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Black Power in the Suburbs

The Myth or Reality of African American Suburban Political Incorporation

Valerie C. Johnson

Publication Year: 2002

The country’s largest concentration of African American suburban affluence represents a unique laboratory to study the internal factors associated with African American political ascendancy and the convergence of race and class. Black Power in the Suburbs chronicles Prince George’s County, Maryland, and the twenty-three year quest by African Americans to influence educational policy and become equal partners in the county’s governing coalition. Johnson challenges conventional notions of a monolithic community by addressing the manner in which class cleavages among African Americans affect their representation and policy interests in suburbia. She also documents white resistance to power sharing and the impact of school desegregation on white population trends.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-

List of Tables and Figures

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-

As I think back on it, I have been writing this acknowledgement in my head over the course of my lifetime. Many people have impacted my scholarly development. Professors Claude Barnes, Jarvis Hall, Mack Jones and Clarence N. Stone deserve special recognition—without them, I never would have...

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Chapter One African-American Suburban Political Incorporation

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pp. 1-22

In 1994, the voters of Prince George’s County, Maryland, elected Wayne Curry as their first African-American county executive. The election of African Americans to positions of power is certainly not new, however, Curry’s election to the top elective position in the county signaled a turning point...

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Chapter Two Prince George’s County

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pp. 23-44

Prince George’s County, named for Prince George of Denmark, was established on April 23, 1696. Like most Southern communities, the history of Prince George’s County is traceable to the culture of the old plantation South...

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Chapter Three Social and Economic Characteristics of Prince George’s County, Maryland

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pp. 45-58

Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a success story unto itself. Prior to a population boom at the turn of the century, Prince George’s County was a bedroom community of the nation’s capital. After a tremendous growth spurt...

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Chapter Four The Quest for African-American Political Representation in Prince George’s County, Maryland

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pp. 59-90

In addition to tremendous changes in growth patterns, numerous changes have occurred in the political and social lives of African-American Prince Georgians over the past three decades. A striking example of the degree of...

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Chapter Five African-American Prince Georgians

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pp. 91-106

Appointments, like elective offices, are significant to politically emerging groups, because they signify two important and distinct processes that are relevant to political incorporation. One process relates to the dynamics of interaction within the African-American community. Influence and success...

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Chapter Six African-American Prince Georgians

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pp. 107-130

African-American political incorporation is defined by a group’s ability to become an integral force in the public policy process. Although the ability to cast an opinion or a vote on policy measures that are before a public body is...

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Chapter Seven The Myth or Reality of African-American Suburban Political Incorporation

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pp. 131-144

African Americans in Prince George’s County exceed the national averages of African Americans nationally on all socioeconomic indicators. Population gains, coupled with white flight, have rendered African Americans a majority in the...

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Chapter Eight A Tale of Two Counties— Present and Past, Affluent and Poor

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pp. 145-162

Prince George’s County, Maryland, has received considerable attention for its distinction as having the largest concentration of African-American affluence in the nation, and for its twenty-five-year school desegregation battle. Media pundits across the nation have marveled at its transition from a predominantly...

Appendix A

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pp. 163-172

Appendix B

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pp. 173-182

Notes

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pp. 183-198

Bibliography

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pp. 199-212

Index

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pp. 213-227


E-ISBN-13: 9780791487792
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791455272
Print-ISBN-10: 0791455270

Page Count: 239
Illustrations: 17 tables, 11 figures
Publication Year: 2002

Series Title: SUNY series in African American Studies
Series Editor Byline: John R. Howard

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Subject Headings

  • Prince George's County (Md.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Prince George's County (Md.) -- Race relations.
  • African Americans -- Education -- Maryland -- Prince George's County.
  • Representative government and representation -- Maryland -- Prince George's County -- Case studies.
  • Prince George's County (Md.) -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
  • African Americans -- Maryland -- Prince George's County -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
  • African Americans -- Maryland -- Prince George's County -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Education and state -- Maryland -- Prince George's County -- Case studies.
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