Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Charles B. Forcey

Second Advisor

Norman F. Cantor

Third Advisor

Richard M. Dalfiume

Subject Heading(s)

African Americans -- Race identity ; African Americans -- Northern States


In spite of the many-fold increase of studies focus ed upon black America in recent years , few have been directly concerned with the ordinary black American, with just plain John Brown. Fewer still have centered upon the John Browns of t he urban North and the development of a sense of community in the black districts of northern cities as America became an urban nation. Modern black America came into being between 1890 and 1930. And, despite the difficulties involved, it is possible to gather at least some insights into the ethos of ordinary black America.

Implicit in this study, then, is the idea that the antecedents of today's Black Revolution are discernible in the changing ethos of the northern black communities of the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first three decades of this century. This period saw a restructuring of the northern Negro' s outlook regarding not only his black world, but also the white world about him. But it is not Particularly the purpose of this study to offer another "watershed" theme: it is rather to describe, with as much precision as possible, the characteristic spirit woven into the web of northern black urban existence during the time, and how it changed.