brotherhoods of color black railroad workers and the struggle for equality

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Brotherhoods Of Color

Author : Eric ARNESEN
ISBN : 9780674020283
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 44. 26 MB
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From the time the first tracks were laid in the early nineteenth century, the railroad has occupied a crucial place in America's historical imagination. Now, for the first time, Eric Arnesen gives us an untold piece of that vital American institution--the story of African Americans on the railroad. African Americans have been a part of the railroad from its inception, but today they are largely remembered as Pullman porters and track layers. The real history is far richer, a tale of endless struggle, perseverance, and partial victory. In a sweeping narrative, Arnesen re-creates the heroic efforts by black locomotive firemen, brakemen, porters, dining car waiters, and redcaps to fight a pervasive system of racism and job discrimination fostered by their employers, white co-workers, and the unions that legally represented them even while barring them from membership. Decades before the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the mid-1950s, black railroaders forged their own brand of civil rights activism, organizing their own associations, challenging white trade unions, and pursuing legal redress through state and federal courts. In recapturing black railroaders' voices, aspirations, and challenges, Arnesen helps to recast the history of black protest and American labor in the twentieth century. Table of Contents: Prologue 1. Race in the First Century of American Railroading 2. Promise and Failure in the World War I Era 3. The Black Wedge of Civil Rights Unionism 4. Independent Black Unionism in Depression and War 5. The Rise of the Red Caps 6. The Politics of Fair Employment 7. The Politics of Fair Representation 8. Black Railroaders in the Modern Era Conclusion Notes Acknowledgments Index Reviews of this book: In this superbly written monograph, Arnesen...shows how African American railroad workers combined civil rights and labor union activism in their struggles for racial equality in the workplace...Throughout, black locomotive firemen, porters, yardmen, and other railroaders speak eloquently about the work they performed and their confrontations with racist treatment...This history of the 'aristocrats' of the African American working class is highly recommended. --Charles L. Lumpkins, Library Journal Reviews of this book: Arnesen provides a fascinating look at U.S. labor and commerce in the arena of the railroads, so much a part of romantic notions about the growth of the nation. The focus of the book is the troubled history of the railroads in the exploitation of black workers from slavery until the civil rights movement, with an insightful analysis of the broader racial integration brought about by labor activism. --Vanessa Bush, Booklist Reviews of this book: [An] exhaustive and illuminating work of scholarship. --Publishers Weekly Reviews of this book: Arnesen tells a story that should be of interest to a variety of readers, including those who are avid students of this country's railroads. He knows his stuff, and furthermore, reminds us of how dependent American railroads were on the backbreaking labor of racial and ethnic groups whose civil and political status were precarious at best: Irish, Chinese, Mexicans and Italians, as well as African-Americans. But Arnesen's most powerful and provocative argument is that the nature of discrimination not only led black railroad workers to pursue the path of independent unionism, it also propelled them into the larger struggle for civil rights. --Steven Hahn, Chicago Tribune

Pullman Porters And The Rise Of Protest Politics In Black America 1925 1945

Author : Beth Tompkins Bates
ISBN : 0807875368
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 79. 43 MB
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Between World War I and World War II, African Americans' quest for civil rights took on a more aggressive character as a new group of black activists challenged the politics of civility traditionally embraced by old-guard leaders in favor of a more forceful protest strategy. Beth Tompkins Bates traces the rise of this new protest politics--which was grounded in making demands and backing them up with collective action--by focusing on the struggle of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) to form a union in Chicago, headquarters of the Pullman Company. Bates shows how the BSCP overcame initial opposition from most of Chicago's black leaders by linking its union message with the broader social movement for racial equality. As members of BSCP protest networks mobilized the black community around the quest for manhood rights and economic freedom, they broke down resistance to organized labor even as they expanded the boundaries of citizenship to include equal economic opportunity. By the mid-1930s, BSCP protest networks gained platforms at the national level, fusing Brotherhood activities first with those of the National Negro Congress and later with the March on Washington Movement. Lessons learned during this era guided the next generation of activists, who carried the black freedom struggle forward after World War II.

Railroads In The African American Experience

Author : Theodore Kornweibel
ISBN : NWU:35556039331368
Genre : History
File Size : 54. 43 MB
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Surveys the African American railroad experience, from the work of slaves who laid rail and the activism of the famous Pullman Porters to the lives of current black railroad employees and passengers.

