This chapter briefly details the post-1920 northern freedom struggle at the Jersey Shore. Despite continued efforts by grassroots black activists to press for integration, the black merchant class exploited the gradual decline of white entertainment spaces and the growing appeal of black consumer culture to lure in white customers and to downplay direct civil rights action. Rather than the typical “long march to freedom” promoted in many oft-told accounts, this chapter argues that the promise of consumption and the accompanying culture of growth spurred the region’s long retreat from earlier civil rights victories.
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