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Making Good NeighborsCivil Rights, Liberalism, and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia$

Abigail Perkiss

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452284

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452284.001.0001

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Integration, Separation, and the Fight for Black Identity

Integration, Separation, and the Fight for Black Identity

Chapter:
(p.68) Chapter 4 Integration, Separation, and the Fight for Black Identity
Source:
Making Good Neighbors
Author(s):

Abigail Perkiss

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452284.003.0005

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the growing popularity of West Mount Airy among black persons. Through the West Mount Airy Neighbors Association's (WMAN) media campaign and coverage in both the mainstream and black press, wealthy and upwardly mobile black Philadelphians were becoming familiar and interested in settling in West Mount Airy. Black buyers saw in the neighborhood's residential racial integration the prospect of both the material conditions characteristically attached to economically stable white communities, as well as the opportunity to educate themselves and their children to a mainstream professional culture. Thus, in the first decades of integration, Mount Airy's black residents lived with a dual consciousness: a simultaneous commitment to civil rights progress, and a desire for the assurances of safety and security.

Keywords:   West Mount Airy, WMAN, Black buyers, racial integration, professional culture, civil rights progress

When Juilliard-trained opera singer Gail Tomas returned home after several years of performing, she was ready to settle down. Originally from South Philadelphia, Tomas visited her brother at his house on Johnson Street on the Germantown/Mount Airy border, and found herself taken with the area. Shortly after, she and her new husband rented an apartment east of Germantown Avenue and then another on West Mount Pleasant before purchasing their first house on Westview Street in West Mount Airy in 1963. The area was green and lush, Tomas thought. It was clean and safe. There was space between the homes and private backyards. The twenty-six-year-old black woman did not know until she and her husband moved in that the community was working toward integration.1

In 1957, the Philadelphia Tribune, the city’s largest African American newspaper, declared Germantown (the region that encompassed West Mount Airy) a racially integrated neighborhood. A survey conducted by the paper found that African Americans from North and South Philadelphia, frustrated with growing population density, were relocating to the city’s northwest (p.69) reaches in search of a safe, welcoming, and stable community.2 By the early 1960s West Mount Airy had become a veritable Who’s Who of Philadelphia’s black elite. William Coleman, who went on to serve as secretary of transportation under the Nixon and Ford administrations, owned a home on the 500 block of West Hortter Street. Reverend Leon Sullivan, an acclaimed civil rights activist who later formulated the Sullivan Principles for U.S. firms operating in South Africa, lived in the area, as did Joseph Coleman, the first African American to be elected president of the Philadelphia City Council. Sadie Alexander, the first black woman to serve on a presidential commission—appointed by Truman to his Commission on Human Rights—resided with her husband, Judge Raymond Pace Alexander, on the 700 block of Westview Street.3 These black leaders were drawn to the community because of its strong and growing reputation as a site of interracial living. Through WMAN’s media campaign and coverage in both the mainstream and black press, complemented by casual conversations among neighbors and friends, wealthy and upwardly mobile black Philadelphians were becoming familiar with the integration project and looking toward Mount Airy with interest.4

But for many such black buyers contemplating a move to the neighborhood, it was not necessarily the democratic ideal that WMAN articulated to woo white liberals that attracted them to the community. To be sure, most African Americans in the years following World War II believed in the fight for civil rights, broadly construed. They agreed that a nation predicated on the ideals of equality and democracy would necessarily bring them close to tangible reform in race relations. Particularly for the nation’s black middle class, the equation of racial justice with a philosophy of integration resonated loudly.5 Black professionals often conceived of a sense of equality of opportunity, in which their own access to housing should be proportional to that of similarly situated white buyers.6 But their interest in such neighborhoods as West Mount Airy often stemmed as much from the possibility of tangible benefit as it did from these abstract notions of justice and equality. Black buyers saw in residential racial integration the prospect of both the material conditions characteristically attached to economically stable white communities and the opportunity to educate themselves and their children to a mainstream professional culture.7 For them, there was the possibility of substantive gains in living among whites. In the first decades of integration, then, Mount Airy’s black residents lived with a dual consciousness, a simultaneous (p.70) commitment to civil rights progress and a desire for the assurances of safety and security.

When Ed Henderson and his wife began to look for a house in 1960, they could have afforded to move anywhere in and around Philadelphia. Henderson, a black professional who grew up in a largely African American neighborhood in the city, had recently accepted an engineering position at a plant in Blue Bell. Financially, he could have comfortably moved to the northwestern suburb, but he knew he wanted something different. “There is a richness in urban communities,” Henderson reflected. “I didn’t want to be out in the suburbs where I had to go a long distance [to find that]. I wanted to be in the city, close to the richness of the city, the culture.” Of particular importance to Henderson and his wife was the experience of community that their children would have. “[I wanted for them] the things that happen within a good community that’s integrated not only racially but ethnically, culturally,” he recalled. “I didn’t want them to be a little cork bobbing in the ocean, not knowing where they came from, where they were, or where they were going.”8 The Hendersons sought the cosmopolitan nature of urban life without the frenzy of living in Center City, nor the social and economic problems of the black inner-city of North Philadelphia.

The couple scoured the region, from Germantown and Mount Airy to the far reaches of West Philadelphia. Finally, nineteen months into their search, they received a call from their realtor. He had found them a house on the 500 block of West Mount Pleasant Avenue, an old stone home on the edge of Fairmount Park’s Wissahickon Gorge, around the corner from one of the best elementary schools in the city. The property was set back from the street, slightly elevated, with no public thruway running behind. “I pulled up,” recalled Henderson, “looked around at the neighborhood, and that was it…. Sight unseen, I said, ‘this is where we’re moving. I could spend the rest of my life here.’ ”9

Henderson’s motivations for moving to Mount Airy echoed the attitudes of many of his neighbors, black and white alike. The area boasted old stone homes with big front porches, a quiet refuge from the busy streets yet with strong community ties. And the neighborhood’s charm went beyond its treelined streets and expansive parks, woods, and trails. Its two elementary schools were renowned across the city for their competent teaching staffs and innovative (p.71) principals. Just as these factors kept white residents from fleeing the area, they were instrumental in enticing black families to move in.

