BI BOOKSHELF; Historical Perspectives

Article excerpt

Polite Protest: The Political Economy of Race in Indianapolis, 1920-1970

By Richard B. Pierce

Indiana University Press, 2005

168 pp., $39.95 cloth,

ISBN: 0-253-34587-1

This history of the Black community of Indianapolis in the 20th century focuses on the methods of political action -- protracted negotiations, interracial coalitions, petition and legal challenges -- they employed to secure their civil rights. These methods of "polite protest" set Indianapolis apart from many Northern cities. Dr. Richard B. Pierce looks at how the Black community worked to alter the political and social culture of Indianapolis. As local leaders became concerned with the city's image, Black leaders found it possible to achieve gains by working with Whites inside the existing power structure, while continuing to press for further reform and advancement. Pierce describes how Indianapolis differed from its Northern cousins such as Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit. Here, the city's people, Black and White, created their own patterns and platforms of racial relations in the public and cultural spheres.

Dr. Richard B. Pierce is the Carl E. Koch II Associate Professor of History and chair of the Africana studies department at the University of Notre Dame.

Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage and Literary Tradition

By Cheryl A. Wall

The University of North Carolina Press, 2005

320pp. …