resistance. Other white Harlemites countered the angry rhetoric of their neighbors and supported African Americans’ right to live wherever they could afford.  Real estate transfer documents, newspaper articles, and other resources provide new insights on the motivations of these unseen and unknown individuals.
Previous Presentation | Next Presentation >>