The African-American history of Nashville, Tennessee, 1780-1930: elites and dilemmas
Since its founding, Nashville has been a center of black urban culture in the Upper South. Blacks -- slave and free made up 20 percent of Fort Nashborough's settlers in 1779. From these early years through the Civil War, a growing black community in Nashville, led by a small group of black elites, quietly built the foundations of a future society, developing schools, churches, and businesses. The Civil War brought new freedoms and challenges as the black population of Nashville increased and as black elites found themselves able -- even obliged -- to act more openly. To establish a more stable and prosperous African-American community, the elites found that they had to work within a system bound to the interests of whites. But the aims of this elite did not always coincide with those of the black community at large. By 1930, younger blacks, in particular, were moving towards protest and confrontation. As democratization and higher education spread, the lines distinguishing Nashville's black elite became blurred.Bobby L. Lovett presents a complex analysis of black experience in Nashville during the years between 1780 and.1930, exploring the impact of civil rights, education, politics, religion, business, and neighborhood development on a particular African-American community. This study of black Nashville examines lives lived within a web of shifting alliances and interests -- the choices made, the difficulties overcome.
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American antebellum April August Avenue South became Black Bottom black leaders black Nashville black Nashville's black Nashvillians building Cedar Street Christian citizens city's Civil Colored Baptist Church Confederate congregation contraband camp Convention Davidson County December Democrats Douglass DuBois Edgefield election elite blacks elite Negroes elite whites February Fisk University former slave Frederick Douglass free blacks free Negroes freedmen Freedmen's Bureau Globe hired History Ibid James January John Johnson labor Lowery March Meharry Medical College middle Tennessee missionaries mulatto Napier Nashville City Directory Nashville's black NBPB Negro Baptist Negro leaders North November October organized owners percent persons political preachers president public schools quasi-independent slaves R. H. Boyd racial Report Republican Banner Roger Williams University September slavery social southern Sumner Tennessean Tennessee General Assembly Tennessee's Thomas tion TSLA Union army USCT vote voters W. E. B. DuBois Wadkins Washington women working-class