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Colored WhiteTranscending the Racial Past$
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David Roediger

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233416

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233416.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

What If Labor Were Not White and Male?

What If Labor Were Not White and Male?

(p.178) (p.179) 11 What If Labor Were Not White and Male?
Colored White

David R. Roediger

University of California Press

This chapter argues that the face of organized labor is changing and is likely to open fresh avenues of inquiry into the past. It also broadly describes how recent work in labor history has begun to respond to changes in the composition of the working class and of organized labor. Next, it addresses how one specific debate—that over the record of organized labor in combating racism—might be transformed as historians write for a changed labor audience and react to the fact that the coding of labor as white and male cannot be sustained. A concrete example of how historical debate can productively be shifted is presented: the policies of the National Labor Union and other working-class organizations following the Civil War. The important recent work on gender and labor after the Civil War greatly complicates Du Bois' account.

Keywords:   organized labor, working class, racism, white, male, National Labor Union, Civil War, Du Bois

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