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

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

Abigail Perkiss

Cornell University Press

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

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