The Racial Politics of Progressive Americanism: New Deal Liberalism and the Subordination of Black Workers in the UAW
In February 1937, members of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) celebrated their pioneering victory over General Motors by waving American flags as they marched out of Fisher Body and paraded through the streets of Flint, Michigan. Later that year, as the UAW turned to organizing Ford's massive River Rouge plant, the Ford edition of the United Automobile Worker described the complex as a foreign country and called on workers to “win this for America” and “win the war for democracy in River Rouge!” When a successful strike finally led to union recognition and an NLRB election in 1941, the UAW urged Rouge workers to “keep faith with America” and its greatest leaders, Washington, Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, by voting for the inclusive unionism of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) over the un-American alternative of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
Studies In American Political Development
Williams, Charles, "The Racial Politics of Progressive Americanism: New Deal Liberalism and the Subordination of Black Workers in the UAW" (2005). SIAS Faculty Publications. 239.