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1 The Vicious Babushka  Jul 1, 2015 11:17:11am

Here are some collections of photos of child workers from 100 years ago.
As you look through the gallery you will notice ALL THESE CHILDREN ARE WHITE.

As horrific as these children’s lives must have been, the “job creators” who exploited them did not hire Black laborers, even though this was in the deep south.

2 Khal Wimpo  Jul 1, 2015 11:42:37am

Hm. I wonder what was up with that? Maybe the white kids were segregated from the black kids when they worked? I know that black people were obliged to work at the most strenuous, dangerous jobs (loading cargo on ships, clearing swamps, etc.) in the South … and given cocaine to get more work out of them.

Gotta admit, the history books I’ve read kinda skim over what the situation was in the 1880-1920 span, during which there was the historic migration to the Rust Belt cities in search of work…

3 Snarknado!  Jul 1, 2015 12:11:49pm

re: #2 Khal Wimpo

Hm. I wonder what was up with that? Maybe the white kids were segregated from the black kids when they worked? I know that black people were obliged to work at the most strenuous, dangerous jobs (loading cargo on ships, clearing swamps, etc.) in the South … and given cocaine to get more work out of them.

Gotta admit, the history books I’ve read kinda skim over what the situation was in the 1880-1920 span, during which there was the historic migration to the Rust Belt cities in search of work…

In addition to “regular” segregation, there was what amounts to a conspiracy to keep blacks in the most menial jobs. This may have been considered too high level (!).

For the period 1880-1920, Litwack — Trouble in Mind is a good place to start. The Warmth of Other Suns starts around 1915 (I haven’t read it yet).

4 team_fukit  Jul 1, 2015 1:35:33pm

re: #1 The Vicious Babushka

re: #2 Khal Wimpo

re: #3 Snarknado!

David Roediger’s The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class is a great book on this topic.

Roediger argued that after Reconstruction working class white identity was defined in opposition to that of blacks. So even though whites and blacks often did the same kind of menial jobs, their work forces were segregated and the whites were constantly reminded that they were better because the system reinforced white supremacy.

That’s where the aggrieved sensibilities come from… there’s no one in power anymore to remind them that they’re superior.


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