Notes on Behind the Backlash (2003)

  • 1881: Thirty-nine manufacturers in Baltimore
  • Turn of the century: two hundred manufacturers (p. 7)
  • After a “wave tide of mergers swept the city”, Baltimore became known as a “branch plant city” (p. 8)
  • 1928: Glenn Martin built at Middle River (p. 8)
  • 1934: General Motors opened plants in southeast Baltimore (p. 8-9)

Comments on party politics in Maryland (p. 13):

Maryland, like its border counterparts, has been called a “three party state” in which a weak Republican Party vied with two wings of a sharply divided Democratic Party. Up to the 1930s these two wings included Protestant “Bourbon” Democrats in the eastern and southern parts of the state and business-led machine politicians in Baltimore.

Howard Jackson: “fit the pro-business, southern segregationist mold even more closely” (p. 14)

Director of Maryland Employment Service told an investigating congressional staffer there “were lots of potential black workers in the city” (p.16) but:

Baltimore is an old, conservative city with certain traditions to uphold.

  • middle of WWII: “liberal leadership had begun to coalesce in Baltimore”; including “state and local CIO, middle-class whites, many of them associated with the Union for Democratic Action (UDA)” (p. 19) (Note: I’m not confident that this is a productive framing of the WWII-era coalition building.)
  • July 1937: city’s CIO unions organized Baltimore Industrial Union Council

Blacks who had changed parties to vote for FDR and the New Deal in 1936 switched back to vote for the racially progressive McKeldin. Three black wards that had voted 54 percent for FDR that year went 71 percent for McKeldin in 1943. … Voters in white working-class wards 1, 23, and 24 voted for McKeldin by a margin of 63 percent, higher even than more reliably Republican outlying middle-class precincts. … although McKeldin beat Jackson decisively, every other Republican candidate lost by a substantial margin (p. 21)

Diminshing discrimination in hiring (e.g. advertising defense worker jobs in Afro-American) was due to “wartime exigencies”; according to Baltimore Urban League’s Alexander Allen it was the “economics of the situation” more than EO 8802:

Some companies just ran out of workers to hire. (Cited source: Homefront)

  • late 1941: Western Electric began “hiring black workers and segregating its restrooms to comply with the Baltimore plumbing code.”
  • early 1942: after Urban League “got the plumbing code changed, the company desegregated its washrooms.” (p. 28)

Table 4. Manufacturing Firms and Employment, 1947-1977 (p. 199)

Year Total Firms % Change No. Large Firms % Change Total Employed % Change
1947 1638       120929  
1954 1629       117583  
1958 1623   694   111757  
1963 1515   635   103852  
1967 1396   625   106700  
1972 1237   543   90600  
1977 1101   429   72900  
1982 971       59300