Race, Class, and Power in the Alabama Coalfields, 1908-21

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University of Illinois Press, 2001 - Business & Economics - 264 pages
In this lucid and supremely readable study, Brian Kelly challenges the prevailing notion that white workers were the main source of resistance to racial equality in the Jim Crow South.

Kelly explores the forces that brought the black and white miners of Birmingham, Alabama, together during the hard-fought strikes of 1908 and 1920. He examines the systematic efforts by the region's powerful industrialists to foment racial divisions as a means of splitting the workforce, preventing unionization, and holding wages to the lowest levels in the country. He also details the role played by Birmingham's small but influential black middle class, whose espousal of industrial accommodation outraged black miners and revealed significant tensions within the African-American community.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Judgment Day 1908
17
The Operators Dilemma
25
The Limits of Reform from Above
50
Racial Paternalism and the Black Miner
81
White Supremacy and WorkingClass Interracialism
108
War Migration and the Revival of Coalfield Militancy
132
People Here Has Come to a Pass The 1920 Strike
162
Bringing the Employers Back In
203
Notes
209
Bibliography
245
Index
255
Copyright

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Page 251 - Herbert G. Gutman, Power and Culture: Essays on the American Working Class, ed.
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About the author (2001)

Brian Kelly is a lecturer in the School of Modern History at Queen's University Belfast.

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