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p. 443. Harlem: City of dreamslocked

  • Cheryl A. Wall


Harlem was the dream capital of black America. In letters home, recent arrivals boasted of the great housing, good jobs, schools, and churches. Substandard housing in Harlem was better than the tin-roofed cabins of the rural South; the jobs available to blacks in New York were mostly menial, but they paid much better than the agricultural wages common in the South; and free of the surveillance of the Ku Klux Klan and the white terror that threatened black life in the South, black Americans could embrace a sense of freedom. ‘Harlem: city of dreams’ describes what made Harlem special beyond the material realities.

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