Communities in the United States are chapters in the great story of this country. And while many of these chapters are well known in our history, there are a great many that need their stories to be told by the people who lived there.
In The History of Elsmere: African American Life in Glassboro, New Jersey, author Robert P. Tucker describes middle-class life in a small, semirural South Jersey minority neighborhood, offering a history that spans over three centuries. From the clearing of land for farming to the building of segregated schools and housing developments just twenty miles southeast of Philadelphia, Tucker chronicles the history of the neighborhood as only a lifelong resident could. He also speaks to the harrowing experiences of escaping the Ku Klux Klan and living through the poverty of the Depression, sharing the story of minority life in the community.
The history of this small community is an important part of the story of America, and the experiences of the men, women, and children who lived in Elsmere can come together to reflect the spirit of a time and a place. Much of Elsmere has changed, but the memories now live on and can teach us about where we came from—and where we are going.