ERIC Number: ED366733
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Challenging the Roadblocks to Equality: Race Relations and Civil Rights in the CIO 1935-1955.
Stevenson, Marshall F., Jr.
In the early 1940s the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) created its Committee to Abolish Racial Discrimination (CARD), whose members were pioneers in the attempt within the U.S. labor movement to overcome the divisiveness of racial discrimination. Although the CIO's racial policies were a significant advancement over those of the American Federation of Labor, racial discrimination plagued the CIO during its entire existence. The origins, evolution, and administration of CIO racial policy at the international level, within four major affiliates, and within several smaller CIO unions showed both the successes and failures of those policies. Even if CIO leaders naively accepted the importance of including black workers, they realized by 1942 that the dynamics of physical integration were quite complex and required a great deal of deliberation. The creation of CARD was the major bureaucratic attempt by CIO leaders to move beyond the rhetoric of racial equality within the organization. However, no matter what the CIO did in regard to racial discrimination, African Americans inside and outside the labor movement consistently considered the merit and necessity of an independent black labor interest group. Despite all its achievements, CARD was unable to remove completely the misgivings many blacks had about the CIO's commitment to challenging the roadblocks to racial equality because of a hesitancy to implement an aggressive and militant policy of redressing racial grievances. (Contains 84 endnotes.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Center for Labor Research.