Lessons from the Black Working Class
Foreshadowing America's Economic Health
by Lori Latrice Martin, Hayward Derrick Horton, and Teresa A. Booker
October 2015, 271pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4143-9
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4144-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Blacks in the working class—especially black women—still lag behind their white working-class counterparts in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

This book enables readers to better understand, explain, and predict the future of the nation's overall economic health through its examination of the black working class—especially the experiences of black women and black working-class residents outside of urban areas.

How have the experiences of black working-class women and men residing in urban, suburban, and rural settings impacted U.S. labor relations and the broader American society? This book asserts that a comprehensive and critical examination of the black working class can be used to forecast whether economic troubles are on the horizon. It documents how the increasing incidence of attacks on unions, the dwindling availability of working-class jobs, and the clamoring by the working class for a minimum wage hike is proof that the atmospheric pressure in America is rising, and that efforts to prepare for the approaching financial storm require attention to the individuals and households who are often overlooked: the black working class.

Presenting information of great importance to sociologists, political scientists, and economists, the authors of this work explore the impact of the recent Great Recession on working-class African Americans and argue that the intersections of race and class for this particular group uncover the state of equity and justice in America. This book will also be of interest to public policymakers as well as students in graduate-level courses in the areas of African American studies, American society and labor, labor relations, labor and the Civil Rights Movement, and studies on race, class, and gender.


  • Contributes new information and fresh perspectives on the ongoing debate regarding the significance of race versus class
  • Suggests a number of lessons all Americans can learn from the black working class
  • Provides a insightful critique of the first black American president's record on race and addressing socioeconomic class differences
  • Supplies an unprecedented examination that simultaneously examines the diversity of the black working class as well as its historical impact on shaping and foreshadowing the U.S. economy over many generations
Lori Latrice Martin, PhD, is associate professor of sociology and African and African American studies at Louisiana State University. Her published works include Praeger's White Sports/Black Sports: Racial Socialization and Athletic Destinations.

Hayward Derrick Horton, PhD, is professor of sociology at University at Albany, State University of New York. His work appears in such academic publications as American Sociological Review and Sociological Forum. He is also the past president of the Association of Black Sociologists.

Teresa A. Booker, PhD, is assistant professor of Africana studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is the author of several peer-reviewed scholarly works, including Race and Urban Communities: An Interdisciplinary Approach and Keeping it Holy: Southerners, the South, and the Theme of Justice.
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