Race against Liberalism

Black Workers and the UAW in Detroit
Author: David M. Lewis-Colman
An in-depth chronicle of the black labor movement in postwar Detroit
Paper – $28
Publication Date: June 2008
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About the Book

Race against Liberalism examines how black worker activism in Detroit shaped the racial politics of the labor movement and the white working class. David M. Lewis-Colman traces the substantive, long-standing disagreements between liberals and the black workers who embraced autonomous race-based action. As he shows, black autoworkers placed themselves at the center of Detroit's working-class politics and sought to forge a kind of working class unity that accommodated their interests as African Americans. The book covers the independent caucuses in the 1940s and the Trade Union Leadership Council in the 1950s; the black power movement and Revolutionary Union Movements of the mid-1960s; and the independent race-based activism of the 1970s that resulted in Coleman Young's 1973 election as the city's first black mayor.

About the Author

David M. Lewis-Colman is an assistant professor of African American history at Ramapo College.