Department of History

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    Racial Cleansings Against African Americans in the Early 1900s: Forsyth County, Georgia
    (2021-12-13) Cooper, Olivia; FSU Department of History
    This paper focuses on the rising racial tensions in Georgia that led to a racial cleansing against African Americans in Forsyth County in 1912. Other racial cleansings occurred throughout the South in towns where “too many” black people lived. White people were threatened by African Americans especially after claims of sexual assaults against white women “came to light”. The lynching of multiple black men in Georgia including Sam Hose and Rob Edwards helped raise tensions between white people and African Americans, which ultimately led to the racial cleansing. The Atlanta Race “Riot” of 1906 also made black and white people further distrust each other. The racial cleansing of Forsyth County was celebrated by white people all over the South, because racial cleansings were deemed as a way to rid criminals from your community. White people were scared of having black people become successful because they were concerned about their own status. White people were able to massacre African Americans and destroy black communities because ultimately American society still did not view them as people, even decades after slavery was abolished.
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    GM Never Surrendered: Antiunion Politics on Auto Industry Shop Floors during the 1960s
    Wood, Gregory; FSU Department of History
    The organizing victories of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) in the automobile factories of the 1930s and 1940s heralded major working-class wins over employers’ antiunion practices during the early-to-mid twentieth century. Autoworkers’ triumphs in Flint, Detroit, and Dearborn, at the large factories of General Motors, the Ford Motor Company, and the Chrysler Corporation signaled a high water mark for organized labor and pointed to a momentous break with the past, as organized workers had now imposed on industrial employers a new balance of power and a new semblance of democracy in what were now unionized plants. Labor and working-class historians’ master narratives of the labor movement in the twentieth-century auto industry most frequently consider the theme of antiunion measures as a set of wrongs that reside in the industry’s brutal past and were significantly checked by unionization from below. However, this paper peers behind the doors of the unionized shop in an effort to highlight some of the ongoing, everyday presence of antiunion culture and its forms in auto industry workplaces, including the UAW’s main base of strength: Michigan. This paper focuses on 2 factories in the GM system -- General Motors’ Pontiac division plant in Pontiac, Michigan; and the Chevrolet Van Nuys, California, plant in the 1960s. As post-World War II conflicts at Pontiac and Van Nuys over managers’ treatment of committeemen and their handling of bulletin boards for the union reveal, antiunion politics and culture on auto industry shop floors outlasted the labor wars of the 1930s and 1940s. Perhaps General Motors never surrendered: The shop floors of unionized auto plants continued to be battlegrounds over the status and presence of organized labor, as a selection of post-World War II National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cases and surviving UAW records demonstrate.