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Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality


Paperback, 165 pages
ISBN: 1-58367-005-X
Released: January 1998

Available for the first time in paperback, Meatpackers provides an important window into race and racism in the American workplace. In their own words, male and female packinghouse workers in the Midwest—mostly African-American—talk of their experiences on the shop floor and picket lines. They tell of their fight between the 1930s and 1960s for economic advancement and racial equality. In cities like Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Fort Worth, and Waterloo, Iowa, meatpackers built a union that would defend their interests as workers—and their civil rights.

Here is a piece of history not found in conventional textbooks.

—Studs Terkel

The stories are dramatically and richly told, and they offer insights no scholarly study can quite adequately provide.

Journal of American History

Rick Halpern teaches at the University College of London and is the author of Down on the Killing Floor: Black and White Workers in Chicago’s Packinghouses, 1904-64 (1997). Roger Horowitz is associate director of the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware, and author of Negro and White, Unite and Fight! A Social History of Industrial Unionism in Meatpacking, 1930-90 (1997).

SKU: mrp005X Categories: ,

Publication Date: March 1999

Number of Pages: 162

Paperback ISBN: 9781583670057