TALLY'S CORNER: A Study of Negro Streetcorner Men by Elliot Liebow

TALLY'S CORNER: A Study of Negro Streetcorner Men

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The New Deal Carry-Out store is a stand-up coke and hamburger joint in a Negro area of Washington, D.C. Liebow hardly traveled ten blocks from the site while researching the lives and attitudes of Negro men in the city as a part of a five-year project sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. He became acquainted with about eight or nine men who frequented the Carry-Out and here records their lives--as breadwinners, fathers, husbands, lovers, and friends. Leroy, Seacat, Tally and others speak and are described; shown are their fast friendships, easily taken, easily lost; their on and off low-paying jobs; their stormy love lives, often marked by exploitation; their marriages turned to ruin because of money pressures; their casual relationships with their kids. It is an earnest book, and Liebow footnotes his simple narrative with information from similar studies. His conclusion argues that this Negro world is not a sub-culture, but a part of larger American culture running in a rut of ignorance and frustration. Somewhat simplistic and repetitive, but the study makes cogent points and is a valuable addition to the literature.

Publisher: Little, Brown