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John Tilghman, Associate Professor and Interim Department Chair of History and Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Temple University Press (TUP) Zane L. Miller Book Development Award for his proposed book, currently titled Jim Crow from the Harbor: Black Freedom Struggle and Downtown Baltimore. He will receive $2,500 to fund the development of his urban studies-focused book manuscript.
When presenting Tilghman with the award, the committee noted that his book “provides new perspectives on downtown development, African American history, Baltimore history, and the complexities of class in urban America.”
The prize, named in honor of the late founding editor of TUP’s Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy series, is designed to advance the careers of scholars from underrepresented communities who have limited access to financial resources for book development. It also honors Miller, a renowned scholar of urban history and a devoted, tireless mentor to less-experienced fellow authors seeking to navigate the book development and publication process.
David Stradling, coeditor of the Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy series said, “Dr. Tilghman’s work revises the story of the white growth machine’s late 20th century efforts to protect downtown Baltimore through segregation, redevelopment, and displacement by putting Black voices and Black activism at the center of the story. In Tilghman’s telling, Black home buyers remake Baltimore’s central city neighborhoods, Black shoppers force the desegregation of downtown stores, and Black activists reshape Baltimore politics. Ultimately, efforts to create an all-white citadel in the central city can only crumble.”
Upon receiving the award, Tilghman said, “Winning the Zane L. Miller Book Development Award is a tremendous honor. I would like to thank the editors at Temple University Press, and particularly Dr. David Stradling and Dr. Davarian Baldwin, for helping me make this proposed book more insightful and impactful.”
Jim Crow from the Harbor examines Baltimore’s downtown redevelopment of the Charles Center and Inner Harbor-Harborplace through the lens of the city’s civil rights movement, with particular attention paid to how these initiatives succeeded in producing a glitzy façade of a revitalized downtown American city while severely constraining the lives of its Black residents.
Tilghman explores the origins and importance of urban tensions between the Black community and downtown interests after the Second Great Migration and during the postwar Civil Rights and Black Power era, the implementation of urban development projects, and anti-freeway and affirmative action campaigns. The author’s research uncovers how a public-private partnership—a coalition of real estate agents, businesspeople, city politicians, and housing developers— worked to exacerbate racial and class segregation and destroy Black communities by expanding the downtown beyond the central business district.
The Zane L. Miller Book Development Award is given annually. For submission information, click here.
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