By Jennifer Delton

Within the area of approximately thirty years - from 1964 to 1994 - American organizations deserted racially exclusionary employment regulations and embraced a few kind of affirmative motion to diversify their workforces. It was once a rare transformation, which so much historians characteristic to civil rights activists, federal laws, and hard work unions. this can be the 1st booklet to check the function of businesses in that transformation. while others emphasize company obstruction, this publication argues that there have been company executives and executives who promoted reasonable employment and equivalent employment chance lengthy prior to the government required it, and who thereby helped organize the company international for racial integration. The publication examines the pioneering enterprises that experimented with integration within the Forties and Fifties, in addition to company responses to the civil rights circulation and concrete challenge within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies and the frequent adoption of affirmative motion within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties.

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Extra info for Racial Integration in Corporate America, 1940-1990

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While securing jobs for a few, then, proportional hiring, or quotas, did little to create employment opportunities for the many, it did little to ameliorate the problem of black employment in the long run. What the NAACP wanted instead were color-blind policies of nondiscrimination, which were not divisive or parochial but rather universal and just. They called it fair employment, and by the end of World War II, the idea that race should not be a consideration in hiring and advancement decisions was the goal of black employment activism.

Freedom North: Black Struggles Outside the South, 1940–1980 (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003). Jack Gourlay, The Negro Salaried Worker (New York: American Management Association, 1965), AMA Research Study 70, 27–28. Quoted in Sewell, “The ‘Not-Buying Power’ of the Black Community,” 135–51, quote on p. 140. On the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) boycotts, see Meier and Rudwick, CORE. Gourlay, The Negro Salaried Worker. , Studies in Personnel Policy No. 201 (New York: National Industrial Conference Board, 1966).

Although many white Americans and conservatives remained resentful of affirmative action policies, employers and managers had come to appreciate them because they made it easier for 62 These programs are described in Frank Dobbin and John Sutton, “The Strength of the Weak State: The Rights Revolution and the Rise of Human Resources Management Divisions,” American Journal of Sociology, 104, no. 2 (September 1998): 441–76, and Skrentny, The Ironies of Affirmative Action. The African American Struggle for Jobs 41 companies to avoid lawsuits and to plan their compliance with Title VII and other civil rights legislation.

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