Posted November 19th 2009 at 6:32 pm by
in CoLab Philosophy, Reading Lists

Race & the Construction of the Modern Labor Market

We’ve made a reading list for people who are interested in understanding race and the construction of the modern labor market.  This seven-book list is chronological, starting with Reconstruction and moving through to the present.

Right now, the U.S. stimulus package is trying to get people back to work.  Will stimulus money perpetuate this legacy, or undo it?

“These books help us understand how unemployment and poverty were structured into minority communities over time,” said Dayna Cunningham, CoLab Executive Director.  “We need to understand the ways in which it was done, so that we know what needs to be undone.”

1. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880, by W. E. B. Du Bois

2. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, by Robin Kelley

3. When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America, by Ira Katznelson

4. To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City, by Martha Biondi

5. The Lost Promise of Civil Rights, by Lisa Goluboff

6. Politics and Jobs: The Boundaries of Employment Policy in the United States, by Margaret Weir

7. Whiteness as Property, by Cheryl I. Harris

List by Phil Thompson.

5 responses to “Race & the Construction of the Modern Labor Market”

  1. justin says:

    This is a very good list. Another book that’s tangentially relevant is Marshall Frady’s short, excellent biography of Martin Luther King Jr. The book doesn’t specifically relate to race and the labor movement, but it’s an eloquent and keenly observed chronicle of the civil rights era — its roots, its key players, its most climactic moments, and its ultimate trajectory. As such, it might help contextualize the aforementioned books’ more specific observations. Plus, it’s an absolutely fantastic read.

  2. Mike Norman says:

    Can we have same articles on here as well for those of us that won’t be able to wade through and entire book?

  3. Amy says:

    What is the first book we’ll read for CoLab book group? Anyone out there want to join us in this undertaking?

  4. Rob G says:

    Amy, I’m interested in the book group … did it get off the ground?

  5. Amy Stitely says:

    Hi Rob, it hasn’t caught traction yet, but I will make it happen. Stay tuned…