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African Americans have heavily contributed to and shaped the unique and vibrant Rutherford County in middle Tennessee. Located 30 miles southeast of Nashville, Rutherford County is at the state's geographical center. This area is home to the Stones River National Battlefield, a national park that was the site of a major Civil War battle--the Battle of Stones River. Tourists come from all over the world to experience this rich cultural and historic venue that once served, although briefly, as the capital of Tennessee. African American men and women have lived, worked, and toiled here for generations.
Since its founding, Nashville has been a center of black urban culture in the Upper South. Blacks--slave and free--made up 20 percent of Fort Nashborough's settlers in 1779. From these early years through the Civil War, a growing black community in Nashville, led by a small group of black elites, quietly built the foundations of a future society, developing schools, churches, and businesses. The Civil War brought new freedoms and challenges as the black population of Nashville increased and as black elites found themselves able--even obliged--to act more openly. To establish a more stable and prosperous African-American community, the elites found that they had to work within a system bound to the interests of whites. But the aims of this elite did not always coincide with those of the black community at large. By 1930, younger blacks, in particular, were moving towards protest and confrontation. As democratization and higher education spread, the lines distinguishing Nashville's black elite became blurred. Bobby L. Lovett presents a complex analysis of black experience in Nashville during the years between 1780 and 1930, exploring the impact of civil rights, education, politics, religion, business, and neighborhood development on a particular African-American community. This study of black Nashville examines lives lived within a web of shifting alliances and interests--the choices made, the difficulties overcome. Fifteen years in the making, illustrated with maps and photographs, this work is the first detailed study of any of Tennessee's major urban black communities. Lovett here collects, organizes, and interprets a large, rich body of data, making this material newly accessible to all interested in the black urban experience.
The prolific journey of African Americans in Portland is rooted in the courageous determination of black pioneers to begin anew in an unfamiliar and often hostile territory. Amazingly, a small population of African Americans settled in Portland against a backdrop of exclusion laws that banned free blacks from settling in Oregon. At the end of the 19th century, new employment opportunities in Portland and growing antiblack sentiments elsewhere spurred the growth of Portland's African American community. Approximately 75 African American men were hired at the Portland Hotel, and the completion of transcontinental rail lines brought African American railroad workers to Portland. By 1890, the majority of Oregon's black population resided in Multnomah County, and Portland became the center of a thriving black middle-class community. Fifty years later, the recruitment of defense workers increased the population of African Americans nearly tenfold. The war boom, coupled with the tragic Vanport flood, forever changed Portland's urban landscape and reshaped the socioeconomic realities of Portland's African American community.
When Hertford County was established in 1759, Eastern North Carolina had served as a home to African Americans for more than 170 years. Over time free blacks and the Meherrin people married, creating a unique free black community of farmers and artisans. Since that time, residents, enriched by diversity, have enjoyed the county's small-town feel and picturesque landscape.
This two-volume encyclopedia presents a state-by-state history of African Americans in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. • Contributions from experts in various fields • Coverage includes timeline, historical overview, notables, cultural contributions, and bibliography • Boasts numerous historical photos
Murfreesboro runs deep with history and heritage; it served as the capital of Tennessee in the early 1800s and also witnessed one of the greatest battles of the Civil War. As the seat of Rutherford County, one of the fastest growing counties in the United States in the past 20 years, Murfreesboro has also seen change.

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