The Great Southwest Railroad Strike And Free Labor

Author : Theresa Ann Case
ISBN : 9781603443401
Genre : Electronic books
File Size : 37. 8 MB
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The Columbia Guide To African American History Since 1939

Author : Robert L. Harris, Jr.
ISBN : 0231138113
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 60 MB
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Marian Anderson's famous 1939 concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial was a watershed moment in the struggle for racial justice. Beginning with this event, Robert L. Harris Jr. and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn chart the historical efforts of African Americans to address racism and inequality. They explore the rise of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and the national and international contexts that shaped their ideologies and methods. They consider how changes in immigration patterns have complicated the conventional "black/white" dichotomy in American society and discuss the often uneasy coexistence between a growing African American middle class and a persistent and sizable underclass. Contributors consider specific issues in African American life, including the effects of the postindustrial economy and the influence of music, military service, sports, literature, culture, business, and the politics of self-designation, e.g., "Colored" vs. "Negro," "Black" vs. "African American." An invaluable resource, The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939 is a multifaceted map of a crucial historical period.

New Working Class Studies

Author : John Russo
ISBN : 0801489679
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 35. 2 MB
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This book brings together historians, economists, geographers, sociologists, and scholars of literature and cultural studies to explore the emerging discipline of working-class studies and identify its key themes and issues.

A Companion To African American History

Author : Alton Hornsby, Jr.
ISBN : 9781405137355
Genre : History
File Size : 47. 59 MB
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A Companion to African American History is a collection of original and authoritative essays arranged thematically and topically, covering a wide range of subjects from the seventeenth century to the present day. Analyzes the major sources and the most influential books and articles in the field Includes discussions of globalization, region, migration, gender, class and social forces that make up the broad cultural fabric of African American history

Black Americans And Organized Labor

Author : Paul D. Moreno
ISBN : 9780807148822
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 28. 5 MB
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In Black Americans and Organized Labor, Paul D. Moreno offers a bold reinterpretation of the role of race and racial discrimination in the American labor movement. Moreno applies insights of the law-and-economics movement to formulate a powerfully compelling labor-race theorem of elegant simplicity: White unionists found that race was a convenient basis on which to do what unions do -- control the labor supply. Not racism pure and simple but "the economics of discrimination" explains historic black absence and under-representation in unions. Moreno's sweeping reexamination stretches from the antebellum period to the present, integrating principal figures such as Frederick Douglass and Samuel Gompers, Isaac Myers and Booker T. Washington, and W. E. B. Du Bois and A. Philip Randolph. He traces changing attitudes and practices during the simultaneous black migration to the North and consolidation of organized labor's power, through the confusing and conflicted post-World War II period, during the course of the civil rights movement, and into the era of affirmative action. Maneuvering across a wide span of time and a broad array of issues, Moreno brings remarkable clarity to the question of the importance of race in unions. He impressively weaves together labor, policy, and African American history into a cogent, persuasive revisionist study that cannot be ignored.

The Other Blacklist

Author : Mary Helen Washington
ISBN : 9780231526470
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 88. 97 MB
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Mary Helen Washington recovers the vital role of 1950s leftist politics in the works and lives of modern African American writers and artists. While most histories of McCarthyism focus on the devastation of the blacklist and the intersection of leftist politics and American culture, few include the activities of radical writers and artists from the Black Popular Front. Washington's work incorporates these black intellectuals back into our understanding of mid-twentieth-century African American literature and art and expands our understanding of the creative ferment energizing all of America during this period. Mary Helen Washington reads four representative writers—Lloyd Brown, Frank London Brown, Alice Childress, and Gwendolyn Brooks—and surveys the work of the visual artist Charles White. She traces resonances of leftist ideas and activism in their artistic achievements and follows their balanced critique of the mainstream liberal and conservative political and literary spheres. Her study recounts the targeting of African American as well as white writers during the McCarthy era, reconstructs the events of the 1959 Black Writers' Conference in New York, and argues for the ongoing influence of the Black Popular Front decades after it folded. Defining the contours of a distinctly black modernism and its far-ranging radicalization of American politics and culture, Washington fundamentally reorients scholarship on African American and Cold War literature and life.

Warfare State

Author : James T. Sparrow
ISBN : 9780199831630
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 90. 92 MB
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Although common wisdom and much scholarship assume that "big government" gained its foothold in the United States under the auspices of the New Deal during the Great Depression, in fact it was the Second World War that accomplished this feat. Indeed, as the federal government mobilized for war it grew tenfold, quickly dwarfing the New Deal's welfare programs. Warfare State shows how the federal government vastly expanded its influence over American society during World War II. Equally important, it looks at how and why Americans adapted to this expansion of authority. Through mass participation in military service, war work, rationing, price control, income taxation, and the war bond program, ordinary Americans learned to live with the warfare state. They accepted these new obligations because the government encouraged all citizens to think of themselves as personally connected to the battle front, linking their every action to the fate of the combat soldier. As they worked for the American Soldier, Americans habituated themselves to the authority of the government. Citizens made their own counter-claims on the state-particularly in the case of industrial workers, women, African Americans, and most of all, the soldiers. Their demands for fuller citizenship offer important insights into the relationship between citizen morale, the uses of patriotism, and the legitimacy of the state in wartime. World War II forged a new bond between citizens, nation, and government. Warfare State tells the story of this dramatic transformation in American life.

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