Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, James Leloudis, Robert Rodgers Korstad, Mary Murphy, Lu Ann Jones, and Christopher B. Daly
Winner of the 1988 Albert J. Beveridge Award, American Historical Association; Co-winner of the 1988 Merle Curti Award in American Social History, Organization of American Historians; Honorable Mention, 1988 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize, American Studies Association; Winner of the 1988 Philip Taft Labor History Award; Winner of the 1988 History Book Award, Merit Award of Recognition, North Carolina Society of Historians.
Since its original publication in 1987, Like a Family has become a classic in the study of American labor history. Basing their research on a series of extraordinary interviews, letters, and articles from the trade press, the authors uncover the voices and experiences of workers in the Southern cotton mill industry during the 1920s and 1930s. Now with a new afterword, this edition stands as an invaluable contribution to American social history.
“The genius of Like a Family lies in its effortless integration of the history of the family–particularly women–into the history of the cotton-mill world.” — Ira Berlin, New York Times Book Review
“Like a Family is history, folklore, and storytelling all rolled into one. It is a living, revelatory chronicle of life rarely observed by the academe. A powerhouse.” — Studs Terkel
“Here is labor history in intensely human terms. Neither great impersonal forces nor deadening statistics are allowed to get in the way of people. If students of the New South want both the dimensions and the feel of life and labor in the textile industry, this book will be immensely satisfying.” — Choice
Winner, 2004 H. L. Mitchell Award, Southern Historical Association; 2004 Charles S. Sydnor Award, Southern Historical Association; Winner, 2004 Philip Taft Labor History Award; Co-winner, 2004 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award, Organization of American Historians
Drawing on scores of interviews with black and white tobacco workers in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Robert Korstad brings to life the forgotten heroes of Local 22 of the Food, Tobacco, Agricultural and Allied Workers of America-CIO. These workers confronted a system of racial capitalism that consigned African Americans to the basest jobs in the industry, perpetuated low wages for all southerners, and shored up white supremacy.
Galvanized by the emergence of the CIO, African Americans took the lead in a campaign that saw a strong labor movement and the reenfranchisement of the southern poor as keys to reforming the South–and a reformed South as central to the survival and expansion of the New Deal. In the window of opportunity opened by World War II, they blurred the boundaries between home and work as they linked civil rights and labor rights in a bid for justice at work and in the public sphere.
But civil rights unionism foundered in the maelstrom of the Cold War. Its defeat undermined later efforts by civil rights activists to raise issues of economic equality to the moral high ground occupied by the fight against legalized segregation and, Korstad contends, constrains the prospects for justice and democracy today.
“Well-researched and well-written . . . A major contribution to the current scholarship on labor history.” — American Communist History
“Korstad’s book sheds light on the decline of New Deal liberalism, the origins of the Civil Rights Movement, the development of interracial labor unions, and the coalescence of the Cold War consensus. . . . Leaves us with a richer understanding of how southern liberals fought back in the face of oppression and poverty. ” — Southern Historian
“An exceptionally rich work of scholarship.” — Journal of American History
“Piece[s] together a story that is at once compelling and powerful.” — North Carolina Historical Review
“A vitally important contribution to the fields of labor and African American history.” — New Labor Forum
“The breadth of Korstad’s work is impressive and so is his ability to incorporate the broader historical context into the narrative of the Local . . . . One of the many significant aspects of Korstad’s book is that he gives voice to the neglected history of African American women in the trade union movement.” — Left History
Edited by William H. Chafe, Raymond Gavins, and Robert Korstad
Described by Publishers Weekly as the “viscerally powerful . . . compilation of firsthand accounts of the Jim Crow era,” Remembering Jim Crow is now available in paperback. Based on interviews collected by the Behind the Veil Project at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, this remarkable book presents the most extensive oral history ever of African American life under segregation.
Citing Remembering Jim Crow as a Best Book of the Year for 2001, Library Journal wrote that “[when] the segregation era finally passes from living memory, students of its history will look to sources like this for a shivering dose of reality and inspiring stories of everyday resistance.” In vivid, compelling accounts, men and women from all walks of life tell how their day-to-day activity was subjected to profound and unrelenting racial oppression. At the same time, Remembering Jim Crow is a testament to how black southerners fought back against the system, raising children, building churches and schools, running businesses, and struggling for respect in a society that denied them the most basic rights.