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Friends DisappearThe Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston$
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Mary Barr

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226156323

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226156637.001.0001

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Stuff for the Kids That Are Less Fortunate

Stuff for the Kids That Are Less Fortunate

(p.225) Seven Stuff for the Kids That Are Less Fortunate
Friends Disappear

Mary Barr

University of Chicago Press

Like schools and neighborhoods, work is also a key component in the articulation of race, gender, and class. Chapter 7 surveys Evanston’s dual economy. During the 1960s civil rights and black power movements demanded jobs and fair wages. Instead Evanston took a paternalistic approach doling out aid and charity. Black parents and their children held jobs that were only nominally different from those obtained by early migrants—undesirable, temporary, and poorly paid. This pattern was the same for whites who had stable, well-paying, professional careers. Black friends found it harder to surmount educational deficiencies. With our parents as safety nets whites were able to overcome poor educational backgrounds and early academic disengagement. If, and when, we decided to attend college we did so with ease not having been fully prepared for it beforehand. We have successful careers despite, in some cases, lacking post-secondary training. There was some variety within these arguably racialized patterns. For the most part our group moved through an economic structure that placed whites at top levels and blacks near the bottom regardless of credentials.

Keywords:   Evanston, Illinois, Northern Civil Rights Movement, Black Power Movement, class reproduction

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