For many African Americans in Henderson’s position, their personal goal was not residential integration itself. In fact, during the postwar decades there emerged a number of self-segregated black suburbs, where financially successful black Americans sought refuge from the pressure and, at times, discrimination they encountered in their professional world. As Pittsburgh Courier columnist Eric Springer wrote in 1962, “Assuming that there were decent, safe, sanitary, and pleasant surroundings, is it not possible that some of us would desire to live in such a neighborhood precisely because we know that people with a similar heritage, common religion, or racial background lived there?” The problem, argued Springer, is not when black Americans choose to live together, but when society constructs barriers preventing such mobility.10 Residential integration, then, offered the black middle class a choice; it provided them with the possibility of positive change.11 Their perception of integration, though, went far beyond this abstract sense of opportunity. For middle-class African Americans across the country, the prospect of integration offered a fundamental material gain that could not be discounted. An integrated neighborhood meant nicer homes, more stable property investments, better schools, safer streets, and more reliable municipal services. Living among whites meant that the larger city government would pay attention.12

The Pittsburgh Courier made this connection clear in a January 1957 piece on the “evil” of segregated housing. “Negro housing is expensive,” the Courier author wrote. “All experts agree that for a comparable facility, the Negro pays substantially more than whites and he pays it all out of a smaller annual income.” Segregated housing leads to overcrowding, the article continued: “Old one-family residences have been chopped up to make several apartments. Many families have doubled up, as some of us did during the war, because living space in decent quarters is unobtainable at a price Negro families can pay.”13 In 1964, Courier columnist Benjamin Mays offered a similar assessment in his treatment of inequality in the public schools, arguing that integrating housing was a necessary step in the fight for integrated education. Though Mays articulated a call for equal education regardless of racial demographics—school boards, he wrote, “are obligated to see to it that all schools are equally adequate in construction, materials used, and in (p.72) equipment”—he clearly linked the idea of integration with the promise of better material conditions.14

Black residents in West Mount Airy echoed these sentiments. Christopher Edley and his wife moved to the neighborhood from North Philadelphia in the mid-1950s to offer their children a better education. “It is time for my children to begin school,” said Edley’s wife in 1957, “and the schools in [my old neighborhood] are inferior, as they are in all Negro neighborhoods.” An African American man who lived on Sedgwick Street ignored name-calling and snowball attacks when he first moved to the neighborhood because of the stable property investments the community offered. “I had a house I wanted to live in,” he said, “and I was determined to stay in it.”15 This relationship between integration and the prospect of better material gain created a substantial and sustainable pull toward these integrating neighborhoods for African Americans.

Perhaps equally important to this secure investment in home and school was the possibility of a window into a majority white culture. For many black homeowners in West Mount Airy, living with whites provided a lens into a mainstream professional culture. According to Ed Henderson, the community provided a space for him to educate his children to a white world.16 Henderson believed that in raising his kids in an integrated neighborhood, in teaching them to interact with their white counterparts from an early age, he could better equip them to negotiate the largely white professional sphere as adults. His kids would grow up well versed in this mainstream white culture, he thought. They would know how to negotiate it, and how to find success within it. They would get this education on the streets and in the schools. The neighborhood would provide them a sort of orientation, a boot camp for entering the majority white professional world.17 For those African Americans who could afford it, residentially integrated space offered them the opportunity to educate themselves and their children to a world of relative privilege and stability.

Though by the early 1960s the African American population in West Mount Airy spanned the spectrum of middle-class status, the neighborhood’s black community was largely made up of economically stable homeowners in search of better opportunities for themselves and their families.18 According to the 1960 census, the median income for black families in West Mount Airy was $6,323, compared with $4,248 among African Americans in Philadelphia, and $5,782 among all Philadelphia residents. In West Mount Airy, (p.73) 22.7 percent of African Americans were categorized as professional or technical workers, compared with 4.7 percent of black Americans in the city and 9.4 percent of Philadelphia residents as a whole. In West Mount Airy, 76.5 percent of black families owned their own homes, compared with 42.9 percent of the black population in the city and 58.7 percent of Philadelphia residents overall.19 These families chose West Mount Airy in part because it offered them access to a world from which they were often excluded.

Although there undoubtedly existed African Americans who saw it as their ideological mission to pave the way for integrated residential space, many more saw neighborhoods like West Mount Airy as opportunities to leave the dilapidated conditions of the inner city to which they had previously been consigned, and to simultaneously participate in the larger push toward equality.20 The middle-class African American experience of residential integration in the middle of the twentieth century was not a simplistic assertion of racial justice, nor was it a crude calculation of economic advantage. Just as white integrationists saw the project as a balance between economic viability and racial liberalism, blacks participating in these efforts toward intentional integration did so from a dual recognition of racial justice and material gain.

As the Hendersons settled into their new home on Mount Pleasant Avenue, Ed began to involve himself in neighborhood affairs. In 1963, he joined the Henry Home and School Association, wanting to have a voice in his children’s education. Over the next twenty years, he became active in West Mount Airy Neighbors as well. In 1965, he joined the zoning committee, and a few years later became its president. He served as vice president of the physical resources department, and then, in 1979, became vice president of the organization. He was deeply committed to preserving the integrity of the neighborhood, often attending meetings and making phone calls late into the night after long days at the Blue Bell plant.21 Throughout the community, African American residents became involved in WMAN and attendant organizations, seeking to maintain an active black presence in the Mount Airy integration project.

Of course, not all black homeowners felt compelled to participate in community activities and institutions. A Philadelphia Tribune survey conducted in 1957 reported that most African American residents in northwest Philadelphia did not frequent neighborhood restaurants or social clubs. “We do most of our entertaining at home,” said one woman. “It’s more convenient … and that’s why we bought a home.” Her family moved to the 300 block of (p.74) Phil Ellena Street that year but continued to attend weekly religious services at the historically black Church of St. Simon the Cyrenian in South Philadelphia for at least an additional half decade.22 “I’m more inclined to go [to restaurants and clubs] where I know it’s okay,” said a man who had recently relocated from North Philadelphia. “I have no fear of the other group…. I just don’t want to be a pioneer.”23

But for those that sought out those community connections, involvement in local organizations often provided a vehicle through which to channel the frustrations of segregation and marginalization so common among African Americans across the country. In 1955, when Don Black moved with his wife to the 100 block of Westview Street, he quickly involved himself in such localized efforts.24 For Black, who grew up as one of the few black residents in the largely white Frankford neighborhood in Philadelphia’s Lower Northeast district, West Mount Airy offered the chance to live in a friendly, stable community as he and his new wife looked toward starting a family. Black, like Henderson, was emblematic of this double consciousness that many African Americans experienced in electing to move to integrated communities. First, he saw West Mount Airy as an opportunity for advancement. In talking to friends and family, he learned that it was an economically stable middle-class neighborhood, and he felt that the long-standing (and continuing) white presence evidenced a long-term investment potential. Moreover, because of the widespread attention to the area, he and his wife believed that they would be welcomed. WMAN’s publicity campaign had not only opened the eyes of white America to the integration efforts taking place in northwest Philadelphia. Even in the early 1950s, the region was gaining a localized reputation among African Americans who saw that they could find both economic security and a friendly white face in the neighborhood. The Blacks worked with white local real estate agent Nancy Longstreth, and quickly found the place that would become their home for more than fifty years. “I really wanted a fireplace,” Don recalled, “but I liked the house so much that I said, ‘I can forget the fireplace.’ ”25 The move to Mount Airy offered the Blacks that element of material advancement, the prospect of offering his children a better life than his parents had been able to provide to him. He wanted safe schools, a bigger house, and more space. At the same time, though, in moving to the neighborhood, Black saw himself taking part in the larger struggle for racial equality.

