Crossing Parish Boundaries

Race, Sports, and Catholic Youth in Chicago, 1914-1954

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Author: Timothy B. Neary

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022638893X

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 4238

Controversy erupted in spring 2001 when Chicago’s mostly white Southside Catholic Conference youth sports league rejected the application of the predominantly black St. Sabina grade school. Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, interracialism seemed stubbornly unattainable, and the national spotlight once again turned to the history of racial conflict in Catholic parishes. It’s widely understood that midcentury, working class, white ethnic Catholics were among the most virulent racists, but, as Crossing Parish Boundaries shows, that’s not the whole story. In this book, Timothy B. Neary reveals the history of Bishop Bernard Sheil’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), which brought together thousands of young people of all races and religions from Chicago’s racially segregated neighborhoods to take part in sports and educational programming. Tens of thousands of boys and girls participated in basketball, track and field, and the most popular sport of all, boxing, which regularly filled Chicago Stadium with roaring crowds. The history of Bishop Sheil and the CYO shows a cosmopolitan version of American Catholicism, one that is usually overshadowed by accounts of white ethnic Catholics aggressively resisting the racial integration of their working-class neighborhoods. By telling the story of Catholic-sponsored interracial cooperation within Chicago, Crossing Parish Boundaries complicates our understanding of northern urban race relations in the mid-twentieth century.

The Importance of Being Urban

Designing the Progressive School District, 1890-1940

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Author: David A. Gamson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022663468X

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 1554

From the 1890s through World War II, the greatest hopes of American progressive reformers lay not in the government, the markets, or other seats of power but in urban school districts and classrooms. The Importance of Being Urban focuses on four western school systems—in Denver, Oakland, Portland, and Seattle—and their efforts to reconfigure public education in the face of rapid industrialization and the perceived perils [GDA1] of the modern city. In an era of accelerated immigration, shifting economic foundations, and widespread municipal shake-ups, reformers argued that the urban school district could provide the broad blend of social, cultural, and educational services needed to prepare students for twentieth-century life. These school districts were a crucial force not only in orchestrating educational change, but in delivering on the promise of democracy. David A. Gamson’s book provides eye-opening views of the histories of American education, urban politics, and the Progressive Era.

Murder in New Orleans

The Creation of Jim Crow Policing

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Author: Jeffrey S. Adler

Publisher: Historical Studies of Urban Am

ISBN: 022664331X

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 8586

New Orleans in the 1920s and 1930s was a deadly place. In 1925, the city's homicide rate was six times that of New York City and twelve times that of Boston. Jeffrey S. Adler has explored every homicide recorded in New Orleans between 1925 and 1940--over two thousand in all--scouring police and autopsy reports, old interviews, and crumbling newspapers. More than simply quantifying these cases, Adler places them in larger contexts--legal, political, cultural, and demographic--and emerges with a tale of racism, urban violence, and vicious policing that has startling relevance for today. Murder in New Orleans shows that whites were convicted of homicide at far higher rates than blacks leading up to the mid-1920s. But by the end of the following decade, this pattern had reversed completely, despite an overall drop in municipal crime rates. The injustice of this sharp rise in arrests was compounded by increasingly brutal treatment of black subjects by the New Orleans police department. Adler explores other counterintuitive trends in violence, particularly how murder soared during the flush times of the Roaring Twenties, how it plummeted during the Great Depression, and how the vicious response to African American crime occurred even as such violence plunged in frequency--revealing that the city's cycle of racial policing and punishment was connected less to actual patterns of wrongdoing than to the national enshrinement of Jim Crow. Rather than some hyperviolent outlier, this Louisiana city was a harbinger of the endemic racism at the center of today's criminal justice state. Murder in New Orleans lays bare how decades-old crimes, and the racially motivated cruelty of the official response, have baleful resonance in the age of Black Lives Matter.