Creating Community: Chicago and Los Angeles, 1900–1965

The years between 1900 and 1965 saw massive population growth and change in the United States. Immigrants and migrants were pulled to U.S. cities by the abundance of semi-skilled and low-skilled jobs, as well as other economic opportunities offered by an industrializing society. The foreign-born encountered and competed with Americans of African, Mexican, Asian, and European descent. Cities became arenas of engagement where newcomers and the native-born negotiated their place in a changing nation. These stories about Chicago and Los Angeles illustrate some of the ways diverse people created and re-created neighborhoods and worked to form community in America’s cities.