Surrogate Suburbs: Black Upward Mobility and Neighborhood Change in Cleveland, 1900-1980

By Todd M. Michney | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Writing about one’s hometown is simultaneously a joy, a burden, and a responsibility—or so it seems to me, having spent more than a decade’s worth of time and energy on this project. Cleveland profoundly shaped my worldview and intellectual development before I ever aspired to professional training as a historian, in spite of my suburban upbringing—from the childhood field trips spent accompanying my father, a Cleveland public schoolteacher in some of the East Side neighborhoods I would ultimately study, to my solo explorations of downtown as a restless teenager, to my exhilarating undergraduate days at Case Western Reserve University. Long before I ever encountered them as concepts for scholarly study, I had opportunities to ponder racial, ethnic, and religious identities: in biannual visits with family friends in Glenville, during several years spent in a racially integrated Catholic grade school in Shaker Heights, and in the Orange City School District, which includes Woodmere, a substantially African American suburb. I am grateful for all my Cleveland experiences that, over time, helped me to better understand historic demographic shifts and patterns of upward mobility in the city and metropolitan area as a whole.

Along the way I have piled up immense intellectual debts and have been humbled by the generosity and encouragement of mentors, colleagues, friends, and family. First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to the staff at the University of North Carolina Press, and especially to editor Brandon Proia, who believed in this project from the very beginning and offered invaluable support throughout the entire process. Thank you also to Jad Adkins for handling practical matters and to Dorothea Anderson for outstanding copyediting, as well as to Jay Mazzocchi, Susan Garrett, and Kim Bryant for additional technical assistance. Extra special thanks to the anonymous reviewers who gave such generous and thoughtful suggestions on revisions. I also relished the opportunity, in preparing the final manuscript, to collaborate with an extraordinarily talented cartographer, Nat Case, on the accompanying maps; not only did he produce final drafts that far exceeded my expectations, but I got to hone my GIS skills in the process.

I am very fortunate to have had supportive mentors who encouraged my intellectual inquiries from undergraduate through graduate study and beyond.

-xi-

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