African-American Slave Workers

1454 Words 6 Pages
The history of Black folk in America dates back to the 16th century when the first black slaves set foot on American soil. Ever since then, black people have become central to the growth and development of the United States of America. The labor of the African-American slave was one of the most important contributory factors in shaping America into the world super power it is today. The journey of African American workers from the slavery era up until now has not been auspicious. Exploitation, discrimination, unfair treatment and injustice are but some of the very many words that can be used to describe the situation of black workers and the conditions they worked under. The conditions and struggles of these workers at different points in American …show more content…
Muhammad Ahmad`s historical study of the “League of Revolutionary Black Workers” reveals, there were only 569 Blacks out of 105,759 auto workers in 1910. During the war, thousands of southerners, both Black and white migrated to Detroit in search of work. He writes that by 1930, there were 25,895 Blacks among the industry's 640.474 workers. In subsequent years, Ford, Dodge, General motors and Chrysler were all employers of black labor in the automobile industry. However, as depicted in the movie, black workers in the 50`, 60`s and 70`s worked under highly unfavorable conditions. These conditions in some cases were not only limited to black workers, but also affected other minorities and some white workers. Despite the fact that unemployment of black people at this time was not uncommon, there still was a lack of job security as workers could be laid off at any point in time if their services were not required. The workers worked with little to no physical protection against injury and there were no protections for the workers in cases of occupational hazards. The movie gives an instance when a machine in a car production factory cuts off a black worker`s finger. The worker is given $3000 in compensation but is called back to work after being given merely two days off. The workers were also made to work 10 hours a day and sometimes forced to work …show more content…
It explores black America post the civil rights era, giving the viewers a visual experience of the happenings. Manning Marable, Director, Institute for Research in African-American Studies and Professor of History at Columbia University perfectly described the League of Revolutionary Black Workers when she said “Although most histories of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements give greater attention to other groups... the League of Revolutionary Black Workers was in many respects the most significant expression of black radical thought and activism in the 1960s. The League took the impetus for Black Power and translated it into a fighting program focusing on industrial

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