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Black Eden

The Idlewild Community
Narrated by: Padre Mickey
Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
Categories: History, American
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Black Eden chronicles the history of Idlewild, a Michigan black community founded during the aftermath of the Civil War. As one of the nation’s most popular black resorts, Idlewild functioned as a gathering place for African Americans, and more importantly, as a touchstone of black identity and culture. 

Benjamin C. Wilson and Lewis Walker examine Idlewild’s significance within a historical context, as well as the town’s revitalization efforts and the need for comprehensive planning in future development. 

In a segregated America, Idlewild became a place where black audiences could see rising black entertainers. Black Eden provides a lengthy discussion about the crucial role Idlewild played in the careers of artists such as Louis Armstrong, B. B. King, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, and Della Reese. 

Fundamentally, the audiobook explores issues involved in living in a segregated society, the consequences of the civil rights movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent integration, and the consequences of integration vs. racial solidarity. The authors ask: "Did integration kill Idlewild?", suggesting rather that other factors contributed to its decline.

©2002 Lewis Walker and Benjamin C. Wilson (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

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