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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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“Let Us Act Funny”

“Let Us Act Funny”

Snow Flake Grigsby and Civil Rights Liberalism in the 1930s

(p.163) 5 “Let Us Act Funny”
Managing Inequality

Karen R. Miller

NYU Press

This chapter explores the organizing victories spearheaded by black Detroiters that contributed to African Americans' increasing visibility and galvanized a local spirit of protest—an inclination toward “getting funny.” As African Americans became more assertive and confrontational in their fight for racial equality, white leaders responded by taking black concerns more seriously and addressing black demands more readily. Thus, struggles for equality and survival during the 1930s reshaped African Americans' orientation toward white city leaders, changed how those white leaders managed their relationships with African Americans, and shifted how white leaders thought about racial equality. White leaders' increasing embrace of racial liberalism was thus rooted in their responses to black residents' demands.

Keywords:   black activists, racial equality, black demands, 1930s, racial liberalism, white city leaders, African Americans

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