As early-twentieth-century Chicago swelled with an influx of at least 250,000 new black urban migrants, the city became a center of consumer capitalism, flourishing with professional sports, beauty shops, film production companies, recording studios, and other black cultural and communal institutions. Davarian Baldwin argues that this mass consumer marketplace generated a vibrant intellectual life and planted seeds of political dissent against the dehumanizing effects of white capitalism. Pushing the traditional boundaries of the Harlem Renaissance to new frontiers, Baldwin identifies a fresh.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 297-353) and index.
Introduction. "Chicago has no intelligentsia?": consumer culture and intellectual life reconsidered -- Mapping the Black metropolis: a cultural geography of the stroll -- Making do: beauty, enterprise, and the "makeover" of race womanhood -- Theaters of war: spectacles, amusements, and the emergence of urban film culture -- The birth of two nations: White fears, Black jeers, and the rise of a "race film" consciousness -- Sacred tastes: the migrant aesthetics and authority of gospel music -- The sporting life: recreation, self-reliance, and competing visions of race manhood -- Epilogue. The crisis of the Black bourgeoisie, or, What If Harold Cruse had lived in Chicago?