Book Excerpts! A Haven and a Hell, Banking on Freedomand Threatening Property

This week, we have explored Black life in the context of property and finance through the scholarship of Lance Freeman, Shennette Garrett-Scott, and Elizabeth A. Herbin-Triant. Today, we invite your to grab a warm drink and settle into a cozy seat to read excerpts from each of their works.

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A Haven and a Hell: The Ghetto in America[An] informative sociohistorical analysis . . . For readers of urban history and black history, this is an excellent look at the ghetto’s multifaceted place in American history.

~Publishers Weekly

Lance Freeman details the rise of South Side Chicago’s ghetto along with the rise of Jesse Binga, a eminent businessman who started with only $20 in his pocket in the introduction to A Haven and a Hell: The Ghetto in America. Binga actively shaped the city, in which the ghetto has been a hell “that stifles dreams” of the black community, and conversely, a haven that promises freedom. Read this excerpt to learn more about the evolving and contradictory roles of the ghetto in America.


Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal

Garrett-Scott’s extensively researched and documented study is the first history of U.S. finance that puts African American women at the center. Banking on Freedom makes a tremendously monumental contribution to African American banking history, and it substantially enriches our understanding of U.S. finance and capitalism.

~Juliet E. K. Walker, author of The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship

In this excerpt from chapter 3 of Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal, Shennette Garret-Scott examines how a diverse and unlikely group of people came together to establish the Independent Order of St. Luke (IOSL) as a source of economic security for black women and families. Garret-Scott introduces the struggle for black women to overcome the imposed narrative as helpless in economic issues.


Threatening Property: Race, Class, and Campaigns to Legislate Jim Crow Neighborhoods

Herbin-Triant tackles a surprisingly neglected aspect of the Jim Crow era—efforts to impose residential segregation in urban and rural areas. Insightfully integrating considerations of race and class and probing how they intersected with the defense of property rights, she sheds new light on attempts to legally separate blacks and whites. An important contribution to southern and American history.

~Eric Foner, Columbia University

Elizabeth A. Herbin-Triant investigates early-twentieth-century campaigns for residential segregation laws in North Carolina to show how the version of white supremacy supported by middle-class white people differed from that supported by elites in Threatening Property: Race, Class, and Campaigns to Legislate Jim Crow Neighborhoods. Herbin-Triant gives a background to her work in this excerpt from the work.


If you enjoy these excerpts, make sure to read their Q&A, watch their book talk, and enter this month’s book giveaway for a chance to win a copy of one of their books.

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