American Dream Deferred: Black Federal Workers in Washington, D.C., 1941-1981

American Dream Deferred: Black Federal Workers in Washington, D.C., 1941-1981

by Frederick W. Gooding Jr.


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As the largest employer of one of the world’s leading economic and geo-political superpowers, the history of the federal government’s workforce is a rich and essential tool for understanding how the “Great Experiment” truly works. The literal face of federal policy, federal employees enjoy a history as rich as the country itself, while reflecting the country’s evolution towards true democracy within a public space.  Nowhere is this progression towards democracy more apparent than with its internal race relations. While World War II was a boon to black workers, little is known about the nuanced, ongoing struggles for dignity and respect that black workers endured while working these “good, government jobs.” American Dream Deferredchallenges postwar narratives of government largess for African Americans by illuminating the neglected stories of these unknown black workers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822945390
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Edition description: 1
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 1,139,949
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dr. Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. is assistant professor of African American studies in the John V. Roach Honors College at Texas Christian University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter One     “Boy! Look at all these government girls!” Black Opportunity in the Nation’s Capital,                             1941-1945
Chapter Two    “Study long, study wrong:” Achievements and Limits of Commissions Studying                                      Discrimination in the Federal Workforce, 1945-1947 
Chapter Three  “This is not working:” White Resistance to Black Persistence, 1948-1959
Chapter Four    “Rats! Discriminated Again:” Julius Hobson and the Rising Civil Rights Movement,                                1960-1969
Chapter Five    “I was hurting:” Blacks Become Big in Government, 1970-1979

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