All Eyes Are Upon Us

Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn

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All Eyes Are Upon Us explores the history of racial struggles in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York from World War II to the present.

The Northeast has long basked in its reputation as the home of abolitionism and a refuge for blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South. But its cities have also stood as strongholds of segregation and racism. At times, this region witnessed bold experiments in interracial democracy: the schools of Springfield, Massachusetts, attempted to abolish racial and religious prejudice; white fans in Brooklyn embraced Jackie Robinson; voters repeatedly supported black candidates, including Senator Edward Brooke in Massachusetts and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in Brooklyn.

Yet during these same moments, an opposing narrative unfolded—one highlighted by worsening black poverty, hardening patterns of segregation, and exploding incidents of racial violence. All Eyes Are Upon Us probes the conflict between these two warring traditions.

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