Toure F. Reed examines the influence of labor activism on the civil rights agendas of the NAACP and National Urban League and challenges presumptions about the ideological orientations of these important civil rights organizations. Reed describes how mainstream civil rights activists of the 1930s and 1940s began to perceive racial discrimination as an outgrowth of class exploitation as they were pushed to the left by New Deal labor law and working-class political movements. Afro-American activists during the Depression and Second World War thus frequently identified black participation in the American union movement as a key component to the quest for racial equality.
Speaker Biography: Toure F. Reed is an associate professor of history at Illinois State University. An historian of Afro-American History, his research interests include 20th century black politics and US urban and labor history. He earned a B.A. from Hampshire College and his M.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Reed has received both a University Teaching Initiative Award (2005-2006) and an outstanding faculty award presented by the Dean of Students (2007). During his tenure as a fellow in the John W. Kluge Center, he focused his research on New Deal Civil Rights.
For captions, transcript, and more information visit https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-5301