"We, Too, Are Americans"
African American Women in Detroit and Richmond, 1940-54
The story of how African American women used their wartime contributions on the home front to push for increased rights to equal employment,welfare benefits, worker equity and desegration of volunteer associations during WWII. The crucible for the civil rights movement.
During World War II, factories across America retooled for wartime production, and unprecedented labor opportunities opened up for women and minorities. In We, Too, Are Americans, Megan Taylor Shockley examines the experiences of the African American women who worked in two capitols of industry--Detroit, Michigan, and Richmond, Virginia--during the war and the decade that followed it, making a compelling case for viewing World War II as the crucible of the civil rights movement.
As demands on them intensified, the women working to provide American troops with clothing, medical supplies, and other services became increasingly aware of their key role in the war effort. A considerable number of the African Americans among them began to use their indispensability to leverage demands for equal employment, welfare and citizenship benefits, fair treatment, good working conditions, and other considerations previously denied them.
Shockley shows that as these women strove to redefine citizenship, backing up their claims to equality with lawsuits, sit-ins, and other forms of activism, they were forging tools that civil rights activists would continue to use in the years to come.
"An excellent, long overdue look into African American women's resistance to racist employers, domestic work, racist/gender stereotypes, moderate civil rights organizations, and bureaucratic state agencies."--Labor Studies Journal
"Shockley amply demonstrates that African American women, regardless of class, together contributed a profound sense of miltancy and urgency to the emerging civil rights movement."--The Journal of Southern History
"Recognizes women in World War II and the early Cold War for their participation in civil rights actions and their expansion of the themes of democracy and a 'Double Victory' for rights at home and abroad, , , , A valuable resource for the interpretation of civil rights in this period [and] supports the view that this period was most important as an attitudinal crucible of the civil rights movement."--Journal of American History
"Fascinating, well-written, and convincing, Shockley's impressive study fills a significant gap in the historical literature."--Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, author of Abiding Courage: African American Migrant Women in the East Bay Community
To order online:
To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)
A Century of Black Women Teachers in Nashville
Educating Black and White Women in the New South
Sarah H. Case
Reading the Rules Backward
Carolyn E. Ware
Gender and Slavery in Antebellum Georgia
Daina Ramey Berry
David Warren Steel with Richard H. Hulan
Religion, Music, and Public Culture
Stephen A. Marini
Murder and Memory in the Upland South
Illness in the Antebellum South
Marli F. Weiner
Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South
A Tale of Murder, Lynching, and Reckoning in the New South
Claude A. Clegg III
Civic Activism after Hurricane Katrina
Federal Power and Populist Defiance in the Ozarks
J. Blake Perkins
Unmarried Women in the Urban South, 1800-1865
Christine Jacobson Carter
Race and Migration in the South
Edited by Khyati Y. Joshi and Jigna Desai
Origins of American Lynching
Michael J. Pfeifer
Crossing the Borders of Region and Race
Wanda A. Hendricks