African-American railroad workers, 1890--1960: A critical reinterpretation
by McCabe, Joshua T., M.A., University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2009 , 81 pages; AAT 1466058
"This thesis examines the history of African-American railroad workers in the first half of the 19th century. Traditional labor histories have taken a Marxian approach which downplays or ignores the role of race in the evolution of the labor movement. Newer studies take race into account, but still do not tell the whole story. This thesis takes a critical look at the current literature and explicitly applies different political, economic, and social theories in order to gain a better understanding of race relations in the American railroad industry. By utilizing what I call "classical political economy," I come to the conclusion that the downfall of the African-American railroad worker can be more accurately attributed to white union racism and pro-labor institutional changes which empowered them at the expense of firms and black workers."