We Are Labor Too
We Are Labor Too
This chapter examines the labor movement's recruitment of young people, particularly African Americans, in support of economic justice initiatives. Movement bridge-builders in the labor movement attempted to strategically link framing strategies with organizing and the cultural work of local unions and community-labor coalitions. They relied upon indigenous activists and groups to create an interest convergence between local labor activists, workers, and students who were recruited into the labor movement. Labor and workers' rights activists also focused on intergenerational movement activism in order to shift the labor movement away from institutional leveraging, or efforts by old-guard laborites to channel labor's resources inside of established bureaucratic and political institutions. The chapter highlights the reform measures instituted by President John Sweeney of the American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) and analyzes on whether these measures created opportunities for young blacks to participate in the labor movement.
Keywords: labor movement, African American, economic justice initiatives, labor activists, intergenerational movement activism, institutional leveraging, John Sweeney, American Federation of Labor, Congress of Industrial Organizations
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