Black had a history of pushing the limits of race relations. As a teenager, he ignored cultural mores and took a seat in the white section of his local (p.75) Horn and Hardart’s, a regional Automat chain. “It was accepted,” he remembered, “that you could go to [the restaurant], but you sat upstairs if you were a Negro…. One day, I just decided I was going to sit downstairs.” He had taken his girlfriend to the eatery with him, and she objected to the gesture. “This is where we sit,” he recalled her saying. But he was per sis tent. “I wasn’t breaking any laws,” he said, “but I constantly got into a little bit of trouble here and there because of my challenging discrimination.”26

As his adult consciousness took shape, Black became increasingly angered by the systemic racism that he witnessed across the city. When he and his wife moved to West Mount Airy, he found new ways to channel his indignation. As soon as they settled into their home on Westview Street, Black became active in the neighborhood’s integration efforts. He joined West Mount Airy Neighbors as it was getting off the ground, and he served as the president of the Westview Neighbors Association, formed the same year as WMAN to or ganize the residents of his block. At the same time, he became a leader for one of the neighborhood Boy Scout troops, and remained in the position for nineteen years.27 Black was able to carve out a sustainable middle-class existence by finding a calculated balance between social action and familial and material comfort.

Even as this conception of middle-class respectability had become an integral part of biracial integration in West Mount Airy, members of Philadelphia’s black community took issue with the neighborhood’s integration project, and specifically with the African Americans who were moving into the neighborhood. As he became increasingly immersed in the neighborhood’s efforts toward stabilization, some of Don Black’s friends outside of Mount Airy condemned him as an “Uncle Tom” for his close work with white integrationists and his willingness to criticize segments of the black population.28 Henderson, too, received censure for his work with WMAN. “There were some black people who had the opinion that I was too white,” he recalled. Henderson believed that his focus on the community as a whole at the expense of individual ethnic and racial interests marginalized him from many African Americans throughout Philadelphia. “There were some,” he later reflected, “who didn’t think I was ‘black enough.’ ”29

As WMAN’s media campaign in the early 1960s brought widespread attention to the neighborhood’s integrationist agenda, many of Mount Airy’s black residents were confronted by verbal attacks for their perceived (p.76) economic and spatial abandonment of the city’s larger black community. Amid rising racial tensions in Philadelphia, the local NAACP leadership waged an intense campaign against those middle-class black homeowners working toward residential integration in West Mount Airy.30 In the mid-1960s, the neighborhood itself became a symbol of racial betrayal, and African American residents found their very blackness challenged with charges of racial desertion.

As much as integration had become the consensus goal of civil rights progress for many liberal Americans, in northern cities economic and ideological differences among African Americans created a fractured vision of the larger movement for racial justice. Around Philadelphia and across the nation, strong black voices were emerging, challenging the efficacy of mainstream efforts toward collaborative change.31 As African Americans in West Mount Airy spoke of the value of interracial living, more radical activists agitated for black separatism, condemning both the class-based identity and the integrationist ideology as dangerous to the larger African American community.

These tensions between black separatism and interracial collaboration challenged more than simply the viability of modes of social change. The 1963 rise to power of local NAACP president Cecil Bassett Moore prompted the city’s African Americans to ponder the existence of a collective black community, and, by extension, a collective black identity. Through heated exchanges mediated by the local and national press, these clashes between separation and integration touched off intense debates over the very meaning of blackness in urban space. In the mid-1960s, Moore and his followers waged a rhetorical war to debunk integrationist claims of black authenticity. Moore directed many of his attacks toward the African American professionals of West Mount Airy. For the NAACP leader, the integrated community in northwest Philadelphia represented a retreat from the realities of black America, a spatial, social, and political dividing line that separated the masses from a disingenuous middle class. In this way, Moore turned Mount Airy into a symbol of the collusion between the city’s black elite and the white political establishment. According to the outspoken orator, African American homeowners in Mount Airy gave up their claims of blackness when they fled to the integrationist neighborhood.32

The son of a medical doctor and a teacher, Cecil B. Moore was born in Yokon, West Virginia, on April 2, 1915.33 His racial consciousness began to (p.77) take shape at an early age. When Moore was a child, the Ku Klux Klan visited his family home; because his father’s skin was so light, Klan members believed that he was a white man living with a black woman. A respected country doctor, the elder Moore was eventually able to prove that he and his wife were both, in fact, African Americans. The Klan left them alone, but the experience stayed with Cecil Moore.34

Though he moved around quite a bit during college, often registering for classes at one school and finishing the semester at another because he was unable to cover tuition costs, the budding activist ultimately graduated from Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia.35 The historically black school had opened its doors in 1895 as the Bluefield Colored Institute to serve the influx of black Americans moving to the state in response to the burgeoning coal industry. By 1909, the college had cultivated a strong teachertraining program, and by the time Moore arrived, it had reinvented itself as Bluefield State Teachers College. Although far removed from the black cultural renaissance in northeastern cities, Bluefield’s faculty worked hard to impress upon its students the presence of a cohesive, national African American community. During his time there, Cecil Moore likely interacted with many black leaders and cultural figures; among those who visited the school in the years during and after the Harlem Renaissance were John Hope Franklin, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Dizzie Gillespie, and Joe Louis.36 Later in his life, he would regale his children with stories of learning from Carter G. Woodson, founder of Negro History Week.37 Even as Moore went on to become a tireless advocate for the black poor, he negotiated the world from a position of relative privilege, firmly rooted in the educated African American elite.38

Moore graduated from Bluefield State a part of a growing black professional class in the United States. After a brief stint as a salesman at the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Moore enlisted in the military in 1942 and moved to North Carolina. As a member of the still-segregated Marine Corps, he was stationed at the Montford Point base, an all-black training facility adjacent to Camp Lejeune.39 The outspoken Moore quickly earned a reputation for calling attention to the racial inequity of Corps life. At one point, recalled Cecily Banks, Moore’s oldest daughter, a number of black marines were wrongfully accused of a crime for which they would have been sentenced to extended prison terms. Moore stormed down the main corridor of the base headquarters looking for someone to confront about the situation. “And as (p.78) he went down the hall,” said Banks, of her father’s story, “all of the white officers would close their doors. None of them wanted to get involved.”40

