Socially, Ella was in the upper class of Boston black society. She lived in the "Hill" section of Roxbury, the part of Boston in which blacks were permitted to live. There was a sharp social distinction between the successful, middle-class "Hill Negroes" of Ella's neighborhood and the lower-class people of the ghetto, the "Town" section. Actually, the social standing of the Hill Negroes generally depended upon menial jobs, but they attached a great deal of self-importance to these jobs. Bank janitors referred to themselves as being "in finance"; household servants were "with an old family." Malcolm saw this identification of social status by occupation as an aping of the white social structure, on a lower scale. Another borrowing from white society was the snobbery of the native New England blacks toward the outsiders, mostly Southerners and West Indians. The New Englanders generally considered
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Malcolm, ella, Hill Negroes, Boston black society., jobs. Bank janitors, New England blacks