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Managing InequalityNorthern Racial Liberalism in Interwar Detroit$
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Karen R. Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479880096

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479880096.001.0001

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African American Migration and the Emerging Discourse of Northern Racial Liberalism

African American Migration and the Emerging Discourse of Northern Racial Liberalism

Chapter:
(p.24) 1 African American Migration and the Emerging Discourse of Northern Racial Liberalism
Source:
Managing Inequality
Author(s):

Karen R. Miller

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479880096.003.0002

This chapter describes the formation of northern racial liberalism and of black responses to this new racial ideology. Northern racial liberalism emerged alongside the beginning of the First Great Migration of African Americans from the South to the urban North, and subsequently developed as migration reshaped the city's housing market and racial geography. This ideology also coincided with a significant change in the city's white leadership, and is characterized by the growing power and popularity of urban reform. Urban reformers provided a language for explaining stratification and developed institutions for managing urban populations that white leaders then used, both ideologically and practically, to handle the influx of black newcomers. Finally, northern racial liberalism emerged as a response to an increasingly vocal and politically organized African American minority that was actively debating the meanings of full racial justice and challenging the racial hierarchies of the North.

Keywords:   northern racial liberalism, migration, urban reform, racial geography, urban North, white leadership, racial justice

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