The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the 1920s, Henry Ford hired thousands of African American men for his open-shop system of auto manufacturing. This move was a rejection of the notion that better jobs were for white men only. In The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford, Beth Tompkins Bates explains how black Detroiters, newly arrived from the South, seized the economic opportunities offered by Ford in the hope of gaining greater economic security. As these workers came to realize that Ford's anti-union "American Plan" did not allow...
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The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford

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Overview

In the 1920s, Henry Ford hired thousands of African American men for his open-shop system of auto manufacturing. This move was a rejection of the notion that better jobs were for white men only. In The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford, Beth Tompkins Bates explains how black Detroiters, newly arrived from the South, seized the economic opportunities offered by Ford in the hope of gaining greater economic security. As these workers came to realize that Ford's anti-union "American Plan" did not allow them full access to the American Dream, their loyalty eroded, and they sought empowerment by pursuing a broad activist agenda. This, in turn, led them to play a pivotal role in the United Auto Workers' challenge to Ford's interests.
In order to fully understand this complex shift, Bates traces allegiances among Detroit's African American community as reflected in its opposition to the Ku Klux Klan, challenges to unfair housing practices, and demands for increased and effective political participation. This groundbreaking history demonstrates how by World War II Henry Ford and his company had helped kindle the civil rights movement in Detroit without intending to do so.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Recommended. All academic levels/libraries."
-Choice

"An engaging book, lucidly presented and approachable to anyone with a curious mind."
-SpeedReaders.info

"A detailed and highly readable history of Ford's industrial goals, his controlling social vision for his workers, and his brutal response to unionization."
-TriQuarterly.org

"[A] valuable new book. . . . [and a] fine study."
-Journal of American History

"Black Detroit includes some remarkable and complicated stories [that explore] changing attitudes and realities within the city in a masterful manner. . . . It is an important addition to the Detroit Story."
-American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807837450
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/24/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,145,007
  • File size: 16 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Beth Tompkins Bates is professor emerita at Wayne State University and author of Pullman Porters and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black America, 1925-1945.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Abbreviations Used in the Text xv

Introduction 1

1 With the Wind at Their Backs Migration to Detroit 15

2 Henry Ford Ushers in a New Era for Black Workers 39

3 The Politics of Inclusion and the Construction of a New Detroit 69

4 Drawing the Color Line in Housing, 1915-1930 92

5 The Politics of Unemployment in Depression-Era Detroit, 1927-1931 115

6 Henry Ford at a Crossroads Inkster and the Ford Hunger March 144

7 Behind the Mask of Civility Black Politics in Detroit, 1932-1935 172

8 Charting a New Course for Black Workers 199

9 Black Workers Change Tactics, 1937-1941 223

Epilogue 251

Notes 257

Bibliography 309

Index 335

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