toxic_apiaceae (toxic_apiaceae) wrote in little_details,

1920s America: African Americans

I'm writing a novel that starts off in Baltimore, MD 1923 and will eventually move to Philadelphia (thanks to some WONDERFUL help from LD on another post -- seriously, thanks all) and during the research process I sort of fell in love with the whole Harlem Renaissance movement.  It actually led to me realizing that I really didn't have enough diversity in my character cast, which THEN led to me thinking it'd be a good idea to make my main heroine part African American.

Unfortunately, a lot of the information I've found has only mentioned Harlem and the cultural contributions of African Americans at this time.  What I'm looking for, more specifically, is how socially accepted African Americans were during this time period.  Was it possible for them to be middle class citizens?  If so, how likely?  How deeply entrenched was segregation and how widespread it would be in cities like Baltimore/Philadelphia/New York (note on this: my research has shown that the early 1920s were way more tolerant of "differences" such as homosexuality [in the larger cities, at least] than in the latter part of the decade entering into the 1930s)?

Online search terms I've tried are: african americans 1920s, african american 1920s jobs, blacks in the 1920s, social structure 1920s african americans/blacks.

Book research I've done: Harlem: A History, The Warmth of Other Suns, and Up From Slavery (which is a fantastic read, to digress a bit).

Any help or links anyone can provide would be fantastic help.  Thanks a lot!
Tags: 1920-1929, usa: history (misc), usa: maryland, ~human culture (misc), ~racial prejudice (misc)

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