Constructing Affirmative Action
The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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Richard Nixon wanted to be remembered as a “civil rights president” rather than “Tricky Dick” of the popular imagination. Historians such as Joan Hoff and, more recently, British scholar Kevin Yuill have nearly achieved that goal for him, noting the advances made in equal employment opportunity during the...
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In April 1969, at a luncheon in Philadelphia sponsored by the Jewish Labor Committee and the Negro Trade Union Leadership Council, AFLCIO legislative director Andrew J. Biemiller stated that the embattled “labor–liberal...
1. Fighting Bureaucratic Inertia, 1956-1960
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Thomas Bailey was a skilled brick mason living in Beacon, New York, a sleepy little town in the Hudson Valley between Peekskill and Poughkeepsie. In June 1958, when he applied for membership in the Bricklayers, Masons, and Plasterers Local #44, he was told by the union’s business agent, Andrew...
2. Becoming the Urban Crisis, 1961-1963
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The policeman’s blackjack hit Stanford’s head—not once, but twice. Another officer struck Daniels, also in the head. The two young men fell to the street, stunned. Both were arrested. Daniels, who had been taking pictures, saw his camera confiscated...
3. Grasping at Solutions, 1964-1967
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In 1962 James Ballard, a “twenty-two-year-old Negro Air Force veteran,” applied for an apprenticeship at the offi ce of Sheet Metal Workers Local #28 in New York City. He was dutifully asked to complete an apprenticeship application...
4. Pushing the Envelope: The Philadelphia Plans, 1967-1969
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In the spring of 1968, white electricians John Melleher, Joe Quinn, and John Kennedy fi led a complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, claiming they had been “denied work at the United States Mint” construction site “because of their race.” These union men felt they...
5. Constructing Affirmative Action, 1970-1973
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In 1970 three trained steamfitters—George Rios, a Puerto Rican, and Eugene Jenkins and Eric O. Lewis, both African American—were rebuffed when they attempted to obtain “A Branch” journeyman membership in New York City Steamfitters Local #638. The union refused to refer them to work, and...
Conclusion: Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity
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Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines affirmative action as “an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and......
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Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century