College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date

8-2016

Document Type

Thesis

College/Department Conferring Degree

International Studies

Keywords

repression, resource deprivation, factionalization, Black nationalism, Marxism

Abstract

This thesis considers the rise and fall of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, a radical social movement located at the praxical intersection of Black Nationalism and Marxism. It traces the activities of this movement chronologically and identifies the external and internal factors that led to its demobilization. By consulting primary and archival sources, I identify two external factors of demobilization, resource deprivation and repression, and one internal factor of demobilization, factionalization. It is concluded that as repression and resource deprivation by the auto companies, the UAW, and local police forces succeeded in diminishing plant-level organization and activity, the League succumbed to increasing tactical and ideological factionalization. This allows me to infer that external factors were the primary and internal factors the secondary causes of the League’s demobilization. Whereas unions are typically seen as agents of worker mobilization, I show that the UAW instead colluded with the companies to demobilize the League.

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