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Fly Away

The Great African American Cultural Migrations

Peter M. Rutkoff and William B. Scott

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The Great Migration—the mass exodus of blacks from the rural South to the urban North and West in the twentieth century—shaped American culture and life in ways still evident today. In Fly Away, Peter M. Rutkoff and William B. Scott trace the ideas that inspired African Americans to abandon the South for freedom and opportunity elsewhere.

Black southerners fled the Low Country of South Carolina, the mines and mills of Birmingham, Alabama, the farms of the Mississippi Delta, and the urban wards of Houston, Texas, for new opportunities in New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles. They took...

The Great Migration—the mass exodus of blacks from the rural South to the urban North and West in the twentieth century—shaped American culture and life in ways still evident today. In Fly Away, Peter M. Rutkoff and William B. Scott trace the ideas that inspired African Americans to abandon the South for freedom and opportunity elsewhere.

Black southerners fled the Low Country of South Carolina, the mines and mills of Birmingham, Alabama, the farms of the Mississippi Delta, and the urban wards of Houston, Texas, for new opportunities in New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles. They took with them the South’s rich traditions of religion, language, music, and art, recreating and preserving their southern identity in the churches, newspapers, jazz clubs, and neighborhoods of America’s largest cities. Rutkoff and Scott’s sweeping study explores the development and adaptation of African American culture, from its West African roots to its profound and lasting impact on mainstream America.

Broad in scope and original in its interpretation, Fly Away illuminates the origins, development, and transformation of national culture during an important chapter in twentieth-century American history.

Reviews

Reviews

A grand work... An engaging and entertaining volume that ought to be of interest to anyone with a curiosity about African American migration and African American cultural contributions to American culture.

As Rutkoff and Scott take the reader to Chicago’s Bud Billiken Day or Houston’s Juneteenth, August Wilson’s Pittsburgh, or Walter Mosley’s Los Angeles, 'the flashes of the West African spirit that black rural southerners brought north' are rendered visible.

Fly Away represents a useful contribution.

Fly Away is intended for an academic audience and its footnotes display the depth of the research. However, the authors' engaging style also should appeal to the general reader with an interest in African-American cultural history.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
432
ISBN
9781421418476
Illustration Description
66 halftones, 9 maps
Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1. Out of Africa
2. New Africa
3. Negro Capital of the World
4. Mules and Men
5. Blues Pianos and Tricky Baseballs
6. Walkin' Egypt
7. Bronzeville's Pinkster

List of Maps and Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1. Out of Africa
2. New Africa
3. Negro Capital of the World
4. Mules and Men
5. Blues Pianos and Tricky Baseballs
6. Walkin' Egypt
7. Bronzeville's Pinkster Kings
8. Dixie Special
9. California Dreaming
10. Circle Unbroken
Notes
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Peter M. Rutkoff

Peter M. Rutkoff is a professor of American studies at Kenyon College. He is a coauthor of New York Modern: The Arts and the City.
Featured Contributor

William B. Scott

William B. Scott is professor emeritus of history at Kenyon College. He is a coauthor of New York Modern: The Arts and the City.