This study deals with the relationship between employers’ racial preferences in the steel industry and the timing of the northern migration of African Americans. It assesses the impact the U.S. government policy on immigration had on the place blacks occupied in the industrial economy of the North. The study is based on a careful reading of articles, reports, and editorials published in the Iron Age between 1880 and 1925, and the many contributions made by scholars of immigration, labor, black, economic, and political history in the last thirty years. Furthermore, to avoid presenting African Americans as victims, I have treated the efforts made by black leaders to promote the cause of their own race as workers in the face of American employers. Basically, the results of this study are aimed at improving historians’ understanding of the Great Migration, and offering new options on the paradoxes of Americanization.


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pp. 87-128
Launched on MUSE
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