Moore’s racial consciousness came of age during his time in the service; the international war against fascism fundamentally shaped his understanding of race relations in the United States.41 In 1945, he left for combat in the Pacific theater.42 He spent two months fighting his way through Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, and when he returned to North Carolina, he married Theresa Lee. The following year, Moore was reassigned to Philadelphia’s Fort Mifflin, and the young couple settled into life in the northern city. In 1948, President Harry Truman signed into effect Executive Order 9981, ending legal segregation in the U.S. military. Within the Marine Corps, however, black men continued to encounter stumbling blocks, and when Moore was asked to serve in Korea without elevation to officer status, he declined. “You see,” Moore later said, “I made a living killing for this country. I was determined that when I got back, that what rights I didn’t have I was going to take, using every weapon in the arsenal of democracy. After nine years in the Marine Corps, I didn’t intend to take another order from any sonofabitch that walk[ed].”43 Moore received an honorable discharge as a sergeant major, the highest rank an enlisted man could attain.44

Moore was surprised by the brand of racial politics he encountered in Philadelphia.45 Having spent much of his life in the rural South, he had grown accustomed to the legal segregation of Jim Crow. He had assumed that the Northeast would be different, and was distressed over the level of entrenched intolerance across the city. In employment, housing, and education, African Americans faced systemic discrimination. The legal separation of West Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina had given way to a new breed of segregation in Philadelphia. Moore was caught off guard.

In 1960, as Moore, by then a licensed attorney, rose to prominence, there were 535,000 African Americans living in Philadelphia, upwards of 27 percent of the city’s total population and an increase of more than 150,000 people from ten years earlier. Although many black families were moving to areas on the outer edges of the city, nearly one-third still lived in North Philadelphia, considered the city’s black ghetto.46 These African Americans had the lowest education and employment rates in Philadelphia, received the poorest medical care, and lived in the worst housing. They were politically marginalized and alienated from the city’s power structure. Frustration was high at the same time that expectations of equality were on the (p.79)

Integration, Separation, and the Fight for Black Identity

Figure 4. Raymond Pace Alexander (left) trying to calm demonstrators at the Columbia Avenue Riots, a three-day riot in “the Jungle” of North Philadelphia, home to nearly half of the city’s black population, Philadelphia Bulletin, August 28, 1964. The riot was sparked by escalating tensions between police and residents and widespread allegations of police brutality.

Used with permission from Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia.

rise, as civil rights agitation was spreading across the country.47 In 1964, Andrew G. Freeman, president of the National Urban League, called the city a “racial tinderbox.” Between high unemployment and widespread substandard housing, Philadelphia had all the ingredients of disaster, said Freeman. “Consigned to street corners,” he warned, “the young Negro is building up a store of frustration and resentment.”48

When Moore was elected president of the local NAACP in 1963, he promised to empower the black masses of North Philadelphia. He made it his mission, he said, to move away from a sense of racial justice that counted its victories in the strides of black professionals gaining token advances. He decried those individuals like Judge Raymond Alexander of West Mount Airy, whom he said had fled the black community and focused his energies (p.80) on the benefit of an elite few, at the expense of the larger black population of Philadelphia. The judge and his wife, Sadie Alexander, chairwoman of George Schermer’s Human Relations Commission, had moved from North Philadelphia to West Mount Airy in 1960. The couple sold their home at 1708 W. Jefferson Street to Cecil Moore and his family. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, during and after the Second World War, the 1700 block of Jefferson was known as “Strivers Row,” an exclusive elite enclave in the black ghetto of North Philadelphia. Two decades later, the Tribune staff writer lamented in 1965, most of these black leaders were moving to Germantown, Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill, West Oak Lane, and other neighborhoods on the outer edges of the city.49

Though it would be a few years before calls for black nationalism rose up around the country, in Philadelphia and other northern cities movements for black power and intraracial pride had been central to the civil rights agenda since the years surrounding the Second World War. Such groups as the Nation of Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Citizens Committee against Juvenile Delinquency and its Causes emerged, challenging the slow pace of liberal reform that had come to define the nation’s movement for racial justice. By the late 1950s, Philadelphia’s NAACP branch was growing concerned about the possibility of losing its authority as the primary advocate for civil rights progress. The organization, historically viewed as a moderating force catering to the needs of the African American elite, began to shift its focus, embarking on a campaign to work more directly with the city’s black neighborhoods.50 When the NAACP elected Cecil Moore as president, the leader’s presence on Jefferson Street signaled to the city’s black masses a shift in racial politics and representation in Philadelphia.

Though Moore regularly offered broad characterizations about Philadelphia’s black middle class, he reserved particular condemnation for the African American homeowners of West Mount Airy, whom he believed had distanced themselves both spatially and communally from the realities facing the city’s larger black population. Responding to Andrew Freeman’s reference to Philadelphia as a “racial tinderbox,” Moore wrote, “He was asremote [sic] in his thoughts from the true situation as it exists in Philadelphia as he was when he made the observation in Louisville, Kentucky, and upon his return to Philadelphia the distance was just as great, for he had no identification, contact, or rapport with the masses he purports to speak about during the eighteen months he had lived in … Mount Airy.”51 Speaking of his own (p.81) decision to remain in North Philadelphia, Moore said, “I’d be lost if I had to move up to Mount Airy … where I’d have to be so damned respectable that I couldn’t stand on a street corner on Friday night. The Negro is always on the corner on Friday or Saturday nights. That’s where you go to talk.”52

Cecil Moore saw West Mount Airy as a sort of ideological dividing line in the city’s struggle for civil rights. African Americans moving to the northwest Philadelphia neighborhood had become symbols of the black middleclass complicity with the white establishment that Moore condemned. As Moore said in reference to Mount Airy’s black professionals, “I run a grassroots group, not a cocktail-party, tea-sipping, fashion-show-attending group of exhibitionists. That’s the difference. Those things divide the Negro, separate him into classes. I want nothing to divide the Negro; I want a one-class Negro community. Your so-called middle-class Negro is a ‘professional Negro’ who doesn’t come into contact with the masses.”53 To Cecil Moore, the black middle-class residents of West Mount Airy represented those African Americans who had abandoned the black masses and thus given up their claims to blackness; Moore used these rhetorical turns to consolidate power and position himself at the center of the city’s fight for racial justice.

