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Just as ethnic populations often settled together in various locations in Tennessee to create neighborhoods, found businesses, or settle into an agrarian lifestyle, African Americans purchased farms and town lots, established themselves in marginal sections of town and cities, and staked out new neighborhoods. They purchased real estate and created business districts often linked to churches or schools. As the twentieth century progressed, these spaces were often disrupted by urban renewal programs.
They Took Their Stand...With Race in Mind: Tennesseans and the Issue of Change
by Michael T. Bertrand
Look closely at the arrangement of streets, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions anywhere in Tennessee and you will find a pattern that began with Emancipation in the 1860s, if not earlier: whites clustered in one part of the town and African Americans huddled in another. ...More.
Although a few African Americans achieved business success in Tennessee prior to the American Civil War, it was not until the post-emancipation period that African American-owned businesses began to flourish. ...More.
At the turn of the century African Americans across Tennessee began to create their own leisure spaces. ...More.
Venturing into the public realm could prove uncomfortable or even dangerous during the Jim Crow era. ...More