Joe William Trotter, Jr.

Feb 20, 2023

The History of the Black Urban Working-Class in the United States

A Conversation with Joe William Trotter, Jr.

New Books Network 2023

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Joe William Trotter, Jr., Giant Eagle University Professor of History and Founder and Director of the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) at Carnegie Mellon University, talks about his book, Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America (University of California Press, 2019), with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. Workers on Arrival examines the long history of the black urban working-class going back to the 18th century and coming right up to the present. While Trotter fully acknowledges the hardships African-Americans have faced, he also emphasizes the agency of black people as they organized, resisted, and found ways to cope in the contexts they found themselves. Trotter and Vinsel also discuss current trends in African-American historical scholarship and Trotter’s own present and future research projects.

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Lee Vinsel

Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.

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