Stock Image

The Great Black Way: L.A. in the 1940s and the Lost African-American Renaissance (Signed)

Smith, R.J.

35 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1586482955 / ISBN 13: 9781586482954
Published by Public Affairs, New York, 2006
From Warwick Books, member IOBA (South Pasadena, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since June 11, 2002

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 35.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 4.50 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Hardcover with dustjacket. 8vo. First edition. SIGNED by the author on front endpaper. Book is in fine, as-new condition, as is jacket. A fascinating history of LA's Central Avenue in the 1940s; from jazz clubs, the birth of Pentecostalism, to union integrations. With numerous photographs. Not price-clipped. 320 pp. including index. Bookseller Inventory # 14531

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Great Black Way: L.A. in the 1940s and ...

Publisher: Public Affairs, New York

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


This book, like a major archaeological dig, unearths a littleknown, now vanished civilization and changes how we understand history. In the 1940s, when FDR opened up the defense industry to black workers, it inspired a massive wave of black migration to a small area of Los Angeles along Central Avenue—and cultural ferment in the arts, culture, and politics. In a neighborhood densely packed with black musicians, independent labels and after hours spots, rhythm and blues was spawned. Chester Himes fathered the black detective novel and a noir sensibility. Black comics took off minstrel blackface for the first time and addressed audiences directly with socially-tinged humor. And, Smith suggests, the civil rights movement helped get its start, as the strategy of building mass movements and giving power to ghetto dwellers gained favor in opposition to the top-down strategies of the NAACP and the Urban League. Harlem's Renaissance had been driven by the intellectual elite. In L.A., a new sense of black identity arose from street level. But when the moment was over, many hopes and lives were swept away with it. Based on original research and interviews, told through an engaging narrative, this book shows convincingly that much that we take for granted today, from hip hop and slang to modern-day street fashion, all flowed from the 1940s scene along the Great Black Way.

About the Author:

RJ Smith is a senior editor at Los Angeles Magazine. He was a columnist for The Village Voice, a senior contributing editor at Details, and a staff writer for Spin, and has written for major magazines including The New York Times Magazine, GQ, and Rolling Stone. His research for The Great Black Way was underwritten by the Getty Research Institute and by USC's Center for Transnational and Multiethnic Studies. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Smith now lives in L.A.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Warwick Books, is an Internet-only bookseller that specializes in hard-to-find books for avid readers and collectors. Many of our books are out of print. Specialties include literature, signed firsts, art and photography, design, illustrated books, cookbooks, field guides, children's books, needlecraft books, and Americana. We recently acquired a large private collection of books on military history. The focus is on World War II as well as aviation history. Warwick Books is a member of IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We accept personal checks, money orders, Paypal, and credit card payments through ABE's secure ABE Commerce arrangement. California residents add 9.5 percent sales tax. Please e-mail or phone to confirm availability of books before sending payment. We can be reached at Warwick Books, 101 Warwick Place, South Pasadena, CA, att: Suzanne Mantell. Phone 323-683-3294; e-mail All items are guaranteed as described. We ship all books well protected in bubble wrap and boxes. Bo...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders ship within 2 business days. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we will contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal