The Northside by Nelson Johnson
African Americans and the Creation of Atlantic City

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Nelson Johnson frequently stopped working on Boardwalk Empire to wrestle with how best to handle the thorny subject of race. But he persisted, and the result was a chapter—"A Plantation by the Sea"—that inspired this powerful sequel.

In The Northside, Johnson brings the untold story of Atlantic City's black community vividly to life, from the arrival of the first African Americans to Absecon Island in the early 19th century through the glory days of the "World's Playground." Drawing on dozens of personal interviews and painstaking archival research, he reveals long-forgotten details about the people on whose backs the gambling mecca was built and offers a wide-ranging survey of the accomplishments of more recent generations.

Exploited for their labor and banished to the most undesirable part of town, resilient Northsiders created a vibrant city within a city—a place where black culture could thrive and young people could aspire to become artists, athletes, educators, and leaders of business, politics, and society. As Nelson Johnson shows in this unflinching portrait, Atlantic City was built on their toil—and the Northside was born of their dreams.

About Nelson Johnson

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Nelson Johnson, whose family's presence in Atlantic County predates the founding of Atlantic City, is a lifelong resident of Hammonton, New Jersey. He practiced law for 30 years and was active in Atlantic City and Atlantic County politics through much of that period.Johnson's previous book, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, inspired the critically acclaimed HBO series from Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter.
Published November 29, 2010 by Plexus Publishing, Inc.. 358 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Northside

The best compliment paid to Nelson Johnson for his new book about Atlantic City’s black population came from Rutgers-Newark professor Clement Price.

Dec 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Northside: African Americ...

AP/Press of Atlantic City

As Johnson describes the experience of Atlantic City's black community in the early 20th century he states, "Shunned by the white world, black people understood that they hadn't been vanquished;

Nov 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The Northside: African Americ...

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