Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America (Hardcover)
From the ongoing issues of poverty, health, housing and employment to the recent upsurge of lethal police-community relations, the black working class stands at the center of perceptions of social and racial conflict today. Journalists and public policy analysts often discuss the black poor as “consumers” rather than “producers,” as “takers” rather than “givers,” and as “liabilities” instead of “assets.”
In his engrossing new history, Workers on Arrival, Joe William Trotter, Jr. refutes these perceptions by charting the black working class’s vast contributions to the making of America. Covering the last four hundred years since Africans were first brought to Virginia in 1619, Trotter traces black workers’ complicated journey from the transatlantic slave trade through the American Century to the demise of the industrial order in the 21st century. At the center of this compelling, fast-paced narrative are the actual experiences of these African American men and women. A dynamic and vital history of remarkable contributions despite repeated setbacks, Workers on Arrival expands our understanding of America’s economic and industrial growth, its cities, ideas, and institutions, and the real challenges confronting black urban communities today.
About the Author
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"A beautifully illustrated book. . . . Professor Trotter gives us a highly readable and accessible history that will be a classic in the field.”
— Book Riot
“An eloquent and essential correction to contemporary discussions of the American working class. . . . Trotter’s achievement is to synthesize [a] rich body of historical scholarship into a single volume written with an eye to a general audience.”
— The Nation
— Journal of Working-Class Studies
"In an important new book entitled Workers on Arrival, historian Joe William Trotter Jr charts the dynamic history of black workers in the United States, revealing how the labor of African Americans helped build the nation — and the world. His research highlights the unique challenges black workers have faced in the United States as well as their remarkable historical contributions."
— Journal of African American History