Civil Rights Unionism


in Black Workers Remember

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780520217744
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928060 | DOI:
Civil Rights Unionism

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This chapter contains a vision of civil rights unionism, a unionism engaged simultaneously with striving for decent jobs and equal political and legal rights. Labor and civil rights objectives were not always the same and unions often provided ambiguous partners for black workers. One side of the labor movement resisted civil rights and minority demands, while another sought an expansive agenda for social change. But the workers and organizers interviewed here had no doubt which side of the divide they were on. Allied with the broader civil rights movement, they sought to move unions beyond rabid fears of communism and integration toward a vigorous challenge to Jim Crow at work and in the society.

Keywords: Jim Crow; civil rights unionism; labor movement; minority demands; communism

Chapter.  21495 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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