An amazingly evocative way of understanding African American culture across time, and across the country. By drawing on biographical sketches, Hunter and Robinson evoke the network of places, the Chocolate Cities, that black people have created. The authors carefully balance the regional distinctions (many Souths in USA, a concept worth exploring on its own) against the cultural and historic similarities shared by these places.
The people we meet, from Afeni Shakur to W.E.B. Du Bois, from Ida B. Wells Keegan Michael Key, and from Marsha P. Johnson to James Baldwin, are–before all else–people. Every life happens somewhere, often several somewheres, and with other people, and it is these connections to place and lives which allow the authors to illuminate the importance of Chocolate Cities by demonstrating that their existence is the flip side and outgrowth of the human lives they contain.