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Managing InequalityNorthern Racial Liberalism in Interwar Detroit$
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Karen R. Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479880096

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479880096.001.0001

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Northern Racial Liberalism and Detroit’s Labor Movement

Northern Racial Liberalism and Detroit’s Labor Movement

Chapter:
(p.205) 6 Northern Racial Liberalism and Detroit’s Labor Movement
Source:
Managing Inequality
Author(s):

Karen R. Miller

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479880096.003.0007

This chapter looks at how race and black activism shaped debates about labor and interracial unionism. By the end of the 1930s, black workers and residents had sustained a reasonable expectation that white leaders interested in their support would use language about racial equality when they addressed a black audience. But they were looking for something more: white allies committed to the fight for racial justice who used clearly and consistently inclusive practices in their own work. African Americans had used a range of strategies to address employment discrimination and develop an alternate vision of racial justice in the workplace. Yet interracial unionism, like northern racial liberalism, was a conflicted and inconsistent promise for racial justice, coming from leaders of the predominantly white Left and the white union movement.

Keywords:   black activism, labor movements, interracial unionism, racial equality, racial justice, employment discrimination, white Left, white union movement

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