Home » Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality by Rick Halpern
Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality Rick Halpern

Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality

Rick Halpern

Published March 1st 1999
ISBN : 9781583670057
Paperback
162 pages
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 About the Book 

The hope of securing gainful employment in Americas meatpacking industry fired the dreams and imaginations of southern blacks seeking to escape the limits imposed by rural poverty, sharecropping, and Jim Crow segregation. Despite terrible workingMoreThe hope of securing gainful employment in Americas meatpacking industry fired the dreams and imaginations of southern blacks seeking to escape the limits imposed by rural poverty, sharecropping, and Jim Crow segregation. Despite terrible working conditions, the packinghouse provided jobs in urban centers where other doors remained closed. Using oral history interviews drawn from the massive United Packinghouse Workers of America Oral History Project (underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities), Halpern and Horowitz trace the impact of the packinghouse on race relations, the civil rights movement, and African American communities from Chicago to Fort Worth. The interviewees speak for themselves with power, intelligence, and emotion. They reveal the importance of the packinghouse employment to midwestern black communities, and offer insights into the work experience and family relationships of African Americans. They relate the remarkable representation of interracial cooperation within a labor union - the United Packinghouse Workers of America - and the positive role this organization played in the promotion of social change, racial equality, and tolerance.