Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Clifford Kuhn - Chair

Second Advisor

Ian C. Fletcher


This thesis aims to provide a history of African American working class and Leftist activism in Atlanta, Georgia during the early 1970s. It places a series of wildcat strikes within the context of political and social transition, and charges unequal economic conditions and a racially charged discriminatory environment as primary causes. The legacies of both the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left are identified as key contributing factors to this wave of labor unrest. One path taken by former Civil Right activists was to focus on poor peoples’ movements, and one course taken by the 1960s-era New Left activists was to join forces with the working class in an attempt to build a New Communist movement. In Atlanta, these two forces converged and generated a notable force against some of city’s most prominent employers.


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