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The Working Man’s RewardChicago's Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl$
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Elaine Lewinnek

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199769223.001.0001

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The Mortgages of Whiteness

The Mortgages of Whiteness

Chicago’s Race Riots of 1919

(p.151) Chapter 6 The Mortgages of Whiteness
The Working Man’s Reward

Elaine Lewinnek

Oxford University Press

By the early twentieth century, in the space that Chicago developer Samuel Eberly Gross had advertised as “the working man’s reward,” residents recognized that the reward of upward mobility through homeownership had eluded many of them. They felt their property values threatened, they blamed African Americans, and, in July 1919, they rioted. Chicago’s week-long riots were a contest over the mortgages of whiteness, reinforcing the idea of binary race relations within twentieth-century assumptions of property values.

Keywords:   race, property values, mortgages of whiteness, Chicago, race riot, 1919

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