Jim Crow Nostalgia:
Reconstructing Race in Bronzeville
by Michelle Boyd
University of Minnesota Press
Description: Opening with a description by a Bronzeville tour guide, wistful for the days of its famously rich and rewarding cultural life, Jim Crow Nostalgia examines how black leaders reinvented the neighborhood’s history in ways that, amazingly, sanitized the brutal elements of life under Jim Crow. Connecting such collective inventions of memory to neighborhood projects in the present, Boyd emphasizes how interpretations of history are mobilized for political goals and how links between nostalgia and redevelopment contribute to the politicization of racial identity. As community leaders sought to make an area more attractive to investors, she finds that they consciously worked to define and even redraw geographic boundaries, real estate values, and even the character of the people who lived there.
"A smart and thoughtful study of Bronzeville that combines a careful treatment of the past with a compelling ethnographic account of contemporary political issues. This is a very important work."
— John L. Jackson, Jr., author of Racial Paranoia and Harlemworld
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Articles & Papers
Evidence is Just One Tool for Making Arguments
"Sound Proof: Making Arguments with Audio." Presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, May 23, 2015, Urbana, IL.
"Engaging and Troubling Narratives of African American Migration." Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April 14, 2012, Vancouver, BC.
"Defensive Development: The Role of Racial Conflict in Gentrification." Urban Affairs Review. 43 (6), 751-776. 2008.
"Integration and the Collapse of Black Social Capital: Nostalgia and Narrative in the Neoliberal City" in Jane Collins, Micaela Di Leonardo and Brett Williams, eds., The New Landscapes of Inequality: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of Democracy in America. Santa Fe, New Mexico: School of Advanced Research Press (2008).
"The Downside of Racial Uplift: The Meaning of Gentrification in an African American Neighborhood." City & Society 17 (2), 265-288. 2005
"Reconstructing Bronzeville: Racial Nostalgia and Neighborhood Redevelopment." Journal of Urban Affairs 22 (2): 107-122. 2000.