In a sense, Moore’s conception of blackness was defined by one’s commitment to the black community. That is, rather than a legal, political, or social construction of race that distinguished black from white, this notion of racial identity was set within the African American world by a hierarchy of blackness that became inextricably linked to racial allegiance. Moore’s thinking reflected a shift in the nature of racial justice more broadly, what cultural critic Harold Cruse defined in his 1967 work, The Crisis of the American Negro, as the tension between those seeking to effect change in the white imagination and those working to remake the material and political conditions in which African Americans lived. The central conflict between the integrationist mind-set and this nationalist—or black power—agenda, wrote Cruse, was a “propos[al] to change, not the white world outside, but the black world inside, by reforming it into something else politically and economically.” The history of black America, he continued, “is basically a history of conflict between integrationist and national forces in politics, economics, and culture.”54

In Moore’s Philadelphia, then, those working toward change for the black masses were viewed as more legitimate than the liberal black reformers in West Mount Airy, adopting an integrationist agenda. Middle-class African Americans, recalled Cecily Banks, “were seen as not paying attention to what (p.82) was going on for the black poor. It was a matter of concern for our own people, not trying to fit into a ‘white world.’ ”55 In this way, an individual’s selfidentifi cation as African American was less important than his or her commitment to a cohesive black community. For Moore, people who conformed to these standards were identified as black; those who deviated became sellouts.

The concept of “selling out” has longed been linked to a perceived abandonment of race-based interests and the black community. In the wake of the Civil War, when Martin R. Delany, the first African American field officer in the U.S. Army, aligned himself with the Democratic Party, black militiamen condemned him as a deserter, firing shots at him as he campaigned for former Confederate general Wade Hampton in 1876. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was deemed a turncoat when he married Helen Pitts, a white woman, and W. E. B. DuBois became a “Benedict Arnold” when he rebuked black protestors following U.S. entry into the First World War.56 In 1920, the moniker of Uncle Tom first became associated with “selling out,” when followers of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association announced during a parade for the first UNIA convention in New York City that “Uncle Tom is dead and buried.”57 In August of that year, the New York World published an account of Reverend George Alexander McGuire’s address to the convention, announcing that “the Uncle Tom nigger has got to go and his place must be taken by a new leader of the Negro race … not a black man with a white heart but a black man with a black heart.”58

In the years following World War II, the image of the Uncle Tom became institutionalized in African American popular rhetoric as a synonym for this racialized conception of a “sellout.” When Channing H. Tobias took the podium as the keynote speaker at the Forty-Fifth Annual NAACP National Convention in 1954, he declared war on the Uncle Toms of America. “We are not going to deal gently with those congenial Uncle Toms who have a vested interest,” Tobias maintained, “and are willing to sell their people down the river to save their own skin.”59 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ralph Bunche, speaking later in the week, went further. “Some Uncle Toms are saying that there is nothing wrong with Jim Crow schools,” he told a crowd of delegates in Dallas, Texas. “They are saying that Negro teachers will go when segregated schools go. In most instances, this professed love of segregation by so-called Negro leaders is actually a smokescreen, protecting them from the rugged competition of the outside world.”60 On July 20, 1954, the (p.83) Philadelphia Tribune reprinted an editorial about the convention from New York’s Amsterdam News. There, the editors publicly heralded Bunche for his comments. “We think the scholarly UN mediator made a substantial contribution to all right-thinking Americans when they exposed our intellectual Toms,” the paper wrote. “We hope other Uncle Toms will be exposed, too. We have more than our fair share of these pitiful creatures.”61

Although nationally the cries of Uncle Tom were levied against black men perceived to be sabotaging efforts toward equality and desegregation, in the urban North the invocation of the term gained a particular meaning that brought together issues of race and class. For black Americans in such northern cities as New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Uncle Tom” became universally understood as shorthand for delegitimizing middle-class claims of black identity.62 In 1953, sociologist E. Franklin Frazer published his controversial book The Black Bourgeoisie. Frazier asserted that members of the black middle class were seeking to shed their African American identities and adopt the culture of the white upper class.63 Frazier’s work argued that the African American leadership in the United States had failed to foster a cohesive black community. These status seekers, he said, were so focused on becoming integrated into the white world that they lost sight of their responsibility toward the black masses.64 Frazier, chairman of the department of sociology at Howard University and president of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Race Relations, sought to compel the African American middle class to return to their communities of origin, to create cohesion and stability, and to empower the masses and uplift black America as a whole.

By the 1960s, Frazier’s language had leaked out of academia, disseminated through the black press and the rising cadre of radical black leaders spreading notions of separatism around the urban North. This tension between race and class became a critical site of contestation in the growing public discourse of black identity. In 1961, black nationalist leader Malcolm X issued a direct call to Ralph Bunche, by that point undersecretary for special political affairs at the United Nations, through the national press. “I’m challenging this International Uncle Tom” he said, “who has become world-famous in the United Nations as a puppet and parrot of the so-called white liberals, to come to [a] mass rally in Harlem on Saturday and prove that his feelings … reflect the feeling of the black masses.”65 Malcolm X was condemning what he saw as the disconnect between the black middle class and the larger black community, the real black community.

(p.84) The 1963 election of Cecil B. Moore as president of the local NAACP brought into sharp relief this acute tension within Philadelphia’s black population. As Moore rose to power agitating for African American autonomy, he continually came to blows with both the leaders of the national NAACP and local black professionals and integrationists, those whom he saw as pressing for empty civil rights reform. While privately, Moore, in fact, socialized with many of these middle-class black leaders, publicly he staged intense feuds, fueling debates over black identity in the city.66 By casting the fight for civil rights squarely within the streets of North Philadelphia, Moore was able to galvanize the black working class and, in this way, draw support away from the moderate liberalism that had historically defined race relations in the city. In condemning middle-class integrationists as sellouts, he forced them to defend their blackness, to prove their authenticity as black Americans against charges that they had abandoned their roots for the white world.

Through this lens, the African American homeowners of West Mount Airy came to be seen as “traitors to their race.” As Moore put it, “the Negro middle-class … subsists on the blood of the ‘brother down under,’ the brothers they are supposed to be leading.”67 In 1964, he appointed himself spokesman for the black community. “For the majority, anyway,” he added, “excluding the 20% who don’t want to be Negroes.”68 He condemned those who left the “jungles” of North Philadelphia, referring to them as “warmed over part-time Negroes” and “refugees from the Negro race.”69 They had fled their roots, he cried, for the material comforts of the middle-class white world. Moore was attacking these individuals on two levels: first, for their middle-class economic status, and second, for their beliefs in and actions toward the creation of racially integrated residential space.

