Hiring the Black Worker: The Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry, 1960-1980

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Univ of North Carolina Press, 1999 - Business & Economics - 342 pages
In the 1960s and 1970s, the textile industry's workforce underwent a dramatic transformation, as African Americans entered the South's largest industry in growing numbers. Only 3.3 percent of textile workers were black in 1960; by 1978, this number had risen to 25 percent. Using previously untapped legal records and oral history interviews, Timothy Minchin crafts a compelling account of the integration of the mills.

Minchin argues that the role of a labor shortage in spurring black hiring has been overemphasized, pointing instead to the federal government's influence in pressing the textile industry to integrate. He also highlights the critical part played by African American activists. Encouraged by passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, black workers filed antidiscrimination lawsuits against nearly all of the major textile companies. Still, Minchin notes, even after the integration of the mills, African American workers encountered considerable resistance: black women faced continued hiring discrimination, while black men found themselves shunted into low-paying jobs with little hope of promotion.

 

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Contents

There Were No Blacks Running the Machines Black Employment in the Southern Textile Industry before 1964
7
The Government Brought About the Real Change Causes of the Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry 19641980
43
For Quite Obvious Reasons We Do Not Want to Fill These Mills Up with Negroes The Attitudes of Textile Executives to Black Employment
67
I Felt Myself as a Pioneer The Experiences of the First Black Production Workers
99
The Only Ones That Got a Promotion Was a White Man The Discriminatory Treatment of Black Men in the Textile Industry 19641980
127
Getting Out of the White Mans Kitchen African American Women and the Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry
161
Community Activism and Litigation The Role of Civil Rights Organizations in the Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry
205
A Mixed Blessing The Role of Labor Unions in the Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry
233
epilogue
265
notes
273
bibliography
319
index
331
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Page 2 - Of what advantage is it to the Negro to establish that he can be served in integrated restaurants or accommodated in integrated hotels, if he is bound to the kind of financial servitude which will not allow him to take a vacation, or even take his wife out to dinner?

About the author (1999)

Timothy J. Minchin is author of What Do We Need a Union For?: The TWUA in the South, 1945-1955. He teaches American history at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

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