Hiring the Black Worker: The Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry, 1960-1980
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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There Were No Blacks Running the Machines Black Employment in the Southern Textile Industry before 1964
The Government Brought About the Real Change Causes of the Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry 19641980
For Quite Obvious Reasons We Do Not Want to Fill These Mills Up with Negroes The Attitudes of Textile Executives to Black Employment
I Felt Myself as a Pioneer The Experiences of the First Black Production Workers
The Only Ones That Got a Promotion Was a White Man The Discriminatory Treatment of Black Men in the Textile Industry 19641980
Getting Out of the White Mans Kitchen African American Women and the Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry
Community Activism and Litigation The Role of Civil Rights Organizations in the Racial Integration of the Southern Textile Industry
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action active Adams African Americans AFSC applicants August black women black workers Burlington Industries Cannon charges Civil Rights Act claimed company's complaints County Daily News Record Deposition described discrimination economic EEOC efforts Ellison employed employees employment equal especially example executives experience explained fact fear February federal felt filed Findings Finishing Folder hired ibid important increased integration interview issue J. P. Stevens January Johnson June labor lawsuits leaders letters major male March Negro never North Carolina November Office opportunity organizing percent placed plaintiffs plant positions problem production Program promotion racial records refused Regional remembered reported representatives resistance River Mills Rock Hill segregated September showed Sledge South southern textile strike supervisors TEAM textile companies textile industry textile workers told Trial TWUA union wanted white workers wrote
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?