As a general practice, these black homeowners of northwest Philadelphia that Cecil Moore so often attacked rarely spoke out publicly against the incendiary NAACP president. Where Moore spoke of a “one-class Negro community,” these liberal integrationists believed that it was more important to present an image of a united African American effort toward change.70 In those instances where they did engage Moore, though, they challenged the leader, asserting that his ongoing condemnation served to disempower the larger black community and curtail their efforts toward racial justice more broadly.71 In 1964, Reverend Henry H. Nichols of the Germantown region embarked on an unsuccessful challenge for local NAACP leadership. When Moore referred to Nichols as one of the “big (p.85) Negro power structure … divisive ‘Uncle Tom’ hatchet boys,” the reverend of the James Memorial Church responded with cries that Moore had pitted class against class, and race against race. Describing himself as a “militant moderate leader,” Nichols blamed Moore for separating the city’s African American population into divisive factions and maintained that his own commitment to racial liberalism would lead to a more productive pursuit of the interests of the entire black community.72

Integration, Separation, and the Fight for Black Identity

Figure 5. Civil rights leaders Cecil Moore (left, in suit) and Stanley Branche (center) lead picketers at Girard College, where the NAACP staged demonstrations after several years of unsuccessful legal actions to desegregate the private institution, Philadelphia Bulletin, October 8, 1966.

Used with permission from Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia.

(p.86) Sadie Alexander, one of Moore’s favorite targets, also spoke out against the leader’s critique that she and her husband, Judge Raymond Alexander, were “part-time Negroes.”73 The Alexanders had been a force for change in Philadelphia since the early 1920s, waging legal battles on behalf of disenfranchised African Americans. In 1939, after a long campaign, they compelled the Pennsylvania legislature to pass a statewide equal rights law. They fought city and state courts to roll back segregation ordinances in restaurants, hotels, lunch counters, theaters, and coffeeshops. They held demonstrations, organized marches, and gradually saw the separation of blacks and whites in the public sphere begin to erode. It was a tall order, Judge Alexander later recalled, “to make Philadelphia and Pennsylvania a city and state where black people could enjoy the fundamental freedoms guaranteed to them in our Federal Bill of Rights.”74 In 1963, Sadie Alexander responded to Moore’s condemnations by establishing a familial line of civic activism for racial justice dating back to the early nineteenth century. She spoke of her work with the Human Relations Commission, in desegregating Girard College, in breaking down the color line in public accommodations across the state, and in serving on Harry Truman’s President’s Committee on Civil Rights. “I do not intend to be dragged into any personal vendetta with Mr. Cecil Moore,” she said, “[but] my contribution to democracy in the U.S. is recorded and cannot be diminished by irresponsible accusations.”75

Alexander chose to link herself to the black community through a record of struggle for racial justice, rather than through her genealogy, geographic home, or economic status. She spoke of her family not as African Americans but as activists. Like Moore’s equation of racial authenticity with racial allegiance, she employed her history as a leader in civil rights to demonstrate her connection to the African American populace. Reverend Nichols, the Alexanders, and the Mount Airy African Americans responding to the cries of Uncle Tom and attacks on their middle-class racial identity believed that they were as authentically black as anyone living in Cecil Moore’s North Philadelphia. The city’s African Americans, they maintained, could not be limited politically, economically, or spatially. Middle-class reformers in West Mount Airy had been agitating for racial justice as well, they maintained; they were just as legitimately African American as those focusing on the black poor.76

By 1966, Cecil Moore’s power in Philadelphia—and his authority to dictate who was included within the city’s larger black community—had begun to (p.87) wane, as he continually found himself at odds with the national NAACP. Though early on, the city saw membership rates grow—within six months of his inauguration, Moore boasted that the local branch had expanded from ten thousand to twenty-five thousand members—Moore routinely alienated white members of the organization, and in doing so he drew the ire of the national leadership.77 One of his primary targets were the northern whites who, Moore charged, “call themselves liberal but in fact do nothing but bleed the Negro.” Six months after taking office, Moore told Pennsylvania Guardian reporter G. A. Wilkens, “They are a bunch of phonies…. I’d rather deal with any southern racist than the unscrupulous bigots living in Chestnut Hill,” he asserted, referring to the wealthy community in the far northwest reaches of the city, bordering Mount Airy to the south and suburban Montgomery County to the north.78 In the same interview, Moore attacked Jewish activists, maintaining that their interventions in the struggle for racial justice were insincere. “If people of a Semitic origin continue to exploit Negroes, as they do, I’ll exploit them as anti-American,” he cried, channeling the language of Cold War anticommunism.79 Moore believed that Jewish landlords and business owners were taking advantage of the black residents of the city.80

Letters flooded the national NAACP office, calling for Moore’s immediate removal. On June 20, 1963, Philadelphian Herman Price wrote to Roy Wilkins, the national organization’s executive secretary, to express his concern:

The NAACP has always been the true representative in this fight. The superlative efforts of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. will always be a pillar of strength to those of us who laud his great work. For many who have given their time and resources to further the cause of justice, I will always be greatful [sic]. My annual contribution will be doubled, but unless something is done to correct [the] terrible wrong [of Moore’s comments] here in Philadelphia, I shall send my check to your New York office.81

Burton Caine, a Jewish attorney in Philadelphia and member of the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union, took his frustration a step further. “I am a member of the NAACP and have been a contributor to the Committee of One Hundred for many years,” he wrote, referring to the association of educators and attorneys that was founded in 1941 to raise money for the ongoing operations of the national office. “However, I am (p.88) resigning from the NAACP and I am discontinuing all further contributions to the Committee of One Hundred until Cecil Moore is removed as president of the local branch. I am sure that you understand that the reckless, irresponsible, and completely unjustified pronouncements of Moore can set back the movement for Negro rights quite considerably. For this reason, I, for one, greet the toleration of Moore by the national NAACP with extreme sadness.”82

Moore’s inflammatory anti-Semitic proclamations in June 1963 were the first hints of the breakdown in his relationship with the national office. In December 1964, several Philadelphia residents filed a complaint against Moore to the national board, alleging that the president was “guilty of conduct not in accordance with the principles, aims, and purposes of the NAACP as set out in the constitution and bylaws for branches, and as defined by the national board of directors and convention.” Petitioners accused Moore of unauthorized disbursement of funds, violating fund-raising procedures, and failing to “properly exercise general executive authority on behalf of the branch.”83 As the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reported in late 1964, “Moore has been up to his ears in controversy since he assumed office almost two years ago.” The paper called the hearing a self-investigation of alleged corruption, and said that it marked a growing maturity and responsibility on the part of the organization.84

The charges were ultimately dismissed, but ten months later the national office made a move to curtail Moore’s power, proposing to disband the central Philadelphia NAACP in favor of a multibranch system that would establish local offices in four regions of the city, each under its own leadership and bud get and with the authority to carry out its own initiatives. In a letter to Moore, the national board advised him that the plan followed a larger decision to create these multiple branches in cities with populations over 250,000 people. If you resist, the board told Moore, “the national office has authority to lift [Philadelphia’s] charter.”85 Though similar plans had been implemented previously in such cities as Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles, Moore believed—likely quite justly—that the board was using the decentralization scheme as a vehicle to usurp his authority. After intense public battles, the national office succeeded, naming directors to the four new branches on July 6, 1966. Moore had been run out of office.

