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Freedom's BallotAfrican American Political Struggles in Chicago from Abolition to the Great Migration$
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Margaret Garb

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226135908

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226136066.001.0001

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Challenging Urban Space, Organizing Labor

Challenging Urban Space, Organizing Labor

(p.117) Four Challenging Urban Space, Organizing Labor
Freedom's Ballot

Margaret Garb

University of Chicago Press

This chapter recounts the brief history of a bi-racial labor movement among waiters in Chicago restaurants and hotels. The Culinary Alliance brought together black and white waiters, launched two successful strikes and ultimately collapsed under the weight of racial hostilities in Chicago's labor and housing markets. The Alliance was made possible by the spatial reorganization of the city, the gradual movement of industry and housing of the urban core and the rise of commerce and consumer-oriented businesses in the city center, the Loop. This chapter argues that labor organizing was, for some black workers, a direct path into urban politics.

Keywords:   Labor, African American, bi-racial, Chicago, Culinary Alliance, politics, Loop, consumer

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