African Americans of Des Moines and Polk County

  • Overview
  • Details
  • Author
  • More About This Book
Although African American pioneers arrived in Des Moines, Iowa, in the early 1860s, the population exploded in the 1880s due to the surrounding coal mines. In the 1860s, the Burns Methodist Episcopal Church was the first African American church built in Des Moines, and its only address was "East Side of the River." From 1900 to the 1960s, African Americans across the United States called Center Street "the coolest place in the country." The likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and many others graced the hotels and clubs there. In Des Moines in the late 1960s and early 1970s, young African Americans discarded the term Negro and demanded to be referred to as Afro-American or black, as black pride swelled in their chests.
ISBN: 9780738582962
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Iowa
Series: Images of America
Images: 209
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Honesty Parker is a writer, storyteller in the African call-and-response genre, poet, and genealogy enthusiast. She was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and lived very near Center Street, a historical icon in the African American community. Her investigative spirit led her to look to the past as a way to reconcile the social events that were happening around her and shaping the future of the African Americans in not only Des Moines but also in the entire United States.
More About This Book