William Dorsey's Philadelphia and Ours: On the Past and Future of the Black City in America

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In the fifty years after the Civil War, Philadelphia was the archetypical city for American blacks. Not only did it have the largest black population in actual numbers, but it was also the preferred destination in the North for blacks migrating from the South after the Civil War. The focus of the book is the scrapbooks and other material collected by William Henry Dorsey, black Philadelphia's first historian. Lane uses this collection to present a brilliant portrait of America's most important black community in a time of transition - the two generations following the Civil War - when blacks began fleeing the South for a new life under emancipation.