But even as Moore’s authority in Philadelphia faded, the battles between the NAACP president and the city’s liberal middle-class community highlighted (p.89) rising tensions within the fight for racial justice. In West Mount Airy, these strains evidenced new external pressures to the neighborhood’s integration project. As larger cultural and structural forces began to intervene and intrude on their grassroots efforts, community members struggled to redefine their mission and to maintain a sense of control over local institutions. Cecil Moore’s condemnation of the neighborhood’s black homeowners in the mid-1960s hinted at new forces at work in the larger civil rights movement in northern cities and new powers asserting influence over West Mount Airy’s idealized notion of integrated space.

Notes:

(1.) Gail Tomas, interview by author, written transcription, Philadelphia, PA, February 22, 2011.

(2.) Dorothy Anderson and Thomas Hanks, “Germantown an Integrated Community, Tribune Survey Says,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 1, 1957.

(3.) “Mount Airy, Philadelphia,” U. S. News and World Report, July 22, 1991; “Historic Marker in Mount Airy Honors Sadie Alexander,” Mount Airy Times Express, May 26, 1993; “Mount Airy Hailed for Racial Stability,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 4, 1967; Joseph Coleman, interview by Szabi Zee, written transcription, Germantown Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA, 1993.

(4.) Dorothy Anderson and Thomas Hanks, “Germantown an Integrated Community, Tribune Survey Says,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 1, 1957; Don Black, interview by Vida Carson, written transcription Germantown Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA, 1993.

(5.) For more on the class-based conceptions of integration among African Americans, see Smith, “Quest for Racial Democracy.”

(6.) Ibid., 135.

(7.) For reference, see Preliminary Report, Pelham Centennial Oral History Project, undated, West Mount Airy Neighbors Oral History Collection, Germantown Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA.

(8.) Ed Henderson, interview by author, digital recording, Philadelphia, PA, March 22, 2007.

(10.) Eric Springer, “Civil Wrongs and Your Rights,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 28, 1962.

(11.) For more on the rise of all-black suburban communities, see, e.g., Cashin, Failure of Integration; Mary Pattillo, Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); Wiese, Places of Their Own.

(12.) See, e.g., Pattillo, Black Picket Fences; Wiese, Places of Their Own; Karyn R. Lacy, Blue-Chip Black: Race, Class, and Status in the New Black Middle Class (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).

(13.) “Unitarian Church Points to Evil of Segregated Housing,” Pittsburgh Courier, January 12, 1957. See also Beryl Satter, Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009).

(p.191) (14.) Benjamin Mays, “Finance and Equality,” Pittsburgh Courier, March 21, 1964. For more on the material benefits of integration, see “A Significant Study,” Pittsburgh Courier, December 21, 1963. On the value of integrated education, see also Benjamin Mays, “Finance and Equality,” Pittsburgh Courier, March 21, 1964; Richard Elmore, Bruce Fuller, and Gary Orfield, Choice: The Cultural Logic of Families, the Political Rationality of Institution (New York: Teachers College Press, 1995).

(15.) Dorothy Anderson, “Germantown Group Assists Mother Mistreated by Neighbors,” Philadelphia Tribune, September 24, 1957.

(16.) Edward Henderson, interview by author, digital recording, Philadelphia, PA, March 27, 2007.

(18.) For more on class distinctions among African Americans, see, e.g., Weise, Places of Their Own; Lacy, Blue-Chip Black, 200; Pattillo, Black Picket Fences; Bettye Collier-Thomas and James Turner, “Race, Class, and Color: The African American Discourse on Identity,” Journal of American Ethnic History 14, no. 1 (Fall 1994): 5–27.

(20.) See, e.g., Wiese, Places of Their Own, 131; Maly, Beyond Segregation 15; Dorothy Anderson and Thomas Hanks, “Germantown an Integrated Community, Tribune Survey Says,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 1, 1957.

(22.) Dorothy Anderson, “Germantown an Integrated Community, Tribune Survey Shows,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 1, 1957.

(24.) “Mount Airy, Philadelphia,’ US News and World Report, July 22, 1991.

(25.) Don Black, interview by Vida Carson, written transcription, Germantown Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA, 1993. The dates of the interview are unavailable.

(27.) “Mount Airy, Philadelphia,” US News and World Report, July 22, 1991.

(28.) Don Black, interview by Vida Carson, written transcription, Germantown Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA, 1993.

(29.) Ed Henderson, interview by author, digital recording, Philadelphia, PA, March 22, 2007.

(30.) See, e.g., Arthur C. Willis, Cecil’s City: A History of Blacks in Philadelphia, 1638–1979 (New York: Carlton Press, 1990); Countryman, Up South; Gerald Early, This Is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003).

(31.) See, e.g., Countryman, Up South; Self, American Babylon; Peniel Joseph, Waiting ’Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2006); Peniel Joseph, ed., The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights–Black Power Era (New York: Routledge, 2006).

(33.) Though scholars record Moore’s date of birth as April 2, 1915, his daughters, Cecily Banks and Alexis Moore Bruton, believe that the actual year is up for debate. (p.192) See Cecily Banks and Alexis Moore Bruton, interview by author, written transcription, Philadelphia, PA: September 21, 2009; Paul Lermack, “Cecil Moore and the Philadelphia Branch of the National Association of Colored People: The Politics of Negro Pressure Group Organization,” in Black Politics in Philadelphia, ed. Miriam Ershkowitz and Joseph Zikmund (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 146; Gerald L. Early, “Cecil B. Moore and the Rise of Black Philadelphia, 1964–1968,” in This Is Where I Came In, 89.

(34.) Cecily Banks, interview by author, written transcription, Philadelphia, PA, September 21, 2009.

(35.) Ibid.; Mildred O’Neill, “Councilman Cecil Moore Dies,” Baltimore Afro-American, February 24, 1979.

(37.) Cecily Banks and Alexis Moore Bruton, interview by author, written transcription, Philadelphia, PA, September 21, 2009.

(38.) Ibid. As scholar Gerald L. Early writes, “Moore’s entire history places him within W. E. B. Du Bois’ ‘talented tenth.’” Early, This Is Where I Came In, 89.

(39.) For more information on the Montford Point Marines, see, e.g., Melton Alonza McLaurin, The Marines of Montford Point: America’s First Black Marines (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007).

(40.) Cecily Banks and Alexis Moore Bruton, interview by author, written transcription, Philadelphia, PA, September 21, 2009.

(41.) See, e.g., Lawrence P. Scott and William M. Womack, Double V: The Civil Rights Struggle and the Tuskegee Airmen (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1998); Eric Foner, The Story of American Freedom (New York: W. W. Norton, 1998).

(43.) Samuel Alan Schrager, A Trial Lawyer’s Art (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999), 91.

(44.) Cecily Banks and Alexis Moore Bruton, interview by author, written transcription, Philadelphia, PA, September 21, 2009.

(48.) “Judge Alexander Denies Phila. ‘A Racial Tinderbox,’ Refutes Claims by Urban League Head That City is Headed for Explosion,” Philadelphia Tribune, August 8, 1964.

(49.) Cecily Banks and Alexis Moore Bruton, interview by author, Philadelphia, PA, September 21, 2009; “Top Negroes Resided in North Philly,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 20, 1965.

(50.) See, e.g., Countryman, Up South, 84–92; Manning Marable, Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction of Black America, 1945–2006, Third Edition (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2007); Robin D. G. Kelly, Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (New York: Free Press, 1996); Charles Flint Kellogg, NAACP: A History of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967).

(p.193) (51.) Press Release from Moore, August 10, 1964, NAACP Records, Part III: Branch Files, Philadelphia, 1956–65, Box C137, Folder 5, Library of Congress Archives, Washington, DC.

(52.) “Pennsylvania: The Goddam Boss,” Time Magazine, September 11, 1964. As Countryman writes, “Moore rooted his claim to racial authenticity and identity with the majority of the city’s blacks in his decision to keep his family in North Philadelphia.” Countryman, Up South, 165.

(53.) “Pennsylvania: The Goddam Boss,” Time Magazine, September 11, 1964.

(54.) Harold Cruse, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (New York: William Morrow, 1967), 548, 564.

(55.) “Pennsylvania: The Goddam Boss,” Time Magazine, September 11, 1964; Cecily Banks and Alexis Moore Bruton, interview by author, written transcription, Philadelphia, PA, September 21, 2009.

(56.) See, e.g., Randall Kennedy, Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal (New York: Pantheon Books, 2008); Joseph, Black Power Movement; Countryman, Up South, chapter 4.

(57.) Amy Jacques Garvey, Garvey and Garveyism (New York: Collier Books, 1970), 48–49.

(58.) New York World, August 11, 1920, as cited in C. W. E. Bigsby, The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Culture (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 114.

(59.) “NAACP to War on Uncle Toms,” Philadelphia Tribune, July 31, 1954.

(60.) “All Human Life Sacred,” Philadelphia Tribune, July 20, 1954.

(62.) See, e.g., Randall, Sellout.

(63.) E. Franklin Frazier, Black Bourgeoisie: The Rise of a New Middle-Class in the United States, Revised Edition (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1962).

(64.) James E. Teele, E. Franklin Frazier and the Black Bourgeoisie (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2002).

(65.) “Muslims Call Ralph Bunche ‘International Uncle Tom,’ Dare Him to Speak at New York Mass Meeting,” Philadelphia Tribune, July 21, 1961.

(66.) Cecily Banks and Alexis Moore Bruton, interview by author, written transcription, Philadelphia, PA, September 21, 2009.

(67.) C. Eric Lincoln, “The Negro Middle-Class Dream,” New York Times, October 25, 1964.

(68.) Joseph Lelyveld, “Militant Ex-Marine Leads Philadelphia Negroes,” New York Times, September 2, 1964.

(69.) Orrin Evans, “Moore Says His Three Critics Are ‘Part-Time Negroes,’” Philadelphia Bulletin, April 20, 1967.

(70.) Countryman, Up South, 165; Chris Perry, “Negro Leaders Mum on Newest Cecil Moore Demands,” Philadelphia Tribune, November 12, 1963; Letter from Raymond Pace Alexander to Mr. James Klash, WDAS, Raymond Pace Alexander Papers, University of Pennsylvania Archives, Philadelphia, PA, Accession 374, Box 89, Folder 19, June 18, 1963; Mark Lloyd, “Re: Raymond Pace Alexander (RPA) Papers,” Personal e-mail, December 18, 2009.

(p.194) (71.) Fred Bonaparte, “Big Crowd Jams Arena at NAACP ‘Appreciation’ Rally,” Philadelphia Tribune, March 3, 1964.

(73.) “Sadie Alexander, Austin Norris, Deny Moore’s ‘Part-Time Negro’ Rap,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 8, 1963.

(74.) Letter from Raymond Pace Alexander to Dr. Clifton H. Johnson, director, Amistad Research Center and Race Relations Department, Fisk University, 1969, Raymond Alexander Pace Papers, University of Pennsylvania Archives, Philadelphia, PA, Accession 374, Box 89, Folder 19.

(75.) “Sadie Alexander, Austin Norris, Deny Moore’s ‘Part-Time Negro’ Rap,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 8, 1963.

(76.) See, e.g., Curley Brown, “Readers Say: We Owe Great Debt to ’Uncle Toms’ Who’ve Never Received Honors Due,” Philadelphia Tribune, February 12, 1963; Louetta Seawell, “Readers Say: Dorothy Anderson Crude: Uncle Tom Not a Weakling but a Great, Good Man,” Philadelphia Tribune, March 17, 1962; C. Eric Lincoln, “The Negro’s Middle-Class Dream,” New York Times, October 25, 1964.

(77.) Joseph Lelyveld, “Militant Ex-Marine Leads Philadelphia Negroes,” New York Times, September 2, 1964.

(78.) Letter to Roy Wilkins from G.A. Wilson, with Guardian clippings, June 10, 1963, NAACP Rec ords, Part III: Branch Files, Philadelphia, 1956–65, Box C137, Folder 3, Library of Congress Archives, Washington, DC.

(80.) G.A. Wilson, “Other Look at Him: Cecil Moore Takes a Look at ‘His City,’” Pennsylvania Guardian, June 7, 1963.

(81.) Letter from Herman Price to Roy Wilkins, June 10, 1963, NAACP Records, Part III: Branch Files, Philadelphia, 1956–65, Box C137, Folder 3, Library of Congress Archives, Washington, DC.

(82.) Letter from Burton Caine to Roy Wilkins, June 10, 1963, NAACP Records, Part III: Branch Files, Philadelphia, 1956–65, Box C137, Folder 3, Library of Congress Archives, Washington, DC.

(83.) Complaint against Cecil B. Moore, filed to the National Board from Viola Allen, Alphonso Deal, Dolores Tucker, Ethel Barnett, Senora Gratton, and James Smith, June 10, 1963, NAACP Records, Part III: Branch Files, Philadelphia, 1956–65, Box C137, Folder 5, Library of Congress Archives, Washington, DC.

(84.) “NAACP Tries Its Own,” Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, December 5, 1964.

(85.) Owen Evans, “NAACP Votes to Fight Split: Moore Supporters Say They’ll Resist National Policy,” Philadelphia Bulletin, December 5, 1965.