By Jennifer Hamer
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Extra resources for Abandoned in the Heartland: Work, Family, and Living in East St. Louis
Louis drew its own black migrants, attracted by a burgeoning industrial economy in the 1890s. Like a number of other small and midsize communities in the urban Midwest during this period, the city became home to an African American population that leveraged the power of its wages and numbers to amass political influence. Migrant families were in search of employment, education for their children, and an escape from the bitter violence and Jim Crow practices pervasive in the southern states. For this, many moved to St.
Yet, as a few in this city would attest, many of its poor were already working, yet still poor. What would happen when they were no longer eligible for assistance? Furthermore, a quick glance around East St. Louis would lead anyone to ask, What jobs? Much of the city appeared abandoned. Few trusted that enough “good” jobs would be created to absorb those many men and women in need of such employment. I reevaluated my research agenda. How could I divorce the experiences of men and fathers from the larger ecology of black families?
The Cost of Abandonment Epilogue: Obama and East St. Louis Notes Selected Bibliography Index ILLUSTRATIONS Following page 57. 1. Collinsville Avenue, East St. Louis, circa 1890 2. Many African Americans, among others, found employment in East St. Louis in the early twentieth century, circa 1940 3. East St. Louis families wait in line for government surplus food, 1958 4. Public housing was a move “up” for many African American families, 1962 5. The first tenants in a newly completed East St. Louis housing project are welcomed by Mayor Alvin Fields and Goldie F.