Chapter

“A Lot Closer to What It Ought to Be”: Black Women and Public-Sector Employment in Baltimore, 1950–1975

Jane Berger

in Life and Labor in the New New South

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780813037950
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043111 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037950.003.0004
“A Lot Closer to What It Ought to Be”: Black Women and Public-Sector Employment in Baltimore, 1950–1975

Show Summary Details

Preview

During the 1960s, the public sector became a critical source of employment for African Americans. Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs, often critiqued for lacking a jobs-creation component to combat structural male unemployment, nonetheless dramatically expanded the public sector. In Baltimore, civil rights activists built on the momentum of earlier equal-employment campaigns to win government jobs for black workers. Because most of the new positions were in the human services, black women outpaced black men in entering the government workforce. To be sure, African Americans were concentrated at the bottom of employment hierarchies. By the end of the decade, however, unionization improved the conditions of employment for most government workers. In a city undergoing rapid deindustrialization, unionized public-sector jobs helped many black families weather the storm and, in some cases, move up the economic ladder.

Keywords: public sector; African Americans; Women; Great Society; urban employment; civil rights; deindustrialization

Chapter.  11855 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.