In recent years, numerous studies have probed connections between race relations and organized labor in twentieth-century America. Often, these studies have challenged the notion that the modern civil rights movement began in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 school desegregation ruling. In their study of race and labor, for example, Robert Korstad and Nelson Lichtenstein have argued that the civil rights era began in the 1940s with the mobilization of large numbers of urban, working-class black Americans. During this period, as the two authors have pointed out, the “half million black workers who joined unions affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)” formed the “vanguard of efforts to transform race relations” in America. Specifically, in examining race-related labor issues in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Detroit, Michigan, Korstad and Lichtenstein have illustrated— for those communities— the “centrality of mass unionization in the civil rights struggle.“
""So Goes the Negro": Race and Labor in Miami, 1940-1963,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 76:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol76/iss1/5