In this Book

summary
Boss of Black Brooklyn is above all an interesting readable story about an immigrant’s struggles and achievements in the century of American greatness. It’s about the external and internal struggles of the man who in 1948 became the first black elected official in Brooklyn, New York. It’s a story about a person, place and time that have been forgotten, cast into the dustbin of history. This is true even as Brooklyn today is one of the most popular destinations in the world. The population of Brooklyn is changing rapidly as newcomers from Europe, Australia and around the United States flock there to begin new lives. Curiously, the newcomers will embrace this book even as much as the old-timers who identify with the viewpoint of the author and the principal subject of the book. That’s because so many of the newcomers, even as they displace the old-time residents, are educated, progressive and curious about the past. This story is therefore for them as well as for those who carry a love for the old black Brooklyn that is fading in their hearts. Beginning, as it does, at the end of the nineteenth century, Boss of Black Brooklyn, carries in its innards the character of a place that for many is the heart of the America that emerged on the world scene in the mid twentieth century, the place of dreams. Boss of Brooklyn, in its final chapters, also tells us of the era when the earlier dream began to fade and central Brooklyn was called a ghetto, with all the disparagement implied in the term. Now, once again, things are shifting demographically. And the dreaminess of the transformations is felt in the book’s main character, its subject, Bertram L. Baker. There is a satisfaction in the reading of the story, because we see the empowering nature of family.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Image Plates
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  1. Foreword: Former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick Reminisces
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Preface: A Grandson Learns His Duty
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Introduction: An Ancestor Speaks from Beyond
  2. pp. 1-9
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  1. 1 The Lasting Anger of an Abandoned Son
  2. pp. 10-31
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  1. 2 Irene: Baker Forever, but Never a Boss
  2. pp. 32-43
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  1. 3 Searching for a Band of Brothers
  2. pp. 44-64
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  1. 4 A “Coloured” West Indian in the Realm of the Irish and the Jews
  2. pp. 65-82
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  1. 5 The American Tennis Association as a Brotherhood/Sisterhood
  2. pp. 83-90
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  1. 6 Climbing the Ladder to Elective Office
  2. pp. 91-96
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  1. 7 On a Mission in the 1950s: Desegregation of Housing
  2. pp. 97-107
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  1. 8 Master of Black Compromise
  2. pp. 108-125
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  1. 9 The 1960s, Political Reform, and Personal Tragedy
  2. pp. 126-148
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  1. 10 Irene, in the End, Became His Connection to Home and Mother
  2. pp. 149-154
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  1. 11 Author Commentary. Downtown Brooklyn: Soul of the Boss, Soul of a People
  2. pp. 155-158
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  1. 12 Author Commentary. My Other Grandfather, a Priest and Writer I Hardly Knew
  2. pp. 159-171
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  1. Conclusion: Century of Promise, Century of Hope
  2. pp. 172-182
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 183-186
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 187-198
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 199-206
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 207-220
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780823281015
Related ISBN
9780823280995
MARC Record
OCLC
1054627654
Pages
288
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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