Monday, July 12, 2010

Who Will Update The Ebony Story On "Black Labor Story 1865-1972" To Include 1973-2010 And Beyond?

I ran across this story in the December 1972 edition of Ebony Magazine entitled "The Making Of America - The Black Worker".

The Ebony Magazine archive is now apart of the Google Books collection.  Please follow this link to read the article in total.  (Unfortunately you can't print it but the on-screen fonts do scale for easy reading).

For the record I ran across this article after being made aware of a NAACP statement that was critical against organized labor.  None other than the nemesis named Glenn Beck tuned me into the following quote:

The NAACP address an open letter to the American Federation of Labor and other groups of organzied labor:

For many years the American Negro has been demanding admittance to the ranks of union labor.

For many years your organizations have made public profession of your interest in Negro labor, of your desire to have it unionized, and of your hatred of the black "scab".

Notwithstanding the apparent surface agreement, Negro labor in the main is outside the rnas of organized labor, and the reason is, first, thatn white union labor does not want black labor, and secondly, black labor has ceased to beg admission to union rans because of its increasing value and efficency outside the unions.

We face a crisis in inter-racial labor conditions; the continued and determined race prejudice of white labor, together with the limitation of immigration, is giving black labor tremendous advantage. The Negro is entering, the ranks of semi-skilled and skilled labor and he is entering mainly and neccesrily as a "scab". He broke the great steel strike. he will soon be in a position to break any strike when he can gain economic advantage for himself.

On the other hand, intelligent Negroes know full well that a blog at organized labor is a blow at all laobr, that black labor today profits by the blood and sweat of labor leaders in the past who have fought opprssion and monopoly by organization. If there is builtup in America a great black bloc of non-union laborers who have a right to hate the unions, all laboers, black and white, eventually must suffer.

Is it not time then that black and white labor get together? Is it not time for white unions to stop bluffing and for black labor to stop cutting off their noses to spite their faces?
Though I appreciate Mr Beck for bringing this awareness about the previous conflict between Black labor and White labor unions - my agenda differs significantly from his.   My goal is to show that that despite the conflict between  White labor and Black labor having been put in check - the interests of the Black laborer is no more assured today as it was back then.  Today we stand with an 15.4% Black unemployment despite this integrated union movement.

The Black Economy - Multitudes Of Black Labor Without Enough Consumers Of Our Labor Supply

I am going to use Mr Bennett's article as a means of analyzing the events that have transpired in the 40 years since it has been written.  More specifically I will depart from a debate on the interests of "Black labor" and instead ask the question "What happens when the Black Establishment Institutions must CONSUME ITS OWN LABOR SUPPLY?"

The reason why this is an important question to ask is because so much of our political activism is oriented toward Blacks as SUPPLIERS of labor into the market.

Just imagine if the great Marcus Garvey had been allowed to continue his development of the organic productive capacity that extracted the productivity for Black people and nurtured our community interests in the process?  Would the prevailing disposition of the Black political consciousness ultimately stood against Garvey's efforts as the owner of production akin to US Steel or would the presence of such holdings forced more of a balance in the political leanings within our community?

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