Race, Labor, and Class in Interwar New York
This paper was written in The Evolving American City (HIST 410), taught by Dr. Shelton.
Black urban politics in New York City blossomed as black migrants found employment in the industrial North during the Great Migration. Publishing its first issue in 1917, the black radical newspaper the Messenger, sought to raise race and-class consciousness among its readership. Heralding the “New Negro,” the Messenger promoted Socialist politics and encouraged trade unionism. An important interlocutor with other black periodicals, the Messenger argued that racial advancement was predicated on class consciousness and labor organization. Yet the Messenger’s short lifespan reflected the limits of Socialist politics as a vehicle for black political mobilization.