Advisory Committee Chair
Advisory Committee Members
Harriet E Amos Doss
Andrew S Baer
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences
This thesis examines the intersection between Birmingham, Alabama’s civil rights movement and labor history. It considers the city leadership’s exploitation of black labor and the radical resistance these oppressive conditions fostered. A long civil rights struggle in Birmingham emphasizes the movement’s pursuit of economic opportunity in securing a better quality of life for the city’s African American population. Showcasing three distinct eras of Birmingham’s black freedom struggle, this thesis argues that economic justice remained at the core of the prolonged movement. During the first half of the twentieth century, the city’s black working class embraced radical influences in combating workplace discrimination. Overlooked in public memory, this working-class radicalism shaped Birmingham’s traditional civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. An evolving movement for economic justice continued into the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond. By examining Birmingham’s movement as a fight for black economic opportunity, we can better understand the place of Alabama’s black working class within the long black freedom struggle.
Barrett, Logan Montgomery, "The Civil Rights Struggle For Black Economic Opportunity In Birmingham" (2019). All ETDs from UAB. 1114.