Degree Granting Department
Humanities and Cultural Studies
Eric D. Duke
African Americans, Labor Unions, Racism, South, Working Class
This thesis examines labor organizing in the U.S. South, specifically the Piedmont and eastern regions of North Carolina in the mid-twentieth century. It aims to uncover an often overlooked local history of civil rights labor organizing which challenged the southern status quo before America's 'mainstream' civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. This study argues that through labor organizing, African American tobacco workers challenged the class, gender, and race hierarchy of North Carolina's very profitable tobacco industry during the first half of the twentieth century. In doing so, the thesis contributes to the historiography of black working class protest, and the ever-expanding field of local civil rights histories and the long civil rights movement.
Scholar Commons Citation
Wells, Jennifer, "The Black Freedom Struggle and Civil Rights Labor Organizing in the Piedmont and Eastern North Carolina Tobacco Industry" (2013). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.