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The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford$
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Beth Tompkins Bates

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835647

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837450_bates

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The Politics of Unemployment in Depression-Era Detroit, 1927–1931

The Politics of Unemployment in Depression-Era Detroit, 1927–1931

(p.115) Chapter Five The Politics of Unemployment in Depression-Era Detroit, 1927–1931
The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford

Beth Tompkins Bates

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines Henry Ford's and Frank Murphy's different responses to the national economic crisis, the Great Depression, and the shifting of loyalties within black Detroit. Frank Murphy was a prominent political leader and a staunch opponent of Henry Ford's agenda. In the Ossian Sweet case, Frank Murphy gained support within the black community, paving the way for political activism of black Detroiters. During the first phase of the Depression, 1929–31, black Detroiters, participated in Murphy's campaign to deal with rising unemployment. This period marked the shifting of loyalties in Detroit as black Detroiters threw their allegiance strongly behind the political campaigns of Frank Murphy.

Keywords:   Henry Ford, Frank Murphy, Great Depression, black Detroit, Ossian Sweet Case, black community, political activism, unemployment

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