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The making of Black Detroit in the age of Henry Ford /
Beth Tompkins Bates.
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2012.
description
xiii, 343 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0807835641 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780807835647 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2012.
isbn
0807835641 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780807835647 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
With the wind at their backs : migration to Detroit -- Henry Ford ushers in a new era for Black workers -- The politics of inclusion and the construction of a new Detroit -- Drawing the color line in housing, 1915-1930 -- The politics of unemployment in depression-era Detroit, 1927-1931 -- Henry Ford at a crossroads : Inkster and the Ford Hunger March -- Behind the mask of civility: Black politics in Detroit, 1932-1935 -- Charting a new course for Black workers -- Black workers change tactics, 1937-1941.
catalogue key
8539208
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [309]-333) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
In the 1920s, Henry Ford hired thousands of African American men for his open-shop system of auto manufacturing. 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.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-03-01:
Bates's most recent work is a valuable addition to existing scholarship by Thomas Sugrue (e.g., The Origins of the Urban Crisis, CH, Jun'97, 34-5995), Richard Thomas, and others about the history of Detroit, black Detroiters, and the Ford Motor Company. The author's chronological focus on the 1920s and early 1930s fills the existing void in academic discourse about Detroit. This book is about African American Ford workers' shift from being anti-union workers loyal to the company to pro-union workers. Bates (emer., Wayne State Univ.) suggests that in addition to poor residential and working conditions and the Great Depression, Frank Murphy's campaign for judge in 1923 was a significant factor in the city's history. She argues that the candidate symbolized an attempt to overturn autocracy and social control by the upper class. When blacks helped Murphy's victory, they were no longer followers and at the mercy of the industry, but were decision makers in the city. While Bates recognizes Henry Ford's contribution to Detroit's African American community, she also correctly elaborates on the demise of Ford's dominance and so-called "Ford mules" and high rates of workers' sickness. Integrating numerous significant primary sources and written in jargon-free language, this book is suitable for undergraduates and above. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels/libraries. Y. Kiuchi Michigan State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"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
"An engaging book, lucidly presented and approachable to anyone with a curious mind." -SpeedReaders.info
"[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
"Recommended. All academic levels/libraries." - Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
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.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviations Used in the Textp. xv
Introductionp. 1
With the Wind at Their Backs Migration to Detroitp. 15
Henry Ford Ushers in a New Era for Black Workersp. 39
The Politics of Inclusion and the Construction of a New Detroitp. 69
Drawing the Color Line in Housing, 1915-1930p. 92
The Politics of Unemployment in Depression-Era Detroit, 1927-1931p. 115
Henry Ford at a Crossroads Inkster and the Ford Hunger Marchp. 144
Behind the Mask of Civility Black Politics in Detroit, 1932-1935p. 172
Charting a New Course for Black Workersp. 199
Black Workers Change Tactics, 1937-1941p. 223
Epiloguep. 251
Notesp. 257
Bibliographyp. 309
Indexp. 335
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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