14 April 17 & 19
R- Thomas_Sugrue_”Affirmative_Action_from_Below” in Journal of American History 91, no. 1.
1. What is historian Thomas Sugrue’s historiographical contribution regarding affirmative and civil rights? To get at this question, address how other scholars have written about “affirmative action” and what is different about Sugrue’s analysis of “affirmative action”?
2. How did the Cold War impact black labor protests in Philadelphia? Recalling Beth Bates’s chapter on Detroit, how were labor activism in Philadelphia different in the 1950s and 1960s? What was the impact of fair employment practices ordinance (FEP) and the Commission on Human Relations?
3. In what ways did the government contribute to the social mobility of whites? Which employment industries were vulnerable to antiracist protests? How were whites in the building industries able to maintain a white-only trade union? How did the state ensure that trade unions in the building industries remained white-only?
4. What does Joseph Burke, president of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, mean when he states “They are asking me to say to a white working man, ‘Get off the job because I want to put a Negro on.’? What does historian Sugrue mean by “white identity politics”? How did affirmative action in